Qualitative Study


    Fieldwork: August-September 2004
    Publication: November 2004

This survey was requested by Directorate General for Press and Communication

This document does not represent the point of view of the European Commission.
The interpretations and opinions contained in it are solely those of the authors.
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Qualitative Study



SUMMARY OF RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS…………………………………………………………….….6

DETAILED RESULTS ……………………………………………………………………………………………..14

GENERAL ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOURS……………………………………………………………….….15



       CONTAINING A EUROPEAN DIMENSION ………………………………..…………………..….…49

ANNEXES …..……………………………………………………………………………………………………….87
ANNEX III – DISCUSSION GUIDE …………..…………………………………………………………………93

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004   2
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               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004   3
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   The Directorate-General Press and Communication of the European Commission entrusted
   OPTEM and its partners in the Eurobarometer Framework Contract "Qualitative Studies” (1)
   with the task of conducting a survey of television viewers in the 25 Member States of the European

   The aim of this study is to provide DG Press and Communication with information that will help it
   to implement measures intended to support planned television programmes offering European

   The underlying hypothesis to this study is that while television is clearly an essential medium through
   which the awareness of the citizens of Europe can be raised in matters relating to the European Union,
   the attitudes and expectations of the different categories of viewer with respect to type of programme and
   channel still require to be ascertained.

    This study focused on three major viewer categories:

         “Standard” viewers, who watch solely or almost exclusively general-interest channels with wide
         audiences and in particular the commercial channels.

         “Selective” viewers, who watch (amongst other things) specialist channels with what tends to be
         more “intellectual” content, such as cultural channels, national and international news channels
         and channels from other countries. In order to be placed into this category, a viewer must watch
         such channels at least three times weekly and for at least three hours per week.

         “Regional” viewers, who watch regional or local channels or regional or local programmes
         broadcast by general-interest channels relatively regularly. The term “regularly” here implies that
         the viewer watches such programmes at least three times weekly and for at least three hours per

         This last category of viewers was analysed specifically in 15 of the 25 Member States. This is
         because regional channels are as yet poorly developed, or indeed non-existent, in the remaining

         These 15 countries were France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the
         Netherlands, Greece, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and
         Hungary. However, given the great diversity of regional and local broadcasting on offer in these
         countries, it is worth noting that the profile of the “regional viewer” group is less uniform than that
         of the two other categories considered.

   The study was conducted on the basis of group discussions. One meeting was held involving both
   men and women aged between 20 and 60 for each viewer category in each Member State.

   (1) Framework Contract set up and managed by Directorate-General Press and Communication – Unit

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                 4
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       The fieldwork was carried out between the end of August and the end of September 2004.

    The discussions centred on a series of questions looking at specific themes.

             General themes relative to television viewing habits, perception of and attitudes towards
             different channels and types of programme and the information and knowledge imparted by
             television through these programmes.

             Themes concerning Europe and the European Union as portrayed on television, including
             European content viewed during the previous months, opinions on the role of television in this
             area in comparison to the other media, expectations in terms of programmes dealing with
             Europe and the European Union, reactions to the Commission’s initiative to support such

   This report is divided into two major sections to reflect the structure of the discussions held, i.e.,
   dealing with general themes then more specifically European themes.

       It was drafted by OPTEM on the basis of the national analyses drawn up by its partners working in
       the 25 Member States of the EU.

       It includes the following appendices:

             A list of the partner institutes in the 25 countries

             The demographic characteristics of the viewer groups interviewed in each country together
             with the locations and dates of the meetings.

             The discussion guide used.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            5
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                                   SUMMARY OF RESULTS
                                      AND CONCLUSIONS

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004   6
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1. The majority of European television viewers can be described either as having “standardised”
   viewing habits, or as “dipping in” to the world of television.

       “Standardised” viewing habits: viewing at similar times each day, to include in particular the
       evening news, regular viewing of favourite programmes with either mainly informative or mainly
       entertaining content and which form a framework and are taken as reference points.

       “Dipping in”: also frequently based on daily reference points, such as the television news, but
       less loyalty towards regular programmes or specific channels, and a much greater tendency towards

       A much smaller number of viewers display “selective” or, at the other end of the spectrum,
       “addictive” viewing habits.

       “Selective” viewing: selective in terms of programme type or channel, above all in those groups
       described from the outset as “selective” owing to their particular tendency to watch “high-quality”

       “Addictive” viewing: more or less permanent, loose viewing, seen in particular amongst those who
       do not work, live alone and often amongst those who are older than the average age and have a low
       level of education.

2. The roles of television can range from “pure” information to entertainment, through knowledge
   and escapism (as well as acting as an additional presence and providing “company” on a daily basis to
   viewers with “addictive” viewing habits).

   The information provided by television is obtained first and foremost through news programmes. All of
   the viewer categories in almost all of the Member States watch the television news. Indeed for some
   individuals, who do not read the press and do not listen to radio news, television is the only source of
   regular information on current affairs. This aspect is particularly appreciated by the “selective” viewers
   and by their “regional” counterparts in some of the Member States.

   Various types of programme are believed to impart greater knowledge and “broaden the mind”: in
   part political programmes (which are not uniformly popular as a result of the disillusionment frequently
   expressed with respect to politics and politicians); to a greater extent magazine-style programmes,
   debates, reports and documentaries on a series of topics including society, travel, foreign countries,
   nature and (by fewer participants) history, art and culture, popular science, etc.; in part also talk shows,
   both serious and light-hearted, and game shows.

   Some of these programmes provide an escape from daily routine, as do fictional programmes.

   Entertainment, which is considered by many to be one of the essential roles of television, is obtained
   through the different programme types already listed above, as well as (depending on individual view)
   reality television, and sport, music and variety programmes.

   No clear distinction is made between information as opposed to entertainment. Rather, these fall
   along a continuum and the proportion of each varies according to the programme at hand.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                7
Qualitative Study

3. The interviewees in the different countries and groups differ as to their perception of the size of
   the range of channels on offer, but use the same criteria to differentiate between those channels
   they are aware of and/or to which they have access , i.e., whether or not they are general in nature; if so
   whether they are public or private and the related notions of quality and reliability of content; the
   broadcasting range for regional channels; and whether a channel is national or foreign, a defining aspect
   raised by those interviewees who watch channels from neighbouring countries or indeed “international”

    The majority of the viewers questioned watch several different types of channel, depending on the
    specific programmes they broadcast.

4. Television is also deemed to play a role in providing information and imparting knowledge,
   through different types of programme from “purely” informative broadcasts to much more light-
   hearted programmes aimed at providing entertainment, but from which new things can be learned and
   which can arouse curiosity, as part of the continuum referred to above.

    The topics themselves and the manner in which they are dealt with are of equal importance when
    considering those broadcasts which aim to be both informative and entertaining. Aspects are mentioned
    such as the pace of the programme, which is essential in retaining the viewer’s attention once aroused,
    the need for a “common thread” running through a programme to provide coherence, and the personal
    styles of the journalists and presenters, which have a major impact on the overall programme. The latter
    are expected to demonstrate a number of characteristics, including the ability to express ideas skilfully
    yet simply, the appropriate attitude, honesty and impartiality, charisma and the capacity to summarise.

5. The interviewees have varied, but generally few recollections of television programmes dealing
   with Europe or the European Union. This is without doubt linked both to the variable proportion
   of European content in comparison to the full range of broadcasts on offer and to the extent to
   which viewers in different countries are interested in the EU and Community matters.

    On the whole, the viewers from Belgium, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Poland
    can recall the greatest amount of European content, contrary to the viewers from Spain, Slovakia, Latvia,
    Lithuania and above all Greece, the UK and Sweden.

    Those Community topic matters called to mind (to varying degrees) are restricted in scope, relating
    overwhelmingly to the enlargement of the Union and the new Member States, both of which are
    mentioned in several of the countries. The interviewees had greater recollections of documentaries and
    reports on some of the countries of Europe, either focussing essentially on tourism or going into more
    depth. Viewers in various countries also mentioned programmes on cooking and gastronomy, historical
    documentaries, talk shows, quizzes with questions on Europe and the countries of Europe and, more
    rarely, variety and sporting programmes and films.

6. The impression that television falls short in the manner in which it deals with European issues is

        Shortcomings in terms of quantity: the idea that few or very few programmes are shown on
        television which refer to Europe and more specifically the European Union is widespread and this

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              8
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       status quo is lamented to varying degrees in a large majority of the countries concerned, with the
       exception of some Member States in which a climate of Euroscepticism reigns and viewers are not
       actively interested in such matters.

       Shortcomings in terms of quality: those programmes that do deal with European issues are
       frequently seen to be dull, austere and quite unappealing and to be overly abstract with too little
       basis in the daily lives of citizens. It is also felt that they do not provide enough context and
       explanation, are often superficial or tend towards sensationalism. In some of the countries, the
       viewers suspect that the information is presented in a biased manner: in some of the new Member
       States, in particular during the pre-accession period, it was felt to be overly favourable; while
       viewers in the founder Member States are tired of seeing the EU shown in a negative light and from
       a purely national perspective.

   This deficit becomes evident in several countries when comparing television to the press, which
   looks at broader aspects of European Union news in greater depth, is less prone to sensationalism, at
   least in the more serious publications, and is more objective.

   Despite this, the interviewees accept that both these media contribute – or should contribute – to
   EU news: one in a more light-hearted manner which is easier to understand, the other in greater depth,
   which can be preventive to some.

   Similar questions are asked relating to the role played by the radio. It is clear that only a minority of the
   respondents believe that the latter contributes to providing information on Europe (and in general). This
   is because many of the interviewees only listen to the radio rarely, or listen solely to music when driving
   or carrying out other daily tasks. Some countries nonetheless provide the exception to this rule.

   The participants do not criticise the radio as a medium for broadcasting information on European affairs,
   but their remarks certainly reflect the poor, or indeed very poor, range of programmes on offer in many
   of the Member States involved in the study.

7. The interviewees in the majority of Member States have clear expectations with respect to
   television programmes with a European dimension.

   These relate first and foremost to the following potential points of interest:

       Getting to know the other European countries better, including the people, their mentalities, the
       way they live, problems they face and solutions society has found or is seeking.

       The respondents most frequently express a desire to find out more in general about ordinary people,
       their customs and traditions, their lifestyles and living conditions, including: their working life, their
       quality of life, their social welfare protection, the healthcare, education and school systems, their
       culinary and eating habits and other aspects of day-to-day living.

       They are also keen to discover more about other European cultures and the history of Europe and the
       nations of Europe.

       The participants would particularly welcome a focus on the interests, problems and concerns faced
       by people in other counties, the attitudes of society to these problems and solutions it has already
       thought out or indeed tried and tested.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                  9
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       Gaining a greater insight into and understanding of the European Union itself – a subject that
       was referred to above all in the new Member States.

       This encompasses the concrete impact of the EU and its activities on each country and its citizens,
       the role and clout of each country within the Community system, in some cases the EU budget and
       how it is distributed, or the more general effects of joining for the Member States.

       Less often, the participants request greater information on specific EU policies, or the workings of
       the EU institutions.

       Some of the participants would also appreciate practical information on travel, employment,
       studies, exchange programmes, setting up home, buying opportunities, the rights and duties of the
       citizen, etc.

8. The study brought to light some major guidelines for tackling EU affairs on television.

       Focus on issues that are concrete and relevant to the daily lives of the people.

       Ensure the authenticity and credibility of all content, whilst avoiding the much-criticised austerity
       and dullness.

       Guarantee objectivity.

       Look at a wide range of topics from different angles.

       Present alternative views and draw comparisons.

       Arouse and maintain curiosity through an original approach.

       Express empathy for the other people of Europe.

       Place into context so as to enable the viewer to understand and sympathise, rather than simply
       “showing and telling”, by providing a “cultural interpreter”.

9. When asked to think of television programmes that could focus on European content, the
   participants make a large number of suggestions, thus indicating real interest in this possibility. In
   some cases they enter into great detail and provide concrete examples to illustrate.

   The ideas put forward spontaneously at this point cover in particular the systematic inclusion of EU news
   in television news programmes, special programmes providing information on Community issues,
   broadcasts focusing specifically on the impact of the EU and its policies, topic-based programmes on
   Europe and the countries of Europe, or series of programmes looking at each country in turn.

   Somewhat less often, respondents suggest historical documentaries, cultural programmes (but which are
   in no way elitist), films or other fictional broadcasts from other countries, light-hearted and entertaining
   programmes, game shows and even reality television shows, as well as programmes providing practical

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004               10
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   Furthermore, in several of the Member States the participants expressed the desire for a European
   television channel that would be free of charge and accessible for all.

10. The reactions of the respondents to different programme ideas then read out to them confirmed
    these expectations.

   They show considerable overall interest in the following concepts:

       Reportages about the life of the people living in different European countries – to be shown on
       the general-interest channels so as to enable the greatest number of people possible to view them.

       Reportages showing solutions implemented by other European cities to try and solve such
       problems as transport, housing, urban security, school hours, access to public services, etc. - to
       be shown on general channels as well as other types of channel so as to reach a broad audience.

       Practical information programmes on the rights of European citizens: for example the right to
       study, work and live in any EU country, the rights of consumers who make purchases from
       other European countries, the Erasmus programmes for students, etc. – significant interest in
       the new Member States; some conditions attached in the older Member States whose citizens shy
       away from “overly factual” programmes – however broad interest amongst the relevant viewers,
       who would advocate that such programmes are shown on the general-interest channels.

       Regional information programmes showing the impact of EU decisions and programmes on
       your region or city : considerable interest in principle; the respondents logically assume that such
       programmes, by their nature, would be broadcast on regional channels (where such channels exist).

       A five-minute slot in each day’s TV news bulletins on current EU issues and decisions: broad
       support both for the idea of including EU news into existing programmes (which will encourage
       viewing) and for the regularity of this concept (which would make European Union news “more
       natural” and “less foreign”); some reservations are expressed, but relate more to the structure of this
       option rather than concept itself.

       The participants would clearly favour broadcasting such slots on the general-interest channels.

       A weekly one-hour programme including information and reportages on current EU issues:
       broad interest, although less so than for the previous concept, or with conditions or reservations
       attached (on the concrete subject matters that would be looked at and in terms of excessive duration
       and frequency).

       The audience profile here would appear to be more “selective” than for the previous ideas and views
       on the preferred channel type are more mixed: the majority favour the general channels, but some
       also advocate specialist channels.

       Programmes on scientific subjects, health or the environment, showing experiences and giving
       views from different European countries: interviewees generally interested in many of the
       Member States, holding mixed views in several other countries and cautious or doubtful in some of
       the countries.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              11
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   Those who believe that such programmes would make relevant topics more widely accessible, with the
   right level of credibility but within the grasp of the common mortal, react positively to this suggestion.

   Those participants who see such programmes as austere and exclusively for particularly skilled and well-
   educated viewers are more negative or dubious.

   The first group would advocate broadcasting this kind of programme on the general-interest channels,
   while the latter suggest more specialist channels.

   Programmes about the arts, culture and literature in the other European countries: broadly
   welcomed in principle, but linked to fears that such programmes would be too high-brow for the average
   citizen; as a result the interviewees feel that they should be shown either on general-interest channels for
   the “public at large” or, more often, on semi-general or topic-based, cultural channels.

The respondents show considerably less interest in other programme ideas with a greater
entertainment factor.

   Programmes devoted to the other European countries’cinema, including films and series in the original
   language, interviews with film directors, reportages, etc.: cinema fans, whose numbers vary according to
   country, support this idea, but a large number of citizens feel such programmes to be highly elitist.

   Game programmes whose candidates must answer questions about Europe and the other European
   countries: interest mixed or conditional, either with respect to game shows in general (which are popular
   above all amongst “standard” viewers, but very little amongst “selective” viewers), or with respect to the
   practical implications of games of this type held on a European scale.

   Entertainment programmes with artists and famous people from several European countries: variable
   interest here also, essentially for the same reasons.

   Programmes on sports in the other European countries, including matches and competitions but also
   reportages on champions and sports teams as well as sports in local people’s lives: very little interest,
   either for sport in general, or for this type of programme which is not felt to add anything to those
   broadcasts already broadly available.

Finally, the participants’ reactions to three further suggestions made reflect reservations with respect
to programmes that are excessively “political” in nature.

   Interviews of our country’s ministers in charge of European affairs at regular periods: interest generally
   poor escalating to almost unanimous rejection in several of the Member States on the basis of the low
   credibility of political figures.

   Interviews of European commissioners and members of the European Parliament at regular periods:
   interest essentially limited, although slightly greater than for the previous proposal (with the exception of
   a small number of particularly Eurosceptic countries).

   Debates on European issues between experts from the European Union and experts from our own
   country: some interest in this concept does exist in principle, but the interviewees are widely concerned
   that the content would be out of the reach of the average citizen; as could be expected, the “selective”
   viewers show greater interest in this idea in several countries.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                12
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11. On the whole, this study clearly demonstrates that viewers can show an interest in programmes
    that focus on Europe and the European Union, provided these are concrete and relevant, impart a
    better understanding and appreciation of the lives of the people in the different Member States
    and provide information on the impact which the Union has on their lives.

   It is evident that what is currently lacking in this area is not potential demand, but supply.

   Although arousing an interest in topic areas that often initially appear austere and overly technical will
   be a gradual progress, this study indicates that it can be done. Indeed the participants are already
   showing a more or less spontaneous desire for such broadcasts anchored in the right “dose” of both
   informative and attractive content.

12. The Commission’s reasons for supporting future television broadcasts providing European
    content, including by providing financial support, are called into question by a very small number of
    people in only a few of the countries. The great majority of citizens openly approve of this idea.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             13
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                                      DETAILED RESULTS

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004   14
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                                              PART ONE
                             EUROPEANS AND TELEVISION

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004   15
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      The initial topics of the discussion were very general. Group participants were asked to talk about what
      they “usually watch on television”, “thinking of a typical week and trying to think back of all of the
      programmes they would watch during that week”. They were then asked to classify which programmes
      they watched “with more – or less – interest or to which they pay more or less attention” and to give
      reasons for their preferences.

      The purpose, of course, was not to provide audience data for different programme categories, channels or
      indeed television as a whole on the basis of this type of qualitative study involving a small number of
      individuals from each country. Such data is compiled by institutes that specialise in measuring viewing
      figures. Rather, our goal was to uncover typical viewing habits for this medium and pinpoint the roles
      attributed to television by its viewers as well as the “benefits” they gain, or expect to gain, from it.

      An analysis of the interviewees’ responses highlights some specific, characteristic types of viewing

            Selective viewing

            These viewers make clear choices in favour of specific programmes over others, either on the
            basis of their prior knowledge of the programme schedule or after looking up the programme for
            the day or the week ahead (in television magazines, the television section in the daily press or on
            teletext where available). They often reject outright certain types of programme.

            This group of viewers may also select specific channels or types of channels, in particular those,
            which broadcast informative programmes, in the broad sense of that word.

            They also frequently limit the overall amount of time they spend watching television, although in
            some cases watch a large amount of television, but select only specific topic matters or
            programmes which they endeavour never to miss.

            This group of viewers is most likely to record programmes they are unable to watch in real time,
            either because they are not home or are involved in some other activity or because two programmes
            they are keen to see are broadcast at the same time.

            As would be expected, the “selective” groups have the largest number of selective viewers,
            although this does not hold true across the board. It is important to remember that those
            individuals included in the “selective” viewer groups were chosen because they tend to watch
            “quality” television channels with more “intellectual” content than average (cultural and news
            channels, international channels and channels belonging to other countries) rather than on the basis
            of how much and how often they watch television.

            The selective viewers would appear to be a minority although their numbers varied across the
            countries included in the study.

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        On the whole, participants in the “selective” groups in France, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Finland,
        Malta, Poland, and to a lesser extent Luxembourg, demonstrate truly selective viewing habits.

        The viewers in the “selective” groups in Ireland, Portugal, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany
        and Italy appear to have only partially selective viewing habits. In the latter two countries, they
        form a minority group whose viewing habits are linked above all to socio-demographic
        characteristics such as level of education and age. In some of the Member States (France, Sweden,
        Poland), selective viewing habits can also be observed amongst many of the “regional” viewers.

        Selective viewing is less common in the other Member States (Netherlands, Denmark) and in some
        cases virtually absent from the sample group.

         Standard viewing

        This group is much larger, in particular in terms of time spent watching television, and these
        participants have well-established viewing habits.

        Viewing in this group centres on:

             Specific time slots: “standard” practice of switching the television on for the evening news or
             upon returning from work in order to watch the programmes on before the news.

             Some of these viewers also routinely watch television in the morning before leaving home,
             essentially to keep abreast of the first news of the day, or again at lunchtime or the start of the
             afternoon for those who eat at home, return from work very early or only work part-time. Such
             behaviours were observed notably amongst the interviewees from Spain, Cyprus, the Czech
             Republic and Slovakia.

             A set of regular, favourite programmes which form a framework and provide reference
             points. These programmes can be informative in nature (other than the news: magazine-style
             programmes, documentaries, reports or debates on a host of topics) or essentially entertaining
             and fun, but are in any event a core part of the television schedule (series and soaps of all
             types, recurring fictional programmes, talk shows, comedy slots, game shows and even reality

             This does not mean, of course, that these viewers only watch these key programmes. They
             pick other broadcasts out from the schedules of the different channels on the day concerned.
             However, their favourite programmes are key.

             This type of viewing is widespread in all of the countries concerned, above all (although
             not exclusively) in the “standard” groups. It seems to be particularly common in the United
             Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands and Denmark, in Greece to a lesser degree, in Portugal in
             the “standard” groups and in Poland and the Baltic States.


             Although the viewers in this category also frequently watch specific pivotal programmes
             each day – essentially the news – they have a less well-established routine in terms of the
             other shows they watch: they are less attached to any specific channel(s), tend to channel-

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                17
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             hop much more, are less faithful to regular programmes and take advantage of the diversity of
             broadcasts on offer according to their mood and frame of mind at any given time.

             Such viewers are found in the sample groups in the majority of the countries studied and are
             often spread across the different categories set out for the purpose of recruiting the

             This type of viewing habit is also very widespread and would appear to be on the increase
             as the diversity of programmes on offer grows. It seems to be highly characteristic of a large
             number of the participants from Germany, Italy, Spain, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia
             and Hungary, some of the respondents from France, Belgium, Austria, Finland, Sweden and
             Malta (not including those with selective viewing habits) as well as amongst some of the
             Slovenes and Poles.

             Addictive viewing

             These viewers leave the television switched on permanently, at least for part of the day,
             in some cases switching it on first thing in the morning. Varying attention is paid to what is
             actually showing depending on whether the viewer is interested in a specific programme.

             This group is in the minority in the majority of the countries studied and tends to
             comprise above all housewives, those who are retired or work part-time and those who live
             alone. Often, these viewers are older than average and have a lower level of education. In
             some cases, young people also fall into this category.

             Within our sample, interviewees from Germany, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Portugal, Austria,
             Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Cyprus and Estonia fell into this group. The number of addictive
             viewers was considerably greater in just one Member State – the United Kingdom.

     These categories are naturally somewhat rudimentary. Morevoer, the viewing habits of an
     individual can change over time and according to circumstance.

     The following variables can cause viewers to stray from their traditional viewing habits:

           Available time

             A large proportion of the respondents indicate that their viewing habits vary between
             weekdays (largely the focus of the descriptions provided above) and the weekend, but this
             variation is not the same across the board. Some of the interviewees watch considerably more
             television on Saturday or (yet more) on Sunday, whilst others (in particular the younger
             participants) tend to go out more.

             Some of the participants work variable hours, while others have children in the home at
             different times (and as a result voluntarily limit their viewing so as not to encourage the
             children to become dependent on the television, or alternatively switch on for children’s
             programmes which they may then watch with the children).

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004           18
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           Events affecting the television schedule

           These can be major world political events, which may incite a viewer to watch more news and
           information programmes, or specific sports events such as the Olympic Games, major
           international championships, competitions involving leading national teams, etc.

           Frame of mind

           This can determine whether any one individual watches an informative or educational
           programme or rather more light-hearted entertainment shows and is influenced by mood,
           tiredness, form and so on.

  Let us turn now to the roles played by television

  The following roles can be identified :


           Essentially information on current affairs provided by the television news programmes or
           by round-the-clock news channels for those who have access to these.

           This is one of television’s key roles; indeed for a large number of people, who neither read the
           newspaper nor listen to radio news, it is the sole source of information on national and
           international events.

           The majority of the citizens asked cited the television news as a reference point in their day,
           describing this programme as one they would not miss, at least in the evening. Above we
           indicated that several of the interviewees switch on for the start of the television news or to
           watch prior programmes while waiting for the news.

           As also outlined above, a minority of the sample also “switch on” for the morning or lunchtime

           This level of interest in the television news is observed across all of the viewer categories in the
           majority of the Member States with the United Kingdom the sole exception worthy of note.
           Many of the British respondents (including, but not solely, in the “standard” group) use
           television for entertainment only and have little interest for informative broadcasts. The citizens
           in the majority of the new Member States set even greater store by the television news than
           elsewhere and are particularly keen to broaden their horizons to include the rest of the world.

           On the whole, “selective” viewers show the greatest interest in the news. The “regional” group
           also displays particular interest in regional and local news programmes in France, the
           Netherlands, Greece, Austria, the Scandinavian countries, Slovakia, Hungary and Lithuania.

           Television is also used to varying degrees as a source of practical information. Viewers
           frequently watch the weather report and in some cases road traffic news or stay abreast of local
           events on regional and local channels. In some cases they also watch local “adverts” detailing

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004               19
Qualitative Study

           special offers available in local stores or view types of “small ads” (this was mentioned in some
           of the new Member States).

           General knowledge

           Various types of programme fulfil this role:

               Political programmes (or socio-political or political and economic programmes), which are
               seen as an extension of or a complement to the television news.

              Such programmes are not uniformly popular. This is attributable to a general
              disillusionment with politics.

              In France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Portugal, Austria, Finland, Slovenia and Latvia,
              the “selective” viewers (and in some cases the “regional” viewers) watch this type of
              programme most often.

              In Germany, Sweden, Malta, the Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania, interest in such
              programmes is varied according to viewer group or other criteria: the level of education is
              decisive in Poland, while in Estonia essentially younger male viewers opt for this type of

              This category of programme arouses very little interest in the other Member States and in
              some cases is not mentioned at all by the interviewees.

               Magazine-style programmes, debates, reports, and documentaries

              This type of programme is watched by a substantial share of the citizens in all of the
              countries, although audience figures would appear to be lower in some: “selective”
              audience for such programmes in particular in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands,
              Austria, the Nordic countries, Greece (where less interest is shown by the youngest section
              of the population), Malta, Slovakia, Poland and Latvia. This is due either to less overall
              interest in such issues or poorer accessibility to relevant specialist channels.

              Such programmes tackle the following key topics:

                    o   Society. Some of these programmes are intended for a wide audience and include
                        testimonies from “ordinary people” in situations with which the viewer is able to
                        identify and as such essentially do not have a selective audience. These programmes
                        are mentioned across all of the groups.

                    o   Travel, knowledge of other countries, geography. Broad interest in all of the
                        study countries across the viewer categories (provided viewers have access to the
                        relevant specialist channels or the national general-interest channels show such
                        programmes on a regular basis).

                    o   Nature and the animal kingdom. The interest shown and audience scale are the
                        same here as for the previous point.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            20
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                    o   History. This topic is cited less often, but would appear to be of particular interest in
                        Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Italy and Greece with the exception of younger
                        viewers, the countries of central Europe and the Baltic States. The audience is
                        essentially not selective in these countries; although more so elsewhere.

                    o   The arts and culture. This type of programme is quoted least often within this
                        category, and is probably the most difficult to penetrate. The respondents in France, to
                        a lesser degree in Germany, and in some cases in neighbouring countries where access
                        is available, refer to Arte. Other cultural channels or general-interest channels with a
                        more “intellectual” profile are also mentioned, as are certain specialist channels. The
                        audience profile for these programmes would seem to be quite definitely selective in
                        the majority of Member States in which reference is made to them.

                    o   Popular science. This is a further area referred to by the interviewees in a rather
                        large number of the countries studied and which generally has a selective viewer
                        profile (except with reference to programmes on health which would seem to be more
                        widely popular, in particular amongst women, in several of the Member States).

                    “Talk shows”, which fall somewhere between imparting knowledge and pure
                    entertainment, tending more towards one or the other depending on the subject matter,
                    how seriously this is dealt with, the guests and the personality of the host. Talk shows
                    can appeal to a wide audience.

                    Game shows, where these are based on general knowledge questions (quiz shows). The
                    respondents in various different countries indicate that these shows enable them to
                    learn new things by testing out their own knowledge – even though they initially aim
                    to entertain; this type of show is mentioned principally by the participants in the
                    “standard” groups.


     This role is fulfilled both by some of the programme types listed above (travel shows, programmes
     on other countries, nature and sometimes history) as well as by fictional programmes (films,
     television films, series, etc.) depending on their content and approach.

     Although this concept does not correspond directly to well-defined, "closed" categories, the
     participants clearly see a distinction between escapism and pure entertainment. Escapism enables the
     viewer to imagine they are in a different time or place, to dream a little, get away from the daily grind
     and satisfy their curiosity.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                 21
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           Numerous programmes from different categories aim to fulfil this role.

               Talk shows, as mentioned above, where they deal with light-hearted topics with humour,

              Some of the interviewees in some countries made specific reference here to humour and
              comedy programmes (Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Poland, the Baltic States).

               Game shows are also mentioned frequently and generally not in negative terms, even in
               the "selective" viewer category (with the exception of “stupid” games), although they are
               popular above all amongst large numbers of “standard” viewers.

               Fictional programmes

                    o   Serials and series of all types, including sitcoms, soap operas and more dramatic

                        We shall not go into detail here on the national characteristics that came to the fore
                        when analysing the group discussions held in the different countries (and which are
                        numerous), if only to highlight the particular popularity of soap operas and sitcoms in
                        the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Belgium and the Netherlands
                        amongst the “standard” group and Portugal, Cyprus and Poland in particular amongst

                    o   Feature films. The popularity of this type of broadcast is variable: it is significant
                        above all in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Cyprus,
                        Slovakia, Poland and Slovenia, but would appear to be less so elsewhere.

                    o   Reality television

                        Although frequently criticised by the interviewees as being senseless, reality TV
                        shows do draw a wide audience in numerous countries, in particular amongst
                        younger viewers. Such shows are mentioned without any automatically negative
                        connotations in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Malta, Cyprus and to an extent
                        in Sweden and Lithuania.

               Sports programmes

              This type of programme is mentioned in the majority of the countries studied,
              essentially by the men (in all of the groups, although the “selective” viewers tend to watch
              such television less regularly).

               Music and variety shows

              This programme category is referred to much less and above all by the younger adults

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                22
Qualitative Study

           Television as company

           Although not necessary defined as one of the roles of television, this is evidently a further
           important job done by this medium above all for those with “addictive” viewing habits, as
           described above: older people, those who live alone, housewives who switch the television on
           while they attend to the housework and pay varying attention depending on time (i.e., during
           breaks) and content (broadcasts in which they are interested).

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004         23
Qualitative Study


      Participants in the discussion groups were asked by the group leader to “think of all the television
      channels” they know – whether they watch them or not – and to “try to group them into several families,
      according to how similar or different” they felt they are.

      Our aim here was to highlight the different criteria used to distinguish between the channels shown on
      television in the European countries studied.

      It is worth noting from the outset that although a very large number of channels is available in all of the
      countries studied, which are in theory accessible to (almost) everyone and are well known, the number
      of channels cited spontaneously by the interviewees for this exercise varies greatly from country to
      country (it varies less across the viewer categories).

      There are several reasons for this:

              The number of channels that offer generally universal access to all citizens is not the same
              from one country to the next – whether these channels are free of charge or subject to a small
              licence fee (which in some cases is included in housing rents) for connection to the standard
              cable network.

              In Western Europe, there is a quite clear distinction between those countries in which access to
              several dozen channels through a cable network is standard (Germany, Austria, Scandinavia,
              Benelux) and other countries in which this phenomenon is either entirely absent or much more
              limited (Member States from southern Europe, including France, Finland). The United
              Kingdom and Ireland currently fall somewhere between the two: in the former it is possible to
              access a limited number of channels through a cable network by paying an initial connection
              fee; in the latter many viewers subscribe to a package limited to a dozen channels, essentially
              from the UK.

