As US news networks scramble for ratings, it is nice to see a network doing something a little different. EuroNews has no visible presenters, no studios, no ‘situation room’ and (thankfully) no Wolf Blitzer. What you do get is the news, interesting little magazine spots on different issues, and information about what’s going on in the Eurozone. It’s unashamedly diverse and highbrow. It’s not particularly exciting. And it’s very good for it.
EuroNews seems to have taken some influence (if only subconsciously) from another programme that did things a little differently: TransWorld Sport. It too had no studio and did not focus on the ‘big’ sports – articles on football would be sandwiched between extended pieces on khabadi, netball championships or go-cart racing. For someone interested in sport but not really interested in football it was a god send.
EuroNews does something else that is worth mentioning. Rather than filling dead air with meaningless speculation from presenters and talking heads, stories on EuroNews are repeated unchanged until something new actually happens. This means that on slow news days little stories are not blown out of all proportion. “Is this really national news?” is a question I find myself asking a little too much!
For someone not particularly interested in the sensationalism that has infected that former bastion of British cool, the BBC, EuroNews provides a very welcome break. Funnily enough, as the BBC moves towards American-style news values, I find myself moving towards Europe (maybe there is something to be learned from this…Am I thinking what Douglas Alexander is thinking?) Whether or not EuroNews will succeed is a different matter. Can a news channel that renounces the cult of celebrity compete in a world where the line between news and entertainment is being smudged into non-existence?
I hope so, or I will have to fork out for a paper subscription.