In Eastern Slovakia new born babies are hooked up to headphones for music therapy to counter the trauma of birth. Now, their Polish neighbours are taking things one step further. A group of radio enthusiasts has launched a new station to cater to the needs of the youngest radio audience - babies, toddlers and small children.
With scandals over expense accounts it’s no wonder the EU is thinking about image. In an effort to make the EU feel more of a community the European Commission has launched a new website and radio programme. It’s hoped they’ll reach a youthful audience and provide everything one should know about Europe - from news to culture, and the important work the EU’s doing. European Commisioner Margot Wallström launched “Euranet” this week.
Supermodel-turned-French-first-lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy tried to put the brakes on her husband's dramatic slide in the opinion polls this week by, perhaps a little sarcastically, apologizing for their happiness. Since he went public with their relationship in December, two months after divorcing his second wife, President Sarkozy's popularity rating has plummeted. Two weeks ago President Sarkozy filed a criminal complaint against the weekly Nouvel Observateur for publishing a text message. The paper claimed he sent the message to his ex-wife a week before his wedding to Carla Bruni offering to call it off if she came back to him! Whatever actually happened it seems that the rather cosey relationship between the government and the French media is being challenged.
The average Pole spends three and a half hours a day in front of the TV. Nearly half of that time is devoted to watching soap operas. People watch these series because they can identify something of themselves in them. And some Polish sociologists say that they can be good for establishing family roles.
Diana, Princess of Wales commenting on the insatiable appetite of the media in her public and private life. 2007 marked 10 years since that fatal car crash in Paris. And even a decade after her death, the interest in the People's Princess has not diminished. Phil Hall who was editor of "News of the World" at the time, admitted this August that the media had some responsibility for Diana's death. He said that , "If the paparazzi hadn't been following her, the car wouldn't have been speeding and the accident may never have happened. " As Radio Netherland's Richard Walker reports, Diana was a dream come true for Britain's tabloid press.
It's now 10 years since Diana's death in a high speed car crash in Paris, which also claimed the lives of Dodi Al Fayed and the driver Henry Paul. What role did the Paris paparazzi and indeed the media play in the accident? This question has been much debated over the past decade. This week Phil Hall, the then editor of "News of the World" admitted the media had some responsibility for her death. He said "if the paparazzi hadn't been following her, the car wouldn't have been speeding and, the accident may never have happened. A big Diana story could add 150,000 sales. So we were all responsible". Ten years after Diana's death the media interest in the People's Princess has not diminished.
Diana was of course a dream come true for the tabloid press in Britain. More so than anyone else in the British royal family, the life of Diana generated endless public interest. Sweden also has a monarchy, but it's quite a different story there. The Swedish royal family is not the scandal ridden House of Windsor and the Swedish media has a very different relationship with its royals.
Celebrity gossip, big brash headlines, paparazzi pictures and lots of nudes, those are all trademarks of British tabloids. But another recurring topic the tabloids love to hate is the European Union - or the so-called Euromyths. You might say Brussels bunkum if you're British. Anthony Gooch is the Head of Media at the Representation of the European Commission in London and his mission is to fight these so-called Euromyths.
Britain no doubt is the hot spot for tabloids, but actually it's Germany that has Europe’s biggest tabloid: BILD - which means picture. With a daily readership of 11 and a half million, Bild has enormous influence, and politicians know it’s the best way to reach the masses. But its tabloid character isn’t for everyone.
Bild had ambitious plans to expand in neighbouring France. But a few weeks ago the publishing house Axel Springer decided to shelve its plans to develop France's biggest newspaper - and also the country's first tabloid. France does have weekly tabloid magazines such as Paris Match or Gala, but not a daily tabloid newspaper.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy's ties to business and media came under fresh attack this week, after his former deputy campaign director took on a top post, at the country's most popular television station, TF1. The Owner of the channel, billionaire Martin Bouygues, is a close friend of Sarkozy. Earlier on, critics in France were concerned by the decision made by the Journal du Dimanche newspaper not to publish an article revealing that Sarkozy's wife Cecilia did not vote in the second round presidential poll.
On the face of it, French journalists should be delighted. With only five weeks to go before the first round, the French presidential campaign is still wide open, the main candidates have a lot of personality, and one of them is even photogenic. But actually journalists in France are a bit depressed. Almost sixty per cent of French people say they're not satisfied with the media's coverage of the campaign. And to make things worse, there are now TV shows with no journalists at all, where citizens question the candidates directly. Radio France International's Nick Champeaux is still happy, but thought he should find out more about why some of his fellow professionals aren't.
Now speaking of the indirect effects of the EU On the streets of new member - Romania's capital Bucharest intergenerational couples are increasingly frequent - and visible. But apparently as Radio Romania International's Iulian Muresan reports it's apparently not because Romanians have successfully bridged the generation gap. Quite on the contrary... It's all about money.
Ireland has seen a large influx of Polish immigrants over the last couple of years, as one of three countries to open its doors immediately to workers from the new EU in 2004. In fact the Polish community is the fastest growing immigrant group in Ireland. As a result, not just Irish companies but the mainstream media are focusing ever more attention on young, dynamic Poles, who they regard as an attractive target group. Dailies like the Evening Herald and The Irish Times print several pages in Polish at least once a week, while some TV channels are now broadcasting in the language.
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