              In the new Member States of the European Union, the spread of cable television in general and
              even more so of basic, limited packages is highly diverse: it is high in Malta and Slovenia in
              particular but poor to average in the other countries.

              The level of access to a full range of cable or satellite channels (up to several hundred) or
              again to encrypted terrestrial pay TV.

              In those countries where the use of cable is not common (listed above), this system provides
              access to a broader selection of channels in addition to the free terrestrial public and private

              The rate of subscription to such services is very high in the United Kingdom for example. In the
              southwest of Europe it is much lower (with some exceptions such as the success of Canal Plus
              in France). The same applies in the majority of the new Member States.

                   Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              24
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           The development of free, private Hertzian channels is also divergent for historical and
           political reasons connected to the end of the public-sector monopolies on television
           broadcasting and the disparities in the ensuing national legislation. Amongst those countries that
           do not make systematic use of cable television, Hertzian channels (which can be national as well
           as regional and have good audiences) have been more prosperous in Italy and Greece, for
           example, than the other Member States.

           Ease of access to channels from neighbouring countries – depending both on linguistic and
           psychological as well as technical and economic considerations.

           This is widespread in Luxembourg, where a large share of viewers regularly watch German,
           French and Belgian channels, and numerous residents who are of foreign origin (in particular
           Portuguese) tune in to “foreign” channels from other European countries. It is also very
           common in Belgium, where the French-speakers watch a great deal of French television and the
           Flemish population watch channels from the Netherlands. It is the case in Ireland, where UK
           channels are popular, Austria, where German television is watched, and Malta, whose viewers
           tune in to Italian Hertzian channels and UK television.

           This phenomenon is also present to a lesser degree in the Netherlands, where some watch
           Flemish television, Denmark, whose viewers watch other Scandinavian broadcasts and
           sometimes German channels, Finland, where Swedish television is familiar beyond just the
           Swedish-speaking minority, and Cyprus, whose viewers watch Greek channels. In the Baltic
           States Russian channels draw an audience even outside the minority Russian-speaking areas and
           a Russian-broadcast “Baltic” channel is popular. Viewers in Estonia watch Finnish television
           while viewers in Lithuania tune in to Polish television. It also exists in Slovakia, with respect to
           Czech channels, and Slovenia where viewers watch programmes from neighbouring countries,
           including Croatia.

           As a result of these different factors, the number of channels spontaneously referred to by
           the respondents ranges from small (in countries such as France, Spain, Portugal, Finland and
           the Czech Republic) to several dozen (amongst at least some of the interviewees from the
           Benelux, Scandinavian and Germanic countries and Malta), with the other Member States
           quoting around ten to fifteen channels on average.

           The number of channels listed varies in some cases (although generally not a lot) across viewer

           In some of the countries studied, the “selective” viewers do draw on a slightly larger range of
           options as they tend to watch more specialist and topic-based channels (in particular news,
           educational and documentary channels) as well as foreign channels. This is the case for example
           in France, Belgium, Greece, Austria, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia and the three Baltic States.

           Nonetheless, the differences are minimal in the majority of cases, although they are clearer in
           terms of the channels actually watched, a factor that is influenced by programme preferences as
           seen above.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                25
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    The interviewees essentially use the following criteria to differentiate between the different
   television channels known to them:

           General in nature or not.

           This criterion is used across the board, either explicitly or implicitly (by contrast to more
           specialist channels).

           Free of charge or payment-based

           Unusually perhaps, this criterion is rarely mentioned as such, and is essentially used with
           reference to channels for which a specific fee is paid (i.e., not the general subscription paid for a
           range of channels or again the “standard” range that is widely available in some countries). The
           interviewees from France and Luxembourg point to Canal Plus, for example, while the British
           respondents mention additional channels that are available over and above the basic package
           and for which a specific subscription applies.

           Public or private

           This element is highlighted without prompting in the majority of the countries studied, using
           either these or other terms (such as “commercial” channels).

           However, at this stage, the interviewees in France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Malta, a little
           in Ireland, Poland and Lithuania do not refer to this concept. Rather they tend to place all of the
           main general-interest channels into the same family, irrespective of whether they are publicly or
           privately run.

           Quality and reliability

           This criterion is used in several of the Member States to differentiate further between the
           general-interest channels and often between public and private broadcasters.

                The distinction is clear in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the three Nordic countries,
                Cyprus, Slovenia and the Czech and Slovak Republics where the participants often
                vehemently criticise the thirst for the spectacular and sensational of the private channels. It
                is also evident in Spain, although the Spanish interviewees are disappointed that the
                quality of the public-service broadcasters is gradually decreasing as they attempt to copy
                their private competitors and bemoan the fact that the independence of the biggest public
                channel from the government (or rather the previous conservative government) has been
                called into question.

                This criterion is used on the whole to differentiate between public and private channels,
                although less so in Luxembourg, Portugal and Greece where the participants believe there
                to be a continuum ranging from high-quality public channels to commercial broadcasters
                that are of reasonable quality to other, quite mediocre private channels.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                 26
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                In Hungary the public-service channels are set apart from the rest, but alongside
                recognition of their quality and reliability, their austerity and old-fashioned approach are

                Such complaints with respect to public channels are also heard, although with greater
                moderation, in some of the other countries and in particular amongst younger viewers (in
                Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden and in part in Lithuania).

                Respondents in the other Member States do not, however, associate the level of quality
                with the status of the channels on offer.

                In some cases non-general channels offering informative, educational and cultural content
                are also classed as being of superior quality.

                Finally, in some of the Member States the smaller, low-budget or “semi-amateur” channels
                are also classified according to (lack of) quality (in Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece and
                Hungary for example). Some of these channels are regional or local in nature.

             National, regional or local coverage

             Regional and local channels are automatically identified in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria,
             Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Lithuania, as well as in
             France, Germany, the Scandinavian countries and Poland, although the channels in question
             here have only partially regional content or indeed are essentially national, but have regional

             The popularity of such channels varies considerably from one country to another.

                 There is a substantial interest in the regional news as well as for other regional
                 programmes that offer more than just pure information or (less often) practical
                 information: in Austria (where the dynamic approach of new channel Plus TV shown in
                 Vienna is mentioned), in the Czech and Slovak Republics, in Lithuania (where some cities
                 have their own channels and Vilnius TV is fairly popular in the capital), as well as in
                 France (regional news shown on France 3 and M6, somewhat less support for the local
                 channel in Rennes), Germany (regional news on the public-service broadcasters of each
                 federal state) and Poland (TVP3).

                 Danish and Swedish participants make little mention of such channels and show less
                 interest in them. The same is the case in Italy (with the exception of the semi-regional,
                 semi-national public channel RAI 3), and in Spain, Greece and Cyprus (very local content,
                 low budgets and poor programming). Some exceptions are noted: Telemadrid is felt to be
                 quite dynamic with some interesting programmes, but the information provided is
                 considered to be influenced by the regional government.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             27
Qualitative Study

             National or foreign

             Above we reported that the viewers in some of the Member States have good access to
             television channels from other European countries. These viewers frequently mention these
             foreign channels. This is much rarer in the other countries.

             Few respondents mention international channels as such. Several of the interviewees in a
             number of the countries refer to Euronews, CNN or NBC (as well as BBC World or less often
             TV5 and Deutsche Welle), which are described as news channels providing world news.
             However, the majority of participants believe that these news channels are rooted in one
             specific country as opposed to being truly international (with the exception of Euronews
             which would appear to be more neutral). British interviewees alone set aside an “international”
             family comprising English-language news channels.


            Participants in the different countries essentially come up with the same categories, in some
            cases using different titles for these and at times including varying numbers of channels.

            Some of the interviewees classified the channels according to audience rather than
            content: children’s channels are mentioned in Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Slovenia,
            Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, etc.; youth channels are cited in France, Italy, Belgium, the
            Netherlands, Sweden and Hungary and either described as topic-based or as more general but
            with a younger outlook, such as M6 in France; and some channels that target women or a retired
            audience are also mentioned.

            Nonetheless, the most common basis used relates to the nature of the programmes shown
           (see above).

    The topic-based channels above all, though not exclusively, are classified according to content.

            Some types of content convey a clear and uniform meaning in all of the countries studied:

               News. Here the interviewees make reference above all to round-the-clock news channels.
               Examples cited are CNN, NBC and sometimes Fox News from America, BBC World and in
               some cases Sky News from the UK, which are broadcast internationally. Euronews is also
               mentioned in several countries, TV5 and Deutsche Welle are occasionally listed, as are
               national news channels in those countries that have them.

               Some of the interviewees in some of the countries also point to “quality” general-interest
               channels that show a large amount of news content that is of sound value.

               Sport. Eurosport is quoted fairly often as are national channels that show a lot of broadcasts
               of competitions and sports programmes.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             28
Qualitative Study

               Music. A separate category of music channels is identified, essentially seen to offer music
               for young people.

               Cinema. The interviewees in some of the countries studied do not make automatic
               reference to channels devoted to cinema (or showing films). This concept is particularly
               scarce in countries with widespread cable television, which provides access as standard to
               several dozen channels, none of which on the whole are specialist cinema channels.

               This notion is limited also in Italy, Spain and Greece, where the number of subscriptions to
               thematic channel packages is low. In the United Kingdom it would appear not only that
               such channels are rarely offered, but also that viewers have little interest in the cinema
               (contrary to series and soap operas).

               This notion is much more widespread in France and the majority of the new Member States,
               which either have specialist channels or general-interest channels that broadcast a lot of
               (good) films. This is perhaps because cinema is particularly valued as an art form in these

           The concepts behind other topic-based channels would seem to be much less clearly
           defined. As such these channels are placed into differing categories by the participants and
           are described in less uniform terms.

           Essentially any remaining topic-based channels are centred on culture, education or
           information (over and above pure current affairs), in contrast to programme schedules that
           focus on entertainment. Let us remember that the dividing line between these two ideas is

           The general-interest channels are divided here into two rough groups: “serious” (often publicly
           run, more credible but in some cases dull and old-fashioned); and “more light-hearted” (often

           The following topic-based channels are cited in the main:

               Cultural channels – although this actual term is barely used other than to describe well-
               known examples such as Arte (mentioned a great deal in France, but less in Germany where
               it is not so widely known, and to a certain extent in some neighbouring countries).

               “Documentary” or “educational” channels. This is sometimes taken as a broad, general
               category, covering all channels from which the viewer can learn new things, which have a
               certain “serious” side, although can also be “entertaining”. In some cases, a series of sub-
               groups are identified here.

               The most common sub-groups are history and (even more so) geography – or again
               discovery and travel – science and health and nature and wildlife.

               Contrary to the categories listed above, those channels that are felt to aim essentially at
               providing “entertainment” are most often general-interest channels and rarely specific
               thematic channels (except in the UK where some channels focus heavily on series or more
               light-hearted feature films, etc.).

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            29
Qualitative Study

           Finally, in some rare cases channels with very specific content are mentioned: religious (in
           Poland and Hungary, although these are not very popular), erotic, supplying practical
           information, television shopping (which has negative connotations above all in Germany,
           Austria and Luxembourg), and so on.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004        30
Qualitative Study


      Next the question of “different kinds of television programmes [that] inform us and help us broaden our
      minds and learn things, in one way or another” was considered more directly, initially in general terms.
      Then, the participants were asked to discuss topics or issues dealt with in the programmes that they
      believe to fulfil this role, before considering “what is missing or failing right now”, i.e., subjects or
      topics which they would like to see more of, or better ways to deal with these subjects.

      The interviewees reasserted the idea – expressed previously – that there is no radical contrast
      between purely informative and educational programmes on the one hand, and exclusively
      entertaining programmes on the other; rather that there is a continuum between these two poles.
      Some programmes tend more towards the former, while others tend towards the latter.

      This dual role played by television tallies with the perceptions (and expectations) of the majority of
      the participants, who often indicate without prompting that a lot can be learned from the different types
      of programmes broadcast by the available channels.

      Nonetheless, the interviewees in some of the countries do see entertainment and distraction as the
      primary roles of the television. A large number of the British participants indicate this, as do several of
      the Spanish respondents although they are also open to the television as a learning medium. The
      participants in the “standard” and “regional” viewer groups in Ireland, Belgium, Portugal, Denmark and
      Finland as well as some of the Latvian interviewees also support this view.

      The following essential remarks are made with respect to the types of programme that “impart
      something new” in addition to providing entertainment:

              Participants do not necessarily refer in each case here to television news in the strict sense
              of that word.

              This may be a result of the introductory wording used for this question, in which reference is
              made to “all sorts of programme” seen on television, ranging from “those dedicated solely to
              information and those that are mainly entertainment”.

              The groups in some of the countries simply call to mind the information provided by television
              news programmes as an obvious answer to this question, without adding any further specific
              comment. This is the case in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden,
              Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania. British participants tend to mention the news as a
              specific sub-section within television broadcasting which plays a role that is quite distinct from
              the entertainment they so clearly expect from television.

              In some of the other Member States, the information provided by national broadcasters –
              including the news – is initially criticised as mediocre in comparison to that available on the
              foreign or international channels they sometimes watch. This occurs in Finland, Estonia

                   Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              31
Qualitative Study

           (although English-language news channels are criticised for providing “biased” coverage of
           current affairs), Cyprus and Malta. Maltese interviewees condemn the systematic party-political
           “bias” of the national, privately run channels. In Spain, many of the participants accuse the main
           national public-service broadcaster of portraying the views of the previous government
           (contrary to the second channel which is more intellectual and left-wing) and criticise the
           influence the regional government has on Telemadrid.

           Furthermore, some viewers in various of the countries lament the sensationalism present in
           news coverage on television in general, on both the private channels and the public channels
           which are sadly endeavouring to copy their commercial competitors with a view to gaining
           audience figures. This criticism is quite widespread.

           “Political” programmes (in the broad sense) – whether magazine-style or debates – are
           mentioned by the citizens interviewed in the majority of countries, though not all.

           In particular it is worth noting that the interviewees in France, Italy, the United Kingdom,
           Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and the Baltic States make no reference to this type of

           This programme category is seen to be a continuation of the television news, often going into
           greater depth, and would appear to be quite popular in the Netherlands, Ireland, Austria (whose
           citizens advocate debates involving experts rather than politicians), Denmark, Sweden,
           Hungary, Poland and Slovenia, but less clearly so in Malta and Cyprus.

           In Portugal and Greece the popularity of such broadcasts depends on the style and skill of the
           presenters. In Germany, Belgium and Spain viewers feel that a glut of such programmes is
           emerging, although they do point to some specific, high-quality broadcasts.

           The interviewees often refer first and foremost to magazine-type programmes,
           documentaries and reports as types of programmes which both impart new information
           and provide entertainment and escape, depending on the issues dealt with and the interest
           of the viewer in these.

           This is the case generally in all of the groups, although is more pronounced amongst “selective”
           viewers in Italy, Spain, the UK, Finland, Denmark and Lithuania.

           The most popular subject matters cited here essentially tally with those listed by the
           interviewees in the first chapter, which are covered to varying degrees by the existing television
           schedules. These include:

              Travel, finding out about other countries in terms both of their geography and people

              Nature, the environment and wildlife

              History (with particular demand in Spain, Cyprus, Slovakia and Slovenia, for example, for
              programmes looking at periods in the national history of the country).

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              32
Qualitative Study

              Science in different areas according to individual interest. The interviewees in several of the
              Member States would also specifically like to see programmes looking into the new

              Health and medicine: the participants in many of the countries feel that television teaches
              us things in these two areas, while in other countries there is demand for this type of

              The arts and culture: mentioned less often and above all by some of the viewers in the
              “selective” category who, in some countries, would like television to devote more airtime to
              these topic matters.

              Society, political and social current affairs. Some of the interviewees indicate that the
              programmes currently on offer to cover this theme meet with their expectations. However, a
              yet larger group would welcome more programmes of this type, focussing on the lives of
              ordinary peoples, the problems they face and the solutions society has found to these
              problems. This subject is cited in the majority of the Member States in one way or another.

