European Radio Network officially launched
Euranet. That is the name of the new radio and internet project that will commence broadcasting on 31 March 2008. It is a consortium of sixteen radio stations from thirteen countries. The group includes international broadcasters like Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Deutsche Welle and Radio France International. But there are also regional and local stations, often from new EU member states. Radio Slovenia International and Polskie Radio from Poland are also part of the project. A major aim is to inform young citizens about the European Union.
The station was officially launched in Brussels by Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission and in charge of the EU's communication strategy. The EC felt there was a need for fair and balanced information on EU affairs, she said. One aim of Euranet, in response to a demand felt by the Brussels leadership, is to get closer to the citizens, particularly the young. Ms Wallström stressed that a charter will guarantee the station's editorial independence.
Initially Euranet will broadcast in English, Spanish, French, German and Polish. The website that is part of the project will be of great importance, and it will be innovative, says Peter Veenendaal who is involved with the project on behalf of Radio Netherlands Worldwide.
"This will be a genuine audio website. Throughout the day you can listen to programmes and interviews. What is unique is that listeners themselves can also post sound files online. This will create a kind of database with sounds from all over Europe. And it is not just news, this is also about culture. We want to bring the real sound of Europe."
What will they be doing?
The website and the radio stations (see box below) will be broadcasting a lot of news and backgrounds from all over Europe.
- Every weekday there will be half an hour of European news
- On Saturday and Sunday there will be a European magazine on culture and backgrounds
- The website will have new programmes every day, and also soundbites and sounds supplied by European citizens.
- Major events, such as cultural festivals or EU commemorations will be covered live on the internet and the radio three times a year.
Financing and independence
The station will be paid for by European funds and will cost about five million euros per year. The question can be asked how much influence the European Union, as Euranet's paymaster, will have on the programming. According to European Commissioner Margot Wallström there is no need to worry about independence. "Of course there will be a journalists charter guaranteeing absolute editorial independence."
Young people and Europe
The sixteen broadcasters are targeting a young section of the population: the 20 to 45-year- olds. They are commonly seen as a difficult target group that is perceiving the European Union as a boring and complicated phenomenon.
Peter Veenendaal of Radio Netherlands Worldwide says,
"If you want to reach a young audience, you cannot just broadcast radio programmes. The internet is very important here, because it allows anyone to listen at any time that suits them.
There won't just be news on European bodies, but there will also be sports, culture and the problems that people are experiencing with the European Union."
Euranet will start broadcasting in five languages; from next year there will be more, including Dutch. Ultimately the aim is for Euranet to air its content in all 23 languages of the EU.
The website, (euranet.eu) will be online from 1 June 2008.
Euranet will initially broadcast in German, English, Bulgarian, French, Spanish, Greek, Hungarian, Polish, Portuguese and Romanian. To these ten languages the other thirteen of the EU will gradually be added.
The Euranet consortium is open to all levels of radio stations, ranging from local, regional and national stations to international broadcasters. Both public and private broadcasters are taking part.
Members of the initial group of Euranet stations are: Deutsche Welle (Germany), Radio France International (France), Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Punto Radio (Spain), Polskie Radio Warsaw and Polskie Radio Szczecin (Poland), RTBF (Belgium), Skai Radio (Greece), RFI Sofia (Bulgaria), Czech Radio, Hungarian Radio, RFI Roumanie (Romania), Radko Slovenia International, Europa Lisboa.
There are some notable absentees: the BBC are not taking part, for instance. Erik Betterman, head of Deutsche Welle, suggested in Brussels that the BBC is shifting its international focus toward the Middle East rather than Europe. From EU founder member Italy no radio station has yet joined Euranet 'because of organisational problems in Italy', according to Mr Betterman. And the Scandinavian countries, originally part of the group, are no longer represented since Radio Sweden withdrew from international broadcasting.
The programmes will be broadcast via the website and via the transmitters of the stations in the consortium. Erik Betterman of Deutsche Welle said he intends to make the Euranet programming part of DW's worldwide output, reaching audiences beyond Europe too.
Radio France International is fortunate in having at its disposal a vast number of local FM frequencies all over Europe, RFI's Antoine Schwartz said. These will be made available for Euranet and include transmitters in Berlin, Budapest, Prague and Belgrade. Mr. Schwartz also wants to revive Radio Brussels International using Euranet material; he is arguing that the capital of the EU deserves its own independent international radio station.
The consortium also boasts a number of associate stations, not producing content but rebroadcasting Euranet locally. They are CUR1350 (Cambridge, UK), Hochschulradio Aachen (Germany), TIDE Radio (Hamburg, Germany), CampusRadioBonn (Germany), Radio Campus Paris (France), [email protected] (Nantes, France), Radio Moreeni (Tampere, Finland).
(Source: EU )
Personal, am un regret: neimplicarea "Societatii Romane de Radiodifuziune", ca bani oricum dam...
Subiecte arzatoare din intreaga UE isi vor gasi locul pe undele a 16 posturi de radio din 13 tari europene si 7 posturi afiliate.
Cele 23 de posturi isi vor incepe emisia in aprilie anul curent si vor difuza jurnale de stiri, interviuri, dezbateri, emisiuni de tip magazin pe diverse teme si transmisiuni referitoare la evenimente in derulare, anunta Mediafax. Initial, acestea vor fi in 10 limbi: germana, engleza, bulgara, franceza, spaniola, greaca, maghiara, polona, portugheza si romana, urmand ca treptat ele sa cuprinda toate cele 23 de limbi ale UE.
In prezent, consortiul include posturile Deutsche Welle (Germania), RFI (Franta), Radio Netherlands Wereldomroep (Olanda), Punto Radio (Spania), Polskie Radio Warsaw (Polonia), Polskie Radio Szczecin (Polonia), RTBF (Belgia), Bulgarian National Radio (Bulgaria), RFI Sofia (Bulgaria), Czech Radio (Cehia), Skai Radio (Grecia), Hungarian Radio (Ungaria), Radio Romania International (Romania), RFI Romania, Radio Slovenia International, Europa Lisboa (Portugalia). Acestora li se pot alatura si alte posturi de radio nationale, regionale, publice sau private, insa numai in conditiile in care indeplinesc cerintele consortiului.
Comisia Europeana va sprijini timp de cinci ani acest proiect radio, semnand un contract de servicii in valoare de 5,8 milioane de euro. Consortiul este coordonat de Deutsche Welle (la nivel editorial) si RFI (pe partea economica), cele doua castigandu-si acest drept in urma unei licitatii lansate in iulie 2007. In plus, Radio Netherlands va administra viitorul portal al retelei. Comisia Europeana mai finanteaza si postul TV de stiri european EuroNews cu cinci milioane de euro pe an, urmand ca de anul viitor sa aloce 10 milioane de euro pentru acesta.
Se estimeaza ca reteaua va avea intre 12 si 19 milioane de ascultatori in statele membre ale Uniunii Europene si aproximativ 30 de milioane in restul lumii.
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