              Economy: a topic that is listed much less often as such and in only some of the countries

           Interviewees from quite a few countries also make reference to programmes offering
           practical information.

            The main topics cited here are cooking and gastronomy – which are part of general knowledge
           in the broad sense and go beyond simple practical skills – DIY and decorating, gardening and,
           less frequently, issues related to legislation and consumer protection.

           Game shows are described in the majority of the Member States as both instructive and
           entertaining – above all by the viewers in the “standard” category, although more generally in
           some of the countries studied. Some of the “selective” viewers would advocate more quizzes
           whose content and slant are more intellectual or cultural.

           These shows are even mentioned without any prompting in several of the groups from Greece,
           the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania as well as in the “standard”
           groups in Italy, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Slovenia.

           Variety and talk shows (that are not of a political nature) are also mentioned here,
           although rather rarely, as a separate category. The majority of viewers, however, feel that
           such shows are centred on entertainment.

           Fiction is cited more often, although two contrasting views emerge: on the one hand good-
           quality films (i.e., “not Hollywood films” to quote the exact terms used by some respondents)
           enable the viewer to enter a specific historic or social context; on the other hand, series can
           provide an insight into foreign society (this was mentioned by some of the interviewees from
           Sweden and Cyprus for example) and even soap operas and reality television have some

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              33
Qualitative Study

           value here (cited only by “standard” viewers from the United Kingdom and Italy who would
           appear to particularly enjoy this programme type).

           Sport is also mentioned by some – where sports programmes offer more than just broadcasts
           of matches or competitions and provide a “behind-the-scenes view” or “inside information”.

           Lastly, purely educational programmes and children’s broadcasts are called to mind.

   The topic matter at hand and the manner in which a programme that aims to be both informative
   and entertaining deals with this topic matter are of equal importance.

     We do not claim here to draw up a detailed set of “specifications” for the ideal television programme,
     in particular given that the ideal balance of serious and entertaining elements varies according to
     viewer, country and the general context of a programme (day, time, etc.).

     The different national analyses contain examples of programmes that are more or less highly valued
     and that can shed some light on this issue.

     It is nonetheless possible to pinpoint key aspects about which most viewers would seem to agree.

         In terms of programme “format”

             The “pace” of a programme is essential in retaining the attention of the viewer once it has
             been grabbed.

             Irrespective of the length of the programmes watched by the viewers (depending on their level
             of education and “intellect”), many stress that their attention and interest tend to drop off
             when watching broadcasts based on an overly linear concept. Rather, they welcome
             alternation between documentaries, reports, interviews, testimonies, pauses in debates
             allowing film illustrations and so on.

             Viewers also highlight the need for a “common thread” to ensure the coherence of a
             programme and prevent it from “going off on tangents”.

           In terms of the personal style of the journalists, presenters and hosts, which is crucial:

           These players are expected to demonstrate a series of skills:

             Knowledge of the topic at hand and an ability to express ideas clearly and simply so as to
             make them accessible to all.

             A serious attitude and professionalism, but coupled with closeness to the viewer and a likeable

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            34
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               Honesty, impartiality, independence, which does not necessarily mean passive neutrality in
               the commentary given.

               The charisma needed both to attract viewers to the programme and to supervise the debate,
               prevent tangents and deal with the unexpected, together with the ability to focus on the
               subject matter rather than using it to put their own points forward to the detriment of the
               topic or the invited guests, avoidance of pomposity.

               The ability to summarise so as to bring to the fore the “common thread” mentioned above.

     Although at first glance it may seem that it would be difficult for any one presenter to
     demonstrate all of these skills, the interviewees in all of the countries concerned provide
     examples which indicate that there are programmes that succeed in this task and which in some
     cases are greatly respected. Indeed the overall content of some individual channels (“high-
     quality” general-interest channels, “cultural” or “documentary” channels) meets with these

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004           35
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                                        CULTURE, LEARN

        PROGRAMME                           ROLE                CHANNEL TYPE                 AUDIENCE PROFILE

    TELEVISION NEWS                   INF                       GEN      SPEC    REG      BROAD SEL+         REG+

    MAG/POLITICAL DEBATES             INF Know                  GEN                                   SEL+


   SOCIETY                            INF Know                  GEN      Spec    Reg      BROAD

   TRAVEL, GEOG.                            KNOW ESC Ent        GEN      SPEC             BROAD SEL+

   NATURE                                   KNOW ESC Ent        GEN      SPEC             BROAD SEL+

   HISTORY                                  KNOW Esc            GEN      SPEC                         SEL

   SCIENCE                            Inf   KNOW                GEN      SPEC                         SEL

   HEALTH                             INF KNOW                  GEN      SPEC             BROAD FEM+

   Economy                            Inf   KNOW                Gen      SPEC                         SEL

   Arts, Culture                            KNOW                Gen      SPEC    Reg                  SEL

    PRACTICAL INFO                    INF Know                  GEN      Spec    REG                         REG+

    Talk shows                              Know       ENT      GEN                       BROAD              STAN+

    Variety                                 (Know)     ENT      GEN              Reg      BROAD              STAN+

    GAMES                                   Know       ENT      GEN              Reg      BROAD              STAN+

    Cinema, fiction                         Know ESC    ENT     GEN      SPEC    Reg      BROAD

    (Reality TV)                            (Know) (Esc) ENT    GEN                                          STAN+

                      Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                  36
Qualitative Study

                                                 PART II
                       EUROPE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
                                         ON TELEVISION

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004   37
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II.1 PERCEPTIONS             OF      EUROPEAN           CONTENT           IN     CURRENT        TELEVISION

    The moderators of the group discussions then tackled the theme of Europe on the television.

   In an initial stage, they asked participants to talk about this in respect of Europe in general – everything
   than can be seen on TV” “about Europe, the European countries, and what is taking place in those
   countries, the people who live there, etc.” – by asking them to try to remember everything they had seen
   on television on these subjects over the previous few months, irrespective of the type of programme.

   In a second stage, the discussion focused more specifically on the European Union – everything they can
   see on TV “about the European Union, its policies, and programmes, its institutions – in other words
   what it does, what takes place there, how it works, etc.” – likewise encouraging people to think back on
   what they might have seen over the previous few months.

   First of all we can see that the citizens interviewed, who spontaneously liken Europe to the
   European Union to varying degrees, moreover have more or less numerous recollections,
   depending on the country, of programmes on subjects associated with the Union.

         In some countries, the two notions of Europe and European Union are closely linked and the
         people questioned immediately think of programmes about the Union.

         This is the case in five out of six of the founder States (with the exception of the Netherlands) as
         well as Malta, Cyprus and the Czech Republic.

         In others, the comments relate both to Community issues and the recollection of more general
         programmes about Europe and the European countries.

         We see this in Spain, Portugal, Austria, Slovenia (in particular among television viewers in the
         “selective” group), Hungary and Estonia. In the first of these countries, recollection of
         programmes about the Union seems limited, however.

         In almost one in two Member States, the people questioned initially said little or very little about
         issues linked to the European Union in their list of television programmes concerning Europe.

         However, two cases need to be distinguished here:

             That of countries in which the interviewees then mention programmes dealing with
             Community issues: the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Slovenia (among the
             “standard” TV viewers) and Poland.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004               38
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              That of Member States in which recollections of such programmes are limited (Sweden,
              Slovakia in particular among the “standard” TV viewers, Latvia and Lithuania) or very limited
              (United Kingdom and Greece).

    We can imagine that two types of factors come into play in the frequency of people’s recollections
    of Europe and the European Union on television: on the one hand, the greater or lesser amount of
    European content in the television programming to which people are exposed, and on the other
    hand the greater or lesser degree of interest in the Union and in Community affairs, depending on
    the countries.

    The following analyses indeed highlight fairly different attitudes in this respect.

    Overall, it is the Belgians, Luxembourgeois, Portuguese participants in the “selective” group of TV
    viewers, Maltese, Slovenes, Czechs and Poles who seem to have most recollections.

    They are followed by the French, Germans, Italians, Dutch, Irish, Portuguese participants in the
    “standard” group, Austrians, Danes, Finns, Cypriots, Hungarians and Estonians.

    The memorisation is lower in Spain, Slovakia (apart from the “selective” group), Latvia, Lithuania, and
    particularly in the United Kingdom, Greece and Sweden where it is extremely low.

     As regards the subjects relating to the European Union which the interviewees remember, these

          The enlargement of the European Union and the new Member States.
              References to this subject are quite numerous in several of the old Member States: France,
              Germany, Belgium, Finland and Denmark. People recall, with varying degrees of precision,
              series of reports on these different countries in turn, sometimes with a mention of the (public)
              channels on which they saw them, or short sequences on them in television news bulletins, or
              indeed one or other programme on one of these countries (or candidate countries in particular).

              In some cases, people lament the subjects being dealt with in an overly superficial way (in
              Finland and France), an overly negative presentation of the new member countries (among
              some Frenchmen), or an overly national view of the subject (in Germany as regards
              programmes focusing on the Germans’ fears vis-à-vis Poland, in particular).

              Some television viewers from other old Member States, though fewer in number, also mention
              this subject: in Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland, Greece, Portugal and

              As in the countries mentioned previously, it is either with the memory of a series of specific
              programmes, or with a vaguer recollection. Here, too, when specific channels are mentioned,
              these are public channels, sometimes including foreign or international ones (Euronews).

              The enlargement is also a subject mentioned in several of the new Member States but often in
              order to make the comment that information on the European Union, which was plentiful

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             39
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             before membership, has since decreased – an idea put forward, for example, in Slovenia, the
             Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia and to a lesser degree in Cyprus.

         The Turkish candidacy, and the controversies surrounding it, is sometimes also mentioned: by
         some Cypriots who are logically especially sensitive to the question, and by some Dutch, Austrian
         and Estonian participants.

             Institutional events – albeit surprisingly seldom.

                 The European elections mentioned only by a number of Belgians, Portuguese, Slovenes,
                 and by a very few Germans, Italians, Spaniards, Austrians and Danes – and in most cases
                 without any specific details.

                 The appointment of the new Commission, the subject of occasional mention. A few
                 Dutch, Austrian and Estonian interviewees mention the name of their country’s appointed
                 Commissioner, and a few others mention the name of the new President or more vaguely
                 the names of other figures.

                 Among the current Commissioners the only names referred to by a few rare people are
                 those of Lamy (in France) and Prodi and Monti (in Italy).

                 The draft Constitution for the European Union – a subject also tackled by a very
                 small number of people among the Spanish, Belgian, Austrian (vague memory of a plan
                 to introduce a President for the Union), Maltese and Lithuanian interviewees.

                 The EU Presidency recently held by their country, mentioned by a few Irishmen and

                 Various news items seen on MEPs, or on a debate in Parliament (in Luxembourg, Cyprus
                 and Lithuania), or on how the institutions work (in France, Belgium and Luxembourg) by
                 some people.

             Very sporadically, general references to various aspects of the EU’s policies or problems
             that these policies have to solve: the situation of the European economy (in Portugal, Malta,
             Hungary and Poland); poverty in Europe (in Portugal); the Euro (in Italy, in Belgium as
             regards the plan to get rid of the lowest-value euro-cent coins, in the Netherlands but in
             reference to the period when the single currency was being introduced, in the Czech Republic
             and Slovakia with regard to the prospect of the euro being adopted); the failure on the part of
             some Member States to respect the Stability Pact (in Finland); the state of crime in Europe (in
             Belgium), European defence (in Finland and Malta) or the differences of opinion among
             European countries on Iraq (in Portugal); agriculture (in Belgium following a report on the
             complaints of French farmers); Europe’s position vis-à-vis GMO (in Malta); and cultural
             exchanges (in Belgium).

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             40
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             Slightly more often, subjects on the implications for one’s own country of EU
             membership or of specific Community policies.

             This includes questions raised at a general level in programmes seen by some Slovenes,
             Czechs and Poles, or more specific to certain fields: worries about the future of the national
             agricultural sector (in the Czech Republic and Poland, and in Italy as regards dairy quotas) or
             fishing (in Portugal); fear of inflation or increased taxation (in Malta and Cyprus); the impact
             of the harmonisation of regulations and standards (in Latvia); relations between the EU and
             Russia (in Estonia); questions concerning the Community funds and conditions governing
             access to them (in Latvia and Lithuania, and in Spain with the prospect of a decrease in the
             payments made from them to this country); and opportunities opened up by freedom of
             movement (in new Member States such as Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia and

             Subjects on “scandals” mentioned by some interviewees in Germany (programme taking the
             lid off cases of “misappropriation of funds” on the part of MEPs), Luxembourg (investigations
             into “corruption” within the Community institutions), the Netherlands (denunciation of
             “misuse of power” by one of their compatriots), Denmark (misappropriation) and the United
             Kingdom (where does British taxpayers’ money go?).

             More general recollections of “special reports” on different European countries, more or
             less regular programmes on Europe, or information on European topics in television
             news and current affairs programmes.

             Relatively precise recollections are revealed in some countries, with programmes or channels
             being mentioned by name for example: in France, Germany, Austria, Finland, Slovenia and
             Malta. They are more scattered elsewhere.

   On Europe and the European countries more generally, participants in the group discussions are
   more talkative about television programmes they have seen, which spoke about them in one way or

             “Tourist” programmes in the form of documentaries and reports on foreign countries –
             including European countries.

             These kinds of programmes are cited in many countries, and more particularly in the United
             Kingdom and Ireland, the Nordic countries, Slovenia, the Member States of Central Europe
             (although less in the Czech Republic), Latvia and Lithuania.

             The countries that were the subjects of these programmes included in particular France (and
             several of its regions), Ireland and Greece (the latter highlighted on account of its staging of
             the Olympic Games in Athens), and also the Netherlands, Norway (fjords), Prague, Budapest,

             As regards the channels on which people remember having seen these programmes, these are
             either public or private general-interest channels, or sometimes thematic cable or satellite

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              41
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         These programmes are generally fairly well appreciated on account of the entertainment and
         escapism they provide. However, they are sometimes criticised for their overly touristy or
         superficial nature, with such criticisms being voiced, for example, in France, Slovenia and

             More “serious” and more in-depth documentaries and reports on European countries.

         Some interviewees also mention these in many Member States – in particular the Benelux
         countries, Austria, Finland, the countries of Central Europe and the Baltic States – and to a lesser
         degree France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece.

         These programmes may relate to countries, regions or cities, placing greater emphasis than the
         “purely tourist” programmes on the specific features that arouse curiosity and interest: European
         “cities of culture” mentioned by some Latvians, Festival of Berlin by some Spaniards, report on
         the Berlin Wall by some Belgians, tulip growing in the Netherlands by some Slovaks, Finnish
         SOS Children villages by some Estonians, Romanian children by some Luxembourgeois, the
         Islamic headscarf in France by some Portuguese, hours of sleep in different countries by some
         Austrians, the life of London airport by some Italians, security measures in the same city by some
         Portuguese, tri-national Alps-Danube-Adriatic programmes by some Slovenes, programmes on the
         sea and life at sea by some Frenchmen and some Belgians, etc.

         They are often interested in the life led by people in the countries described – which is
         generally much appreciated.

         These programmes generally leave a clear memory in the minds of those who saw them – these
         people often expressly mentioning the title of the programme, sometimes the name of the
         presenters, or the identity of the channels on which they saw them: for the most part public
         general-interest channels (sometimes foreign ones), cable or satellite thematic channels in some
         cases, and less frequently commercial general-interest channels.

         In a similar vein, we can mention programmes, which are apparently particularly popular in
         some countries, on the practical life of nationals of these countries who have moved to go and
         live elsewhere in Europe: in the United Kingdom in particular, in Ireland, and also in the
         Netherlands and Latvia.

         Conversely, some programmes on foreigners who have come to live in their own country are
         cited by some Dutchmen and Slovenes.

             Programmes on cuisine and gastronomy, cited by some Britons, Danes, Greeks, Hungarians
             and Poles – and which also convey aspects of the culture and ways of life of other Europeans.

             Historical documentaries, which were recalled by some interviewees in Spain, Belgium,
             Luxembourg, Greece, Portugal, Denmark and Hungary.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              42
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             “Light” and humorous talk shows, with celebrities or guests from different countries –
             mentioned by some people in France, the United Kingdom, Hungary and Lithuania.

             Game shows including questions about Europe and the countries of Europe to which the
             contestants have to reply, or competitions between teams from different countries. The
             entertainment aspect is dominant, but you find out things that you did not know. Such
             programmes are mentioned by Portuguese, Swedish, Slovene and Hungarian interviewees.

             Eurovision Song Contest, mentioned slightly ironically by some Belgian, Dutch and Irish
             interviewees, but more greatly appreciated in Estonia. Apart from the songs and the artists,
             people find that they learn about the other countries.

             Sports programmes, mentioned in particular by some Dutch, Irish, Portuguese, Danish,
             Estonian and Lithuanian interviewees, and less by some Germans, Spaniards and Belgians.

             Foreign films, rarely mentioned (only by some Portuguese and Danish interviewees).

             For the record, “purely” news programmes which have focused attention on -– often
             dramatic – events affecting other European countries: the terrorist attacks in Madrid cited by
             some Dutch, Portuguese, Finnish and Slovak respondents, hostage taking in Russia cited by
             some Portuguese and Maltese, or other disasters mentioned by some Germans, Dutchmen and

   Irrespective of the relative abundance or dearth of recollections of television content concerning
   Europe and the European Union, there is a very widespread impression that television does not
   deal with these questions to any great degree, or does so poorly.

         There is a general idea that television only offers a small or very small number of
         programmes dealing with Europe or more particularly the European Union.

         This is only expressed slightly less spontaneously in a few countries: France, Belgium,
         Luxembourg, Finland, Poland, and Austria as regards the “selective” television viewers (who
         think that information about Europe on the television undoubtedly exists but is “slipped in”
         without penetrating much) – but nonetheless without the feeling that there is a very large amount.

         Mention can be made of the perceived difference, in several of the new Member States, between
         the large or relatively large flow of information prior to membership and its marked decrease since
         then (Slovenia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Latvia in particular). In two others, it is chiefly the
         low level of information on the national channels that is questioned (Malta and Cyprus).

         The citizens questioned deplore this state of affairs fairly sharply – with the exception of some
         Member States in which the prevailing Euroscepticism does not encourage people to become more

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             43
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         actively interested in Community issues (United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries, Austria with
         the exception of the “selective” TV viewers, and Estonia).

         The times at which programmes are shown (late, outside prime time) are sometimes also the
         subject of explicit criticism.

         The criticisms of the way European issues are dealt with on the television are chiefly the

             Their lacklustre, dry, unappealing character.

             This is a widespread impression, reported in particular by some interviewees in France,
             Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Slovenia and Latvia.

             Abstraction, not based enough on the practical aspects of people’s lives.

             Some criticisms are expressed in these terms notably in Italy, Spain, Belgium, Slovenia,
             Poland and Latvia.

             Lack of perspective, insufficiently pedagogic approach – which would, however, be
             necessary to ensure that citizens knowing little about the problems and challenges gain an
             understanding of them, since in their case the information tends to go over their heads.

             Some French, Belgian, Dutch, Irish and Lithuanian interviewees in particular make this kind
             of criticism.

             Superficiality, tendency to sensationalise.

             The general impression of superficiality comes mainly from the comments heard in Spain,
             Portugal, Austria and Slovenia among “selective” viewers, in Denmark, in Malta at least as
             regards the national channels, and in Slovakia.

             Linked to the idea that television channels only pay attention to European issues when a
             particular “spectacular” event occurs, this view is also expressed by some German, Italian,
             Finnish and Latvian interviewees.

             Bias in the presentation of the information.

             This is a criticism expressed quite frequently in general terms in Italy (as regards the
             commercial channels), Spain, the Netherlands (in particular by the “regional” viewers), and in

             It includes suspicions of manipulation in several countries, where there is a tendency to
             view the way in which the European Union is presented as “too rosy”: this is the case
             among a substantial section of the Austrians (“standard” and “regional” viewers), as well as in
             several of the new Member States where national politicians are blamed for having
             embellished the reality prior to membership by playing down the problems (among some
             Slovenes, in the Czech Republic and in Poland) – or, at least, where people would like to hear
             contrasting points of view presenting the positive and negative sides (in Latvia).

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             44
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             Conversely, some French, German, Belgian and Dutch participants report their
             dissatisfaction at seeing television mainly talk about the negative aspects, or give an
             overly national view without the wider European spirit they would like to see it convey.

   This lack of Europe-related information provided by television is confirmed on analysing the
   answers given by the participants in the group discussions when asked to then say what they
   recalled having read in the press over the previous few months “on the European Union and Europe
   more generally”.

         The interviewees in a large majority of the Member States say that they value the press as a
         medium that provides information on these subjects.

             They express themselves very clearly in this sense in France, Ireland, Finland, Malta, Cyprus,
             the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and in Belgium at least in respect of those from the group of
             “selective” television viewers.

             The greater valuation of the press is also expressed in Germany, Austria, Sweden and
             Slovenia, as well as in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Hungary and Lithuania – albeit with the
             remark being made, in this latter group of countries, that many only read newspapers rarely, if
             at all.

             The Britons consider that the press gives more information than television, in terms of
             volume, but that the newspapers’ European content in general (not only the purely popular
             press) gives a clearly negative view of the EU. And, even if some express their doubts about
             their objectivity on these subjects, this does not prevent the majority from being heavily

         The comparative advantages that people recognise the press as having vis-à-vis television are
         more or less similar in these countries.

         First and foremost, newspapers (or magazines, which are less present in people’s minds, but are
         also mentioned by some interviewees in Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Slovenia, the
         Czech Republic and Hungary) deal with European information less superficially, and more
         broadly: both as regards the range of subjects and the degree to which they are examined in depth
         – if only because they have more space at their disposal than television, where the news
         programmes only “skim over” things. Various people mention “feature” articles, information
         presented with a reminder or explanation of the context, or special reports illustrated with maps,
         graphs or comparative tables.

         Also mentioned is the idea that there is less of a keenness to sensationalise in newspapers (or
         at least in the “serious” newspapers) with a greater objectivity, and greater journalistic quality and
         “soundness”. This is the case in particular among the French, German, Swedish, Maltese, Czech,
         Slovak and Hungarian interviewees.

         Finally several report that information read in newspapers is memorised better. This is because it
         is less fleeting in itself, but also because the reading of an article implies a voluntary decision and

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                45
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         greater attention – the downside here being that one is not always willing to make this effort, as
         some readily acknowledge.

         Television and press are equally balanced in the comments made by the participants in the
         meetings held in some countries: in Belgium (apart from those in the “selective” group), and in
         Portugal, Denmark, Poland and Estonia.

         Here we hear the same comments recognising the capacity of the press (newspapers or
         magazines, as the case may be) to go further and deal with subjects in a more detailed

         But at the same time we find here that people confess more to not reading much or to only
         “skimming over the headlines” when the news relates to “political” (in particular European)
         matters. In short, people are not necessarily prepared to make an effort, which you are spared
         when you watch television – at least this is the case among the Belgian interviewees concerned,
         and the Danish and Estonian interviewees.

         In Portugal and Poland, this is supplemented by an image of the importance and quality of Europe-
         related information on television which is undoubtedly less negative than elsewhere – in addition
         to the Polish remarks about the political “bias” of every newspaper.

         In a small number of others, the initial statements are rather in favour of television.

         This is the case in Luxembourg (the national press only sporadically provides information on
         European issues; moreover the fact that people view the channels of several countries undoubtedly
         gives a comparatively more positive image of television in this respect), in Greece (where mention
         is also made of the weakness of the press in the way it handles these subjects) and in Latvia (few
         people say they read newspapers regularly here, aside from some “selective” television viewers).

         Overall, when the people questioned are asked to compare directly how television and the
         press respectively contribute towards providing information on Europe, the “landscape”
         that emerges from their comments is more qualified.

         Most of the discussion groups admit that the two types of media make a contribution, one
         more superficially but in a manner that is easier to assimilate, the other in a more serious
         and more in-depth manner.

         The scales are only tipped in favour of television in quite a small number of countries: the United
         Kingdom, Portugal in the “standard” group, Malta, Slovenia and the Baltic States.

         They are tipped in favour of the press, on the other hand, in Germany, Spain, Belgium,
         Luxembourg and Greece (despite the initial declarations), Austria, Cyprus, Slovakia and Hungary.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             46
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   The people who met in the discussion groups were also questioned about information “on Europe
   and the European Union” on the radio.

         Approximately half of the interviewees say that they remember information broadcast on
         the radio.

         Basically, the programmes in question are radio news bulletins, therefore generally
         constituting short and concise items of information on current affairs, of the kind one can see
         on the television – with less of a capacity for attracting the attention than the ritual “rendezvous”
         of the more image-based television news programmes, but conversely with less of a tendency to
         prioritise the spectacular and the sensational. We can sum up in this way the feeling of quite large
         numbers of German, Belgian, Luxembourgeois, Dutch and Czech interviewees as well as some
         Hungarians, Poles and Estonians.

         Some Germans and a few Poles remember, without any particularly detailed comments,
         programmes dealing with the new Member States one by one, or different EU countries. Some
         Dutch interviewees in the “selective” group mention an ordered debate heard on the public radio
         on employment in Europe, whilst others mention hardly anything other than having listened to
         news bulletins. Apart from these bulletins, some Hungarians remember programmes devoted to
         Europe on several radio stations mentioned by name, judging the quality of the information given
         on the radio to be superior to that on television; but most say that they only listen to news
         programmes by chance, and mainly use the radio as musical accompaniment. Roughly one in two
         Estonians says that they listen (sometimes) to radio news bulletins, and some remember more
         clearly a programme devoted to the impact of the adoption of Community standards. Some of the
         other interviewees from these countries only mention little more than the news summaries of radio
         news bulletins.

         The positive appraisals of radio go further in some Member States: in France, Spain, Belgium
         for some of the interviewees, in Austria and Slovenia at least for the “selective” viewers (who
         recall more in-depth programmes), and in Sweden.

         Quite a number of French interviewees feel that the major general-interest stations like the radio
         news stations have European “sections”, and this medium is seen overall as more reliable and
         more comprehensive than television in its role as a supplier of information. The Spaniards value
         the “pluralist” side of radio, which is superior to that of television; as regards European
         information, they remember comments made by several radio editorialists. Several of the
         “selective” Belgian viewers recall daily programmes on the new Member States, and some also
         mention a programme broadcast on Sunday morning on compatriots living abroad. Among the
         Austrians, it is chiefly the interviewees in the “selective” group who have a recollection, and a
         positive judgement, of a “Europe news” programme broadcast on the public radio station in
         addition to the news bulletins. In Slovenia, one in two interviewees claims to listen to news
         programmes; some “selective” interviewees remember in some detail information programmes
         broadcast prior to membership by the national radio station or by a private radio station, and with
         a favourable impression; this is less frequent among “standard” TV viewers in this country. In
         Sweden, there is the vaguer prevailing impression that the national radio stations regularly cover
         European subjects, but not necessarily at peak listening times.

         This does not detract from the fact that, even in these countries, some people do not listen to the
         radio regularly or hardly listen to it on account of its informative aspect.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004               47
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         In the other groups, the radio is virtually not envisaged as a medium liable to contribute to
         information about Europe – either because the people do not listen to the radio, or because it
         is largely only the musical stations that people listen to, the purpose of which is provide
         “background music” and “accompaniment”, particularly during car journeys.

         According to the participants in these groups who listen to the radio, this is the main or only
         function they expect the radio to offer.

         A minority say that they listen to – or hear – radio news programmes in Italy, the United
         Kingdom, Portugal, Malta, Slovakia and Lithuania. In the other countries of this category this is
         practically not even mentioned.

         Some very occasional clearer recollections are cited here and there: by a small number of Britons
         questioned who mention, without any great detail, programmes with a European content; by one
         Portuguese participant in relation to the new Member States; by a greater number of Maltese, but
         with reference to the pre-membership period (answers to questions posed by the listeners by the
         European Union’s “information office”); and by one Lithuanian interviewee, on the subject of the
         prospect of his country adopting the euro.

   These findings do not imply “condemnation” of the radio as a medium for the broadcasting of
   information about Europe, at least for the segments of the public who are not exclusively “music
   listeners”. But they no doubt reflect the low or very low level of the existing programming on the
   subject in many of the countries studied.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004           48
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   The discussion leaders in the meetings suggested that the participants “think together about what could
   be done on television for us to be better informed and to know more about the European Union or about
   Europe more generally”.

   They first asked them to list the subjects relating to the European Union that could be of interest to them,
   and then what would have “to be changed, improved or done differently” as regards the way in which the
   subjects concerning it were dealt with on television.

   The group participants were then asked to devise television programmes, pretending that they were the
   designers of such programmes and in principle had “complete freedom to suggest whatever they felt
   could be interesting”.

   Finally, an attempt was made to decide whether the programme concepts resulting from this exercise
   would be more especially suitable for a particular kind of television channel.

   The initial announcement of this discussion theme aroused keen interest in most of the groups, in
   keeping with the feeling they had previously expressed about there being a shortfall in
   programming on the subject.

   The enthusiasm to get to grips with this subject was only less great in a few countries where
   Euroscepticism is well developed. This was the case in particular in Sweden and Estonia, where many
   expressed their doubts about whether average citizens (and they themselves) could be attracted by
   programmes focusing on European issues.

   In the other traditionally Eurosceptic Member States, the attitude of the interviewees is slightly different:
   in the United Kingdom, Denmark and Poland, the majority participate quite readily in the game – but it
   will be seen that the content of the programmes that they imagine are in good measure linked to their
   own mistrust towards the EU and often exaggerated sensitivity to the implications of its action for their

   Conversely, the reactions in several other Member States reflect a particular desire to see television
   contribute to a greater empathy between European nations by showing what unites them rather than what
   separates them. This is very much the case in France, Germany and Spain.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                49
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    As regards subjects of potential interest, we can present the following findings:

         For a very large majority of them, the suggestions made reflect the wish to find out more
         about the other European countries, their inhabitants, their mentalities, their way of life, or
         the problems they have and the solutions that society is implementing – or trying to
         implement – to solve them in the various countries.

             The lives of ordinary people, their customs and traditions, their ways of life and living
             conditions constitute the general theme most frequently cited as the area about which
             people would like to be better informed.
             In one form or another, it is mentioned everywhere or almost everywhere, with particular
             interest in a number of more specific subjects:

             o      Life at work, the situation of the job market (or unemployment), employer-employee
                    relations or labour law.

                    This subject is mentioned by the people questioned in fifteen Member States, sometimes
                    with particular curiosity as to the way in which jobs are done in a particular profession or

             o      The standard of living, salaries, the cost of living – mentioned in several countries.

             o      The social welfare system or various questions concerning this field (minimum wage,
                    integration of the most disadvantaged, pensions, maternity leave, child protection):
                    interviewees in ten of the countries studied talk of this.

             o      Medical care and the health system (how care works, how the hospitals work, etc.) –
                    subject cited in one in two countries.

             o      Schools and the education system, with a marked interest in comparing systems and
                    practices or the way these are developing – a subject also mentioned in one in two
                    countries or so.

             o      Cooking, eating habits, use of local products – mentioned by the interviewees in ten

             o      Various other aspects of daily life, including consumption habits, housing, driving
                    behaviour, leisure and holiday trends, the celebration of feast days, rituals of politeness
                    and “etiquette”, or sport – apart from the mere broadcasting of competitions.

             Knowledge of other European cultures is another theme present in the minds of the
             interviewees in most of the countries.

             Sometimes they mention this without any further detail, or by making reference to their
             specific interest in a particular cultural or artistic form of expression (occasionally including
             the “authentic” music of a country, or cinema), or cultural events put on in other Member

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004               50
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             The history of Europe or of the other European countries is mentioned in the same spirit
             in the groups in ten countries.

             Another angle of approach to these subjects or other subjects of interest or concern for
             the citizens is that of the way society views them and the solutions devised or tried out in
             other European states in order to deal with them.

             Besides the fields already cited, we can report questions posed in several groups on:

             o      The economic system, the state of the economy, the day-to-day life of companies and
                    businesses, or the privatisation process (in ten Member States).

             o      The major projects or major advances in scientific and technological research (in a
                    few countries).

             o      Protection of the environment or more specific related issues: nature conservation,
                    animal rights, or organisation of the collection and recycling of refuse and waste (a
                    question raised in half a dozen countries).

             o      The organisation of transport and modes of travel (in a few Member States).

             o      Societal issues: attitudes and policies vis-à-vis immigration, the curbing of racism, inter-
                    generational problems, sexuality, abortion, rules governing the adoption of children (in
                    half a dozen countries).

             o      Justice, or attitudes and behaviour in the face of insecurity, crime or corruption (in several
                    Member States, too).

             o      Rarely, political life (spontaneously only in one or two countries).

         Expectations also relate to subjects more directly linked to the European Union.

         These even tend to be expressed first of all in most of the groups in the new Member States.

         In the older EU Member States, requests for television programmes on the EU to be
         developed are made with varying degrees of swiftness in the discussions: very spontaneously
         both in a generally Europhile country such as Luxembourg and in a reluctant Member State such
         as Denmark; fairly rapidly (but after the primary wish to see subjects dealt with, which involve
         getting to know the other nations better, as mentioned above) in most of the other countries; and
         with a degree of secondary priority in two Eurosceptic Member States, the United Kingdom and

         The subjects to which these expectations relate can be classified as follows.

             Subjects dealing with the impact of the European Union and its actions, and among these:

             o      The specific effects for one’s own country and its citizens.

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                 51
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                    This subject is mentioned in old Member States which are rather pro-Europe, such as
                    Belgium and the Netherlands, in new Member States whose citizens are broadly speaking
                    favourably disposed but feel the need to be better informed of the implications of
                    measures about which they know very little (Malta, Slovenia, Slovakia, in particular as
                    regards the harmonisation of laws), and in more resistant and more suspicious countries
                    such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Poland and Estonia – by way of the intermediary
                    cases of Austria (where attitudes are correlated to the social and educational level) and
                    Lithuania (where people are waiting for answers to their concerns).

                    Some Cypriots, Lithuanians and Danes also wonder about the possibility of their country
                    adopting the euro.

                    Even when there is no negative predisposition a priori, here there is a desire to see both
                    sides of the coin, the benefits and their contras or disadvantages.

             o      The distribution of the Community budget, the balance between contributions paid
                    and benefits received, subsidies, or the legitimacy of certain cost items.

                    These are questions posed in particular by some British interviewees (still inclined to
                    question the legitimacy of UK taxpayers’ financial aid to the EU), Danish interviewees
                    (challenging openly or without having to spell things out, the subsidies or agricultural
                    “surpluses”, the pointless costs occasioned by the fact of the European Parliament having
                    two seats, in Brussels and Strasbourg, and other financial effects of the EU’s action),
                    Austrian interviewees (with similar questions raised by some of them), and by some
                    Czechs, Poles, Estonians and Latvians, keen above all to find out about the subsidies that
                    their country would receive, and the foreseeable impact of this aid or the practical details
                    of how it works.

                    Some Spaniards would also like to know what the situation is concerning the reduction in
                    contributions from the Structural Funds to their country.

             o      The role and importance of one’s country in the European Union, or its relations
                    with the Community institutions or the other Member States.

                    These subjects are mentioned in some small Member States (the Netherlands, Denmark,
                    Austria) and Spain.

             o      The more general effects of membership of the EU for its Member States.

                    Some Belgian, Dutch, Irish, Maltese, Cypriot and Czech interviewees say that they are
                    interested, without on the face of it having a negative view, in finding out more about how
                    Member States other than their own have turned membership to good account, the
                    changes and developments it has brought about in their countries, etc.

                    Some Frenchmen and a large number of Germans even insist that the positive
                    consequences of membership be highlighted throughout Europe, and they are joined in
                    this by a section of the Dutch interviewees who say they are tired of hearing nothing but
                    negative things.

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004               52
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                    In the new Member States, general questions about the economy or business creation,
                    employment or education are raised in the same spirit by some citizens in most of these

             Subjects dealing with particular policies or future orientations of the Union.

                    Requests are made on these themes in an unsystematic manner, according to the particular
                    areas of interest of the person in question.

                    These concern gaining a better understanding generally of “where the EU is going” (for
                    some Frenchmen and Poles); finding out more in the field of economic policy or research
                    policy (in particular in Spain, Greece and Portugal), or the euro (stability of the currency
                    in Austria, prospect of low-value coins being got rid of in Luxembourg, prospect of the
                    single currency being adopted in new Member States, or social policy in the broad sense
                    – employment, social welfare, education – (in Luxembourg and Greece); being given
                    explanations about the development of the EU’s external policy or its security and
                    defence policy (in Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Greece, Austria and Malta) or on future
                    enlargements (in Luxembourg, Denmark and Estonia).

                    More generally, being informed of the legislation recently adopted or being discussed
                    corresponds to requests also made by some Italians, Irishmen, Austrians and Danes.

             Subjects concerning the EU institutions and institutional operation.

             These are generally not among the leading areas about which people express the wish to
             have better information and a higher level of awareness, but requests concerning them
             are recorded in various Member States.

             o      On the draft Constitution, by some interviewees who have heard about it (in Germany,
                    Spain, Greece, Finland and Slovakia).

                    Those who talk about it often say at the same time that they are not very interested in
                    abstract institutional subjects – and only make an exception on this point because they
                    regard it as being particularly important.

                    However, we can note the low level of attention spontaneously paid to this major
                    institutional question by the average interviewees at the time when this study was carried
                    out in the field.

             o      On the practical functioning of the institutions, their role, that of the Parliament in
                    particular, and the daily activity of MEPs and Community officials.

                    Requests were made to this end by some citizens questioned in several other countries
                    (France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Sweden,
                    Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, and more rarely the United Kingdom
                    and Poland).

                    They bear witness to a need to “be aware of” (as much as to know) the organs and the
                    people of flesh and blood who work there, through reports on a session of Parliament,
                    portraits of officials, following these officials during a typical working day, etc.

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004               53
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             Subjects relating to practical information

             These are mentioned less frequently. However, we can note requests for information on
             various aspects.

             o      How to move about in practical terms in Europe – either requests for explanations
                    about the measures of the policy of freedom of movement in several new Member States,
                    or the desire to find advice or “tips” for the preparation of a journey.

             o      How to find a job – a question raised by some Italian, Luxembourgeois, Czech and
                    Slovakian interviewees and by some Maltese and Latvians more especially in respect of
                    temporary jobs for young people.

             o      What possibilities there are for going and studying in another country, or more
                    particularly the grants under the Erasmus programme – questions heard from Finns,
                    Maltese, Slovenes and Czechs.

             o      What exchange programmes are available, in particular for young people (in France and

             o      How to settle in another country – including information about real estate, insurance,
                    etc. – questions raised by some British, Belgian, Cypriot, Slovene, Hungarian and Latvian

             o      Finding out about opportunities for cross-border shopping – a subject mentioned in
                    the United Kingdom, Belgium, Slovakia and Poland.

             o      Being informed of citizens’ rights and duties (request made in Greece, Portugal, Cyprus
                    and Estonia), or consumer rights (in Malta), or the possibility of mediation or appeal
                    against contested court orders (in Belgium and the Czech Republic).

             o      Finding out about the sources of information, which can generally be used.

       Sometimes people also ask for television programmes on learning a foreign language, a request
       made in a few countries.

   As regards the way in which European subjects are dealt with on television, the comments made
   by participants in the group discussions make it possible to determine the major directions people
   would like this to take.

         Giving priority to practical, real-life aspects that actually affect people’s lives.

         This is about avoiding abstract views, political “waffle”, information that remains distant and
         obscure for lack of concrete reference points enabling viewers to understand its scope, and
         choosing subjects that depict and illustrate the “real lives” of Europeans in such a way as to enable
         the viewer to relate to what he is seeing and hearing.

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             54
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         In particular the interviewees repeatedly ask to see testimonies, report sequences, etc., on the other
         European countries and their inhabitants – or, as regards more particularly the European Union,
         concise interviews with MEPs or Community officials on well-defined issues, programmes
         following a typical day’s work for them, their debates, etc.

         Guaranteeing the authenticity and seriousness of the content – even if the tone may be light,
         to a greater or lesser degree, depending on the kind of programme and/or public (at all
         events dryness and boredom must be avoided).

         In this vein the interviewees ask, among other things, for interest to be shown in people’s real
         problems, and for artificial subjects, the showing of spectacular images at all costs or
         “promotional-type” presentations to be avoided (a criticism we hear levelled, for example, at
         certain superficial travel programmes which only show “beautiful images” without getting to the
         heart of the matter).

         Ensuring objectivity

         Initially this naturally involves a lack of bias, generally speaking, in tackling and presenting a
         subject, but also a judicious choice of guests or participants in a programme, a balance in the
         interviews and testimonies so as to enable different opinions to be expressed, the highlighting of
         the pros and cons, positive aspects and their counter-arguments, etc.

         Offering a wide range of subjects and viewpoints

         We have already seen what main subjects the citizens questioned spontaneously express interest
         in. This obviously does not exclude others that they did not think about during their discussions;
         and also does not prevent one and the same area being approached by different means.

         To take but one example here, on the general theme of education systems, we can mention several
         ideas put forward by different interviewees: following the daily work of a teacher in another
         Member State, comparing the return to school at the beginning of term in various European
         countries, interviewing students who have benefited from the Erasmus programme, giving
         practical information on how to take part in this programme, comparing school syllabuses, giving
         information on the adaptation of university syllabuses with a view to “harmonisation” of
         diplomas, assessing the progress made in their mutual recognition, etc.

         Presenting contrasting views and comparative elements

         A great many comments are made reflecting an interest in being able to situate oneself in relation
         to others, and in finding out how Europeans view each other (and in particular how others view
         the country to which one belongs oneself), how different countries or different cities face up to
         one or other major problem which is also relevant in one’s own country or city, how the European
         Union or one or other of its policies is viewed in the various Member States, etc.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                55
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         Talking of which, it is advisable to avoid propagating caricatures, received ideas, and common
         stereotypes of the different nationalities.

         Arousing and maintaining curiosity by means of the originality of the approaches

         Two stumbling blocks are to be avoided: the ponderous, tedious style of the “academically
         pedagogic” description, and the futility of the sensational or artificially spectacular.

         The above-mentioned example of the wide range of possible approaches for an a priori “serious”
         subject such as education, suggest that diverse and original points of entry have to be found which
         catch the attention right from the start. Other examples of the same kind can be found in other
         fields, illustrating the need to “move off the beaten track”.

         Giving a programme pace is a request that emerges from the comments of many interviewees,
         who dislike overly linear and uniform programmes, and want to see them organised in successive
         sequences (of reports, testimonies, interviews, debates, experts’ contributions, interactivity with
         the public, etc., depending on the case).

         Showing empathy

         Without of course falling into the excess of “everyone’s beautiful, everyone’s kind”, and without
         denying diversity and differences, the programmes that the viewers interviewed wish to see must,
         in their content and tone, value openness to others and the virtues of exchange and dialogue,
         highlight factors reflecting closeness and convergence rather than divergence, build bridges rather
         than dig ditches, and reduce distances.

         Very often the interviewees ask for guests from the other countries to participate in the
         programmes intended for them.

         This comes our clearly from the comments, and also applies to the rather Eurosceptic countries.

         Giving a meaning, and making viewers understand and feel, rather than just showing and

         For every programme this implies a guiding principle and qualities that the journalist, presenter or
         discussion leader must have in order to bring it out: capacity to “explain” elements presented,
         which must be put in perspective and situated in the appropriate context, clarify complex
         information which is difficult to assimilate without explanations, and control of the way debates
         are handled (in the case of debates).

         This request is also expressed, for example, in the wish to see “experts” take part who would be
         liable to redefine or render explicit elements of reports or testimonies by ordinary people, in the
         local context of a country.

         In other words, there is a need for someone to play the part of go-between and “cultural

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004               56
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   The exercise we asked the participants in the discussions to carry out, by imagining new television
   programmes with a European content, makes it possible to clarify and illustrate the observations

   The results of this are presented below, with on the one hand a perfunctory classification of the types of
   programmes that would correspond to their wishes, and on the other hand the detailed description of
   examples of imagined programmes that appear symptomatic of their expectations.

         Information on European matters in television news programmes.

         In the groups of several countries (France, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Greece,
         Lithuania, and among the “selective” TV viewers in the United Kingdom and Malta), their
         participants want to see short slots (of a few minutes) devoted to the main EU current affairs
         inserted systematically in the TV news bulletins.

         This would mainly be on general-interest channels, although some imagine this happening “on all
         channels” or suggest the programmes being rebroadcast on regional channels during the day.

         The specific suggestions made include that of very short interviews, in this context, with different
         MEPs each time (Italy), that of interventions made by foreign correspondents (Spain) or foreign or
         national experts (Lithuania), or even reference to the Internet for more detailed information.

         Magazine-type programmes providing information on Community issues.

         In one form or another, this idea is reflected in the comments made by interviewees in some
         fifteen countries, who often take as a reference existing weekly or monthly television magazines in
         their country, which they would like to see “Europeanised” or supplemented by similar
         programmes on Community issues: the problems and stakes, major policies, major institutional
         questions (in particular the draft Constitution mentioned in some countries), the way the
         institutions work, etc.

         As the case may be, this request is made by large sections of the population, or mainly by some
         “selective” TV viewers (in Belgium, the United Kingdom, Greece and Austria, for example).
         People imagine programmes of between 30 and 90 minutes, mainly on the public general-interest
         channels, although sometimes also on specialist channels.

         These programmes could include reports, experts’ views (Hungary), debates including the
         participation of MEPs or other EU personalities (Greece, Austria, Sweden) with possibly also
         some national officials, portraits of such figures (the Netherlands), sequences (translated and
         commented on) showing parts of the debates in the European Parliament (Czech Republic and
         Slovakia), an “explanation of what goes on behind the scenes” (United Kingdom), etc.

         Programmes focusing more especially on the EU’s impact and that of Community policies.

         We have previously seen the questions that people have on this subject, in particular in the new
         Member States, but also in some countries of Western Europe which are long-standing members
         of the EU and are affected by Euroscepticism.

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         Here we find these concerns in the form of a preference for information magazines to focus on the
         consequences of recent membership or more generally on the advantages and disadvantages of
         membership of the EU – in particular in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and the Baltic
         States, as well as in the United Kingdom, Denmark and among “standard” and “regional” TV
         viewers in Austria. The comments made by some interviewees in Belgium, Luxembourg, the
         Netherlands and Slovenia also indicate an interest in such approaches.

         As for information magazines more generally, these would be traditional formats lasting an
         average of 60 minutes, and broadcast a priori first on the national public channels. Some add
         regional channels, when the content mainly concerns the impact of Community action on the area,
         and others specialist channels (for example if the content is liable to interest certain professional

         Specific suggestions can be noted: reports on people receiving European grants, who would set
         forth the positive and negative sides (Poland and Lithuania), reports accompanied or followed by
         expert intervention (Poland), possibility for the public to put questions during the programme
         (Poland and Estonia).

         Thematic programmes on Europe and Europeans

         The proposals made in this field relate to programmes designed to form part of a series, and
         focusing on a different area each episode, seen from the viewpoint of people’s daily lives and dealt
         with comparatively.

         These are noted in virtually all the countries studied, on a wide range of themes (see, above, the
         main subjects of interest expressed by the TV viewers questioned).

         As the case may be, people imagine basically – or at least to some degree – “serious” programmes
         with documentary sequences, reports, interviews or debates on major problems, but also other
         lighter and more entertaining programmes.

         In the case of the former, people think first and foremost of the public channels or “quality”
         general-interest private channels – or specialist channels for particularly “specialised” subjects
         (the economy, businesses, agriculture, scientific research and medicine).
         In the case of the latter, people think of all kinds of general-interest channels, notably when it is to
         do with programmes about lifestyles, daily customs and leisure.

         The assumed frequency of the programmes would on average be weekly, although their typical
         duration of one hour could be stretched into an entire thematic evening including several
         successive programmes.

         Among the specific suggestions recorded in different groups, we can highlight:

             The frequently expressed wish for there to be interactivity with the public – going as far as
             having members of the audience put forward their problems, followed by a search for
             solutions (Portugal, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) and that of seeing presenters
             and/or specialists from several countries host the programmes or make contributions to it
             (France, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Slovenia and Hungary) – at the same time as a

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             presentation and firmly comparative explanations of the information and its illustration with
             reports, testimonies and interviews with average citizens or important people in various

             The idea of a “candid camera” type programme on subjects affecting society, such as
             immigration, racism or abortion (Portugal).

             On a lighter note, the idea of a cartoon or comic strip sequence illustrating the comparison in a
             humorous tone (Italians, taking working life as an example).

     Programmes in which each episode is devoted to a European country

       These programmes are of course designed to form a series, “scanning” the different European
       countries one by one, shown in principle on a weekly or monthly basis.

       These are among the most frequently mentioned, in virtually all the Member States, and on which
       the participants in the group discussions spontaneously express the most ideas about programme

       The tourist-type descriptive aspects are naturally not excluded from them (discovery of the
       landscape, cities, districts, monuments, etc.) but they are generally not at the heart of the concept.
       Here, too, the dominant expectations are “to go and meet people”, to see how they live on a day-to-
       day basis (work, studies, transport, pace of life, eating habits, cuisine, leisure activities, music,
       fashion, etc.), with a more general explanation of the economic, socio-political or cultural context of
       the country in which they live. There is an aspiration here to feel and understand, and not just see.

       Depending on the viewers, these programmes could be serious or light to greater or lesser degrees,
       and contain different proportions of images of the country, reports on the life of its inhabitants,
       interviews or testimonies given by the latter, documentary sequences on the country’s situation,
       historical reminders, interviews with local figures, debates (rarely) or explanations by “experts”
       (sociologists, journalists of one or other nationality who know the two countries well and are able to
       play a role of “cultural interpreter”), overall comments by the presenter(s) (possibly also of the
       nationality of the country visited and of that of the TV viewers), and “light” sequences of music,
       festivity, humour, etc.

       As regards the length of these programmes, the ideas put forward range from short programmes of
       thirty minutes to one hour or more – with some people even suggesting evenings devoted to the
       various facets by which the country can be presented, or full-day programming with all the possible
       kinds of programmes on a country, from news bulletins through to pure entertainment.

       In most cases people envisage these programmes on general-interest channels reaching a wide
       public. These could be either public or commercial channels, with a greater or lesser degree of
       seriousness or lightness according to the “proportion” of the different components. Some also think
       of channels specialising in documentaries, reports and travel subjects (or more rarely, cultural
       trends), whilst others think of regional channels if the local aspect predominates – one idea, for
       example, being programmes on twinned cities or on foreign regions with similar characteristics to
       those of the area where the programme is broadcast.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              59
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       Among the more specific suggestions made here or there, and which bear witness to a concern for
       originality, positive curiosity and a desire for empathy on the part of some people, we can cite for

           “Educational” documentaries on a country, its history, its culture, its nature, its economy, the life
           of its inhabitants (Lithuania).

           Documentaries or reports containing interviews with the people of the country and explanations
           of the context by specialists who can moreover answer questions put live by the public (Greece
           and Finland), or including an interview with the country’s ambassador (Lithuania).

           Visit of the country followed by debates (Cyprus and Poland).

           Programmes designed around comparative views of the country visited and the country in which
           the programme is broadcast, with people from each country giving their views and opinions on
           the other country (Greece).

           “Guided” tour of the country by a familiar television host from the country in which the
           programme is shown (Ireland, Austria and Sweden) or by a local television presenter.

           Following the travels of a politician who has agreed to head off to visit a country on a low
           budget, and who has to “get by” on this budget – or more simply that of low-budget travellers

           Travel diary of a young man or woman going and meeting people (Italy), or of a curious walker
           who enters people’s houses and discusses things with the residents (Spain).

           A woman going and meeting women (Spain).

           A day in the life of a resident of the country (Italy), or the day (Lithuania) or week (Hungary) of
           an average family.

           Travel by non-conventional means of transport (bus, balloon, lorry, boat, dolmus, gondola, etc.)

           Reports on the various districts of a city (Spain), on unusual seldom-visited places (Slovenia).

           “Flashes” on twinned towns, and programmes on their local feast days and festivities (United
           Kingdom and Slovenia).

           View of a foreign country by compatriots who have settled there – in the context of “relocation
           programmes” (United Kingdom and Ireland) or in a wider perspective (Belgium, Estonia and

           Conversely, the view of foreigners who have settled in the country where the programme is
           broadcast and who present their country in a comparative light (United Kingdom and Belgium).

           Full day’s programming devoted to a country, from morning aerobics, weather forecast and the
           first news bulletins, cooking programmes, children’s programmes and game shows, through to
           evening documentaries or reports (Hungary).

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             Historical documentaries

             This is a kind of programme much less often mentioned (by some Italians, Spaniards, Britons,
             Greeks, Austrians, and less directly by some Dutchmen, Swedes, Cypriots and Czechs) – often
             “selective” TV viewers.

             The channels they think of in respect of these are either specialist historical or cultural
             channels, or “quality” general-interest channels.

             Cultural programmes

             The theme of the culture of the other European countries is present or underlying in the
             comments made by the interviewees of a majority of the Member States, but it is often without
             any great detail, or in the sense of popular culture or even ways of life or traditions.

             Requests for cultural programmes in the strict sense of the term (arts, literature and
             humanities) are rare. They come chiefly from “selective” TV viewers who think either of
             specialist channels or public general-interest channels with an intellectual connotation.

             Cinema and TV drama

             Interest in programmes about cinema or the showing of films from other European countries is
             not spontaneously expressed very often either, in the framework of the discussion theme put
             forward (the wording of which, it is true, did not necessarily prompt people to think of this).

             The idea of seeing more series or soap operas from other European countries or TV dramas of
             this kind with actors of different nationalities sometimes appears (Belgium, the Netherlands,
             Ireland and Finland).

             Light entertainment programmes

             The “talk show” is mentioned relatively little as a specific genre – to a more or less explicit
             degree by some interviewees in ten countries, and without any great detail as regards the
             format and content apart from the personality of the compere being highlighted as an essential

             Those who mention it directly either refer to programmes of this kind which are successful in
             their country and would have to be “Europeanised” in general (Spain), or make suggestions –
             broadcasting of each episode from a different European city (Ireland), incorporation of
             “multilingual variety programmes” (Italy), etc.

             However, it is clear that the dividing line between this and the type of programmes described
             previously is blurred, with components including the presence of a compere with a strong
             personality, testimonies and debates. In fact it is the degree of seriousness or light-heartedness
             that will have people regard a particular programme as belonging to one genre or another. We

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                61
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             have previously seen a fairly widespread desire expressed to see lively programmes, with a
             cheerful pace and a light-hearted, humorous tone (as long as they maintain a genuine content).

             These programmes would be broadcast on general-interest channels, including commercial
             channels – the audience chiefly being “standard” (or “regional”) TV viewers.

             “Reality” shows

             TV viewers in the (standard or regional) groups in half a dozen (West) European countries
             suggest “Europeanised” programmes of this kind: European “Star Academy” mentioned by
             some Spaniards, European “Big Brother” by some Spaniards, Italians and Finns, “survival”
             programmes mentioned by the latter, an individual being “dropped” in a country and having to
             survive on a low budget, mentioned by the Belgians, and several ideas put forward by some
             Britons who show themselves to be the most prolific on the subject: two Europeans swapping
             jobs, people swapping their life (and friends) for someone else’s, “relocation” against the
             clock, etc.

             It is mainly the youngest TV viewers in these countries who would logically imagine this kind
             of programme on commercial general-interest channels.

             Game shows

             This is a kind of programme that many people think of in ten of the countries studied:
             “standard” or “regional” TV viewers, but also sometimes “selective” viewers.

             People mainly think of quiz-show type game shows, with questions on Europe or on European
             countries (the Netherlands, Malta and Poland), a compere of a different European nationality
             (Italy), or competitors from different countries (Belgium, Greece, and in Slovenia where the
             idea is put forward of having two competitors asked what they know about the other person’s
             country), or where the winner’s prize could be a holiday (Malta).

             The game as such could be enlivened with short report sequences or sketches on the same
             themes (Italy, Portugal and Malta), contributing to form a dual content combining the
             informative and the entertaining.

             The channels showing these programmes would be mainly, but not exclusively, general-
             interest channels.

             Practical programmes

                    We have previously seen that cuisine and gastronomy appear among the subjects
                    mentioned quite often as liable to be included in programmes with a European content.
                    The request for exclusively culinary programmes is expressed to a lesser extent: a
                    culinary “European tour” (Italy and Belgium), comparative views of autumn cuisines
                    (the Czech Republic), gastronomic competitions with chefs from several countries

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            62
Qualitative Study

                    These programmes would be shown on general-interest or specialist channels.

                    The request for practical information on different subjects was also spontaneously
                    expressed in several countries – but viewers seemed to imagine such information being
                    imparted in programmes with a wider framework rather than forming separate

                    Interviewees in a few countries ask for programmes on the learning of a language
                    (more so on specialist channels).

   Finally, we can note the wish, expressed spontaneously by the viewers in several Member States, to
   see a European television channel (free of charge and accessible to all): this is the case in Germany,
   Spain, Ireland, Austria (among some “selective” or “regional” viewers), Finland and Poland.

   We also noted the few spontaneous (and generally positive) references to Euronews in several other
   countries where this channel is widely accessible – in particular among the “selective” viewers.

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004          63
      Qualitative Study

                                           EXPRESSION OF UN-
                                        FULFILLED EXPECTATIONS

                          EL    LT       ES                  DE IE PT MT CY
                                LV       SK                  IT NL SI CZ HU BE LU
                                                                     FI FR  PL

                                                                                                     PERCEIVED WEALTH

LOW                                                                                                            HIGH
                                                                                                      OF EUROPEAN
                                                                                                      CONTENT ON
                                   SE                                 DK



                     Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            64
Qualitative Study

     QUALITATIVE SHORTFALL IN THE                              EXPECTATIONS                     EXPECTATIONS
    HANDLING OF EUROPEAN ISSUES ON                              REGARDING                        REGARDING
             TELEVISION                                          CONTENT                          HANDLING

   DULL CHARACTER        ESP.: FR, DE, BE, LU, ES                                              DIVERSITY OF THEMES
   DRY                         AT, DK, SE                                                      ORIGINAL
   UNAPPEALING                 SI, LV                                                          APPROACHES
                                                                                               PROGRAMMES WITH A
                                                                                               GOOD PACE

   BASED ENOUGH ON            SI, PL, LV                 CULTURES                              SENSE OF REAL LIFE
   PEOPLE’S LIVES                                        EFFECTS AND IMPACT OF THE EU          /CONCRETE
                                                         PRACTICAL INFORMATION

   LACK OF              ESP.:   FR, BE, NL, IE           PROBLEMS IN SOCIETY                   CROSS VIEWS,
   PERSPECTIVE                  LT                       SOLUTIONS APPLIED                     COMPARISONS
   AND PEDAGOGY                                          IN THE EU MEMBER                      FUNCTION OF
                                                         STATES, POLICIES,                     CULTURAL
                                                         FUNCTIONING OF EU                     INTERPRETER GIVING

   SUPERFICIALITY        ESP.: ES, PT                    IN-DEPTH TREATMENT                    AUTHENTICITY OF
   TENDENCY TO                 AT, DK                    OF SUBJECTS, NOT LIMITED              CONTENT, REJECTION
   SENSATIONALISE              MT, SI, SK                TO CURRENT AFFAIRS                    OF STEREOTYPES,
                                                                                               REJECTION   OF   THE

   NEGATIVE             ESP.:   FR, DE, BE, NL           POSITIVE EXAMPLES                     OBJECTIVITY
   PRESENTATION OF                                       EU ACTION                             EXPRESSION
   THE EUROPEAN UNION                                    NON-NATIONALISM                       OF EMPATHY

   BIASED                ESP.: NL, IT, ES                DEBATE                                OBJECTIVITY
   PRESENTATION OF                AT                                                           WIDE RANGE
   INFORMATION                 MT, SI, PL, CZ, LV                                              OF POINTS OF VIEW
                                                                                               REJECTION OF THE

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                        65
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       Fifteen ideas for television programmes “talking about the European Union” were submitted for the
       attention of the participants in the group discussions – who were then asked to specify what type of
       channels they envisaged these being broadcast on.

       The reactions to these various concepts, listed in order of decreasing interest, are as follows.

1. Reportages about the life of the people living in the different European countries

          The proposal for this kind of programme is received extremely positively by a very large
          proportion of the people to whom it was presented.

          This will come as no surprise, given that its content corresponds precisely to the expectations
          expressed spontaneously by European citizens, which were recounted in detail in the previous

          Only some Britons have reservations, which no doubt reflect the low level of their genuine interest in
          getting to know other Europeans better, or concerns about whether these programmes might be used
          to present the European Union too favourably; but most remain potentially interested.

          Besides them, we find repeated requests or suggestions as to the types of content that some would
          like to see included, or as to the characteristics of the programme format, which by and large
          reiterate their previous comments here.

          The channels on which the interviewees would like to see these programmes shown are
          primarily, in all countries, general-interest channels, such as enable the largest number of people
          to see them (except among the least interested of the Britons, as a rule “standard” TV viewers, who
          would reserve them for thematic channels).

          In some of the Member States people envisage either “all kinds of channels” (in Italy, Luxembourg,
          and in Greece among the “regional” and “selective” viewers, or thematic channels as well as general-
          interest channels (in the Netherlands, and among some Austrians, Slovaks, Hungarians, Lithuanians,
          and “selective” Slovenes), or also regional channels (in Germany, and among some Austrians and

2. Reportages showing solutions implemented by other European cities to problems such as
   transport, housing, urban security, school hours, access to public services, etc.

          These are backed very wholeheartedly, in all groups irrespectively, in a very large majority of
          the Member States.

                    Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            66
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       These are among the most unanimously appreciated of all the concepts proposed to the interviewees.
       Many find in this concept the idea (that they had spontaneously expressed) of specific content
       focusing on the daily lives of people in other European countries, and on the usefulness of being able
       to compare one’s own situation with others, to learn from other experiences and to draw useful
       lessons from these.

       In these countries there are almost no reservations expressed as regards the concept, but only here
       and there some suggestions as to the programme format: coupling this theme with reports on
       European cities, including a debate in the programme, or having experts participate and give their
       view on the “transferability” to one’s own country of solutions tried out elsewhere.

       The reactions – also positive overall – are slightly less spontaneously enthusiastic in some countries:
       Sweden, where interest varies according to the subjects and the European cities presented; Germany,
       where, alongside a very favourable minority, many fear that such a subject would be somewhat dry
       and would only have limited interest for the citizens (who in any case cannot change things
       themselves in the light of experiences in other countries), and state that it would be advisable first
       and foremost to have the local elected representatives benefit from this; and the United Kingdom
       (here, too, people do not always see how they could benefit from experiences transferable to their
       own situation).

       Finally, in a number of Member States we can see a lower degree of interest among “standard” TV
       viewers than among their “selective” or “regional” counterparts. This is the case in Italy and the
       United Kingdom. In Austria, it is the “regional” viewers who set themselves apart – on account of
       their high level of interest – from those of the other groups whose interest is more moderate.

       As regards the types of channels on which the interviewees would like to see these programmes
       shown, these are:

       o   General-interest channels very predominantly for the Irish, Spanish, Portuguese, Finnish,
           Danish, Maltese, Cypriot, Slovene, Hungarian, Estonian and Lithuanian participants.

       o   General-interest channels and other types of channels at the same time: all types of channels
           in Luxembourg and Slovakia; regional channels in Belgium, the Czech Republic and Poland, and
           for the “selective” and “regional” Italian and Greek viewers and the “selective” British and
           Latvian viewers; more or less specialist channels for the French (news/information channels and
           channels with a cultural bias), Germans, Dutch, Swedes, many Britons and Austrians, and
           “standard” Latvian viewers.

3. Practical information programmes on the rights of European citizens: for example the right to
   study, work and live in any EU country, the rights of consumers who make purchases from other
   European countries, the Erasmus programmes for students, etc.

       The wording of this proposal is received very positively in around one in two of the countries

       o   In most of the new Member States, where it is seen as meeting the very great expectations
           concerning access to better and more practical information on the European Union.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              67
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           In these countries, only the Slovenes in the group of “standard” TV viewers, although
           themselves also viewing the format positively overall, express the condition that the content
           should be lively and illustrated, and the Latvian interviewees proved to be lukewarm, being more
           in favour of this kind of information being incorporated into a more general weekly magazine-
           type programme on the EU.

       o   In France, Spain, Luxembourg, Portugal and Denmark.

   Predominant interest is also revealed in Italy (albeit less clearly in the “standard” group), Ireland and
   Greece, and with more reservations or hesitations in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria
   (interest mainly in the “selective” group) and in Finland – as well as among the Latvians mentioned

   These reservations relate to the fear of programmes that are too “purely factual”, of which only a small
   proportion, moreover, would be likely to relate to all viewers, given the wide range of situations,
   concerns and questions that different individuals could have.

   However, the largely positive nature of the reactions is due to the assumption that this will not be the
   sole content of these programmes and that these will make it possible to gain an idea of the life of
   Europeans which is of interest to the viewers, through an editorial format not limited to raw data, but
   including interviews, short reports or “live” debates.

   This is in fact undoubtedly the kind of programme also imagined by TV viewers in the more favourable
   countries mentioned above, and which explains the very high level of backing they give the idea.

   In the Member States analysed in this paragraph, the interviewees are more inclined to wonder about the
   precise content of the programmes. For lack of comprehensive assurances on this level, some opt for
   sequences of practical information inserted into programmes with a wider spectrum (as some Germans
   say, for example).

   The reactions in principle are clearly reserved in the United Kingdom and Sweden, for similar
   reasons, together with a low general interest for to the European Union.

   Some Britons thus imagine that the information concerned could be broadcast in the context of consumer
   programmes (consumer watchdog) and in a framework of the same kind. Some Swedes tend to think that
   the Internet would be a more appropriate medium.

   As regards the types of television channels on which programmes of this kind could be shown, the
   interviewees in most countries think of general-interest channels on account of the idea that this
   information is likely to concern everyone.

   Some exceptions are noted:

   o   Specialist channels are preferred by a section of British and Austrian interviewees (“standard”
       viewers who thus no doubt indicate the low level of their interest).

   o   Specialist channels sometimes envisaged in addition to the general-interest channels: among some
       Belgians, Dutchmen, Portuguese and Estonians.

   o   Regional channels sometimes also mentioned secondarily by some Italians, Greeks and Czechs.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            68
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4. Regional information programmes showing the impact of EU decisions and programmes on your
   region or your city.

       The principle of such regional information meets with the interest of the citizens interviewed
       everywhere – or almost everywhere.

       There are only a few groups, among all the groups that met, whose participants declared
       themselves not to be very interested (the Belgian group of “standard” TV viewers and its British
       counterpart, the latter having scant concern in London for regional issues) or as having fairly
       neutral attitudes, not rejecting the idea but not personally being particularly attracted by it (in
       Finland, Denmark, and in Sweden where people could not imagine a specific programme devoted to
       these subjects alone, in Latvia where the people questioned in the capital feel that they already know
       enough about what is happening in their city, but are in favour of the principle when thinking about
       other regions in the country).

       Generally speaking the concept tallies well with the expectations, which are often expressed
       spontaneously, of practical local information on subjects concerning ordinary people. In some
       countries the interviewees seem to expect it also to fulfil a function of “control” of what the EU is
       doing, or what the national authorities are doing with Community aid (this is quite clear in the
       comments heard in Greece, and also comes across in Sweden).

       The degree of interest seems to be highest overall in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal
       and Greece, in the four countries of central Europe, and in France, Italy and Austria (albeit less
       strongly among the “standard” TV viewers in the three latter countries).

       Favourable attitudes are also uniform in Germany, but doubts are expressed here as to the nature of
       the information that could “fill” such programmes and the (low) frequency with which they might be
       shown. In Ireland, the youngest seem less keen than their elders. In several countries, some of the
       interviewees imagine more an extension of the existing regional news programmes than whole
       programmes exclusively devoted to these aspects.

       In several of the old Member States where a group of regional TV viewers had been assembled, it is
       clear that this category of the population reacts particularly favourably to the concept proposed (in
       France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Greece and Austria) – but it is also sometimes true of
       the “selective” TV viewers who on average are better educated and have a greater intellectual
       curiosity than “standard” viewers. In the new Member States, on the other hand, the level of interest
       is generally quite homogeneous from one category to another.

       As regards the types of channels deemed relevant for such programmes, these are regional (or
       local) channels which are logically mentioned in most of the Member States as being preferred
       broadcasting media.

       The exceptions to this rule concern either countries where these channels do not exist or are not
       very well developed – it is then general-interest (essentially public) channels that are cited – or
       others where the interviewees add national general-interest channels to regional channels so as to
       enable the greatest possible access to these programmes: the former cases include Luxembourg,
       Ireland, Portugal, Finland, Malta and Estonia, the latter cases include Spain, Greece and Austria
       (apart from the “regional” viewers in these two countries), Sweden, Cyprus and Hungary.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             69
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5. A five-minute slot in each day’s television news bulletin, on current EU issues and decisions.

           This proposal is greeted favourably by TV viewers in the great majority of Member States,
           and even seems to meet with especially keen interest in several of them: France, Greece, Austria,
           Sweden, Malta, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary – the reactions also being positive
           but more measured in Estonia.

           The reasons for this are chiefly:

           o   Its short format, which suggests condensed news concentrating on the essential, which is
               concise yet at the same time likely to attract people’s attention: it meets the expectations of
               those most interested in Community issues, and also reassures those who feel least involved
               and who would fear the tedious nature of a longer, more in-depth programme.

               However, we can note doubts raised by some TV viewers in these countries who wonder
               whether a five-minute format would be long enough to cover all the news that they would
               expect to find in it (some Austrians in the “selective” and “regional” groups, some Danes
               who think that getting acquainted with these subjects would call for a longer slot, and some
               Cypriots, Slovenes and Hungarians).

               Others, on the other hand, regard this as a maximum length: some Britons who at the outset
               are less keen on learning about European issues and who doubt whether there would be
               enough valid news to be offered every day, and some Belgians in the group of “standard” TV

           o   Its incorporation in the regular television news bulletins, i.e., both at prime viewing times
               and in a framework that to some degree obliges – or at least encourages – people to listen.

               What is more some interviewees insist that this European slot should be placed in the middle
               of the television news programmes so that as many people as possible are likely to be
               exposed to it, in the countries where reactions are most positive. Others, on the other hand,
               say they would like to see it at the end of the news, or after the news in a separate “slot”,
               perhaps to give viewers more of an option to choose whether they listen to it or not.

           o   Regularity of broadcasting, which in itself would have an educational quality: gradually
               getting people to understand that Europe-related news is something natural, and “not
               foreign”. This is an idea expressly put forward in particular by some pro-Europe French
               interviewees, but also by some Britons who were not so favourably inclined at the outset, but
               are receptive to the usefulness of learning more about the EU.

               Conditions are sometimes laid down: that the information supplied not be “the voice of
               Brussels” (in the United Kingdom and Denmark) or “the voice of the Commission” (in
               Luxembourg), that it not be “too political” (in Ireland and Denmark), that it be presented in a
               lively and rhythmic way (in Greece, Austria, and in Ireland where some people express the
               wish to see priority given to a subject every edition in order to avoid weariness).

               The reservations recorded in Estonia chiefly stem from the “selective” TV viewers who fear
               that the content of the information presented will be insufficient. In a few other Member

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              70
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               States, conversely, there is less interest expressed among the “standard” TV viewers than in
               the other groups (Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Austria).

           On the other hand, initial reactions are rather negative or at least hesitant in some Member
           States, but for partially different reasons.

           o   Among the German and Polish interviewees, we find the widespread impression that such a
               short format length will only enable the information to be dealt with superficially – which is
               a criticism already quite often made about the way it is dispensed now (although the Poles in
               the “standard” group would be more ready to make do with it, since their demands are less

               Some Germans, moreover, have their doubts as to whether there would be enough material
               every day to fill a European slot of five minutes, out of a total TV news bulletin length that
               barely exceeds a quarter of an hour.

           o   Among the Spaniards, misgivings concern the assumption that the news would be tedious
               unless it made a radical break with its current character – but most say that they would

           o   Among the Latvians, the first reaction consists in thinking that “everything important” is
               already broadcast in the national television news programmes and that it is not necessary to
               make provision for a specific slot for European news. However, they too, say they would
               watch in the proposed framework.

               We can also observe similar reactions among some Lithuanians, whilst others have
               reservations as to the overly concise nature of the short news slots – although the majority
               trend is favourable among them.

           General-interest channels are those that people everywhere think of first of all for this kind
           of programme, for obvious reasons. It is on these that most television news bulletins are shown,
           and it is they that have the largest audience.

           Regional channels are not ruled out, and are cited secondarily, by some Greek, Swedish and
           Lithuanian viewers. Some people also do not reject specialist (news) channels either.

6. A weekly one-hour programme including information and reportages on current EU issues.

           Among the Member States in which the previous concept was greeted most favourably,
           there are some in which the participants in the meetings show the same high level of
           interest in this second form of information on Community news and current affairs:
           Portugal, Malta, and Hungary – and interest increases to the same degree among the Latvians
           and the Lithuanian interviewees in the “selective” group.

           These TV viewers consider this as satisfying their appetite for information and explanations
           about the European Union in a format that they deem to be suitable.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004             71
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           The Germans, who tended to reject short news slots, also feel that this format fully meets
           their expectations in respect of magazine-type programmes able to cover subjects in a
           sufficiently in-depth manner, with a variety of approaches (reports, interviews, debates).

           The same applies to the Poles, notably those in the “selective” group who are very much in
           favour of in-depth analyses – those in the other groups also being positively disposed, but more
           in favour of the programme being half the length.

           In several Member States in which the first kind of programme was the most
           enthusiastically appreciated, interest is less or largely disappears.

           The French remain receptive but much less markedly so, in the light of a programme length that
           they feel risks being too long at least for certain relatively fascinating subjects – or on the other
           hand too short to be dealt with in depth.

           The Greeks in the “selective” group maintain their interest, but it is accompanied by more
           conditions – in particular that the programmes make an effort to highlight the implications of
           Community initiatives and decisions for their country. But their compatriots in the two other
           groups have appreciably more mixed views, some of them complaining about the idea of a long

           The same largely applies to the Austrians. Those in the “selective” group state that they are
           wholly in favour of such a format which makes it possible to deal with things in depth. Those in
           the “regional” group say that they are also favourable but imagine a partly “cultural” content on
           various European countries rather than chiefly focused on the EU itself. And those in the
           “standard” group are partly hostile to the idea or at least attach conditions (imperative request for
           debates to maintain attention).

           The keen interest initially shown in the Czech Republic remains but decreases, whilst in
           Slovakia it largely falls away to become a minority in the three groups (too long, request for
           short news items).

           In Sweden, there are few people who imagine being able to maintain interest for this length of
           time on “political” issues which generally do not elicit enthusiasm, except in the case of certain
           specific subjects.

           As regards the countries in which attitudes towards the previous proposal were positive
           but without the same solid backing, these attitudes only remain at the same level in some of
           them – Italy and Cyprus – and are reinforced in one country – Latvia.

           In several others, the TV viewers questioned show a less strong interest or have mixed
           views, and tend to argue in favour of a shorter format: Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
           Ireland and Slovenia (where a large proportion of the “standard” TV viewers acknowledge that
           they would not watch a one-hour programme).

           In some, people only feel drawn to this idea to a low degree, the formula in any case being
           regarded as too long: Finland, Denmark (even if the “selective” and “standard” viewers in this
           country nonetheless say that they would watch it) and the United Kingdom, where basic interest
           in European questions is too low, particularly among “standard” TV viewers.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                72
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           In Estonia and Lithuania there is a clear split between the “selective” viewers who find this
           formula to be more in-depth and superior to the insertion of European slots in television news
           programmes, and the “standard” viewers who barely see the point in it.

           The Spaniards questioned, finally, maintain their major doubts about “political”- type news
           programmes, which they feel would be tedious, although those in the “selective” and “standard”
           groups do not rule out watching them.

           Overall, attitudes appear more differentiated than for the previous concept between the
           “selective” TV viewers, who are more inclined to appreciate longer, more in-depth
           programmes, and the others: we see this to varying degrees in around one in two Member

           As regards the kinds of channels on which the interviewees would envisage finding such

           o   These would primarily be general-interest channels in most of the Member States,
               broadly speaking for the same reasons as in the previous case (audience, accessibility, the
               news function generally being more important on these kinds of channels).

               In some countries, people also think, secondarily, of regional channels: Spain, Greece,
               Sweden and Hungary.

               In a few others, some “selective” viewers in particular also think of specialist channels (to
               which in principle they have access): the Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia and Estonia; and the
               French and Germans a priori think of “all types of channels” (the distinction between
               regional and national channels not being very marked among them).

           o   In five Member States, the interviewees show themselves to be split between general-
               interest channels and specialist channels.

               In two of them, Ireland and Portugal, it is the “selective” TV viewers who as a rule cite the
               specialist channels. In two others, the United Kingdom and Belgium, it tends more to be the
               “standard” viewers – this reflecting a tendency in their country to push this kind of
               programme onto channels to which they do not have access. In Cyprus, the choices differ
               without it being possible to identify the same split.

           o   In two countries, they opt predominantly for the programmes to be shown on specialist

               However, this seems to reflect different attitudes, between Luxembourg where this choice
               does not a priori harm the audience, and in Slovakia where it appears to correspond to the
               same disaffection as in the United Kingdom and Belgium on the part of a section of the

7. Programmes on scientific subjects, health or the environment, showing experiences and giving
   views from different European countries.

           This proposal gives rise to varied reactions.

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            73
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         o     Generally interested in a good number of Member States.

               The declarations of interest seem particularly numerous, in all the groups, in Belgium,
               Luxembourg (with the exception of some young adults), Ireland, Greece, Portugal (more
               especially among the “selective” TV viewers), Austria, Finland, Denmark, Malta, Cyprus,
               Hungary and Lithuania.

               The interest is also shared to quite a large degree, but at a generally lower level or with lesser
               homogeneity between the “selective” TV viewers and the others, in Italy, Spain, Slovenia, the
               Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.

         o     Mixed in several others between people drawn to this kind of programme and others who do
               not express any great intention of watching them.

               This is the case in the United Kingdom (“standard” TV viewers who are not very interested at
               all), the Netherlands (favourable attitudes above all among the “selective” viewers, and

         o     Reserved or questioning in a few others: in France, Germany, Estonia and Latvia.

             However, the analysis of the comments made by the participants in the group discussions
             leads one to think that the national criterion is perhaps not as sensitive as it appears at first
             sight, and that the interviewees may have reacted differently according to the idea they
             forged a priori of the content and style of these programmes.

             The positive reactions are indeed often accompanied by comments showing that those making
             them readily imagine programmes of popularisation in the good sense of the term, i.e. with the
             necessary seriousness but accessible to the layman, on subjects they feel affected by – for
             example health, medicine, the environment or discoveries that could change people’s lives. We
             have previously seen that these are themes that were already suggested spontaneously by quite a
             large number of interviewees for programmes with a European character. Moreover, the ideas of
             comparison and exchange of experiences also correspond to pre-existing expectations – although
             some question the legitimacy of a solely European programme whilst scientific progress is of an
             international nature.

             The negative or dubious reactions are often linked to representations of dry and daunting
             scientific programmes, reserved for particularly competent and well-informed viewers
             representing a small minority of the public at large. These fears prompt some interviewees to
             suggest that these themes be dealt with briefly in the framework of regular multi-subject
             European “magazine”- type programmes, rather than as the subjects of entire programmes.

             Preferences in terms of types of television channels for the showing of such programmes
             partly reflect the a-priori perceptions of the two groups.

             The supporters of general-interest channels – only or also with more specialist channels –
             are the most numerous. They include in particular the Italians, Spaniards, Belgians, Dutchmen,
             Irishmen, Greeks, Austrians, Danes, Swedes, the citizens of most of the new Member States
             (except Slovakians and “standard” Latvian viewers), as well as “standard” (and “regional”)
             viewers in the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Portugal, and on the other hand participants in
             the Finnish “selective” groups.

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       This choice is not necessarily exclusive: we see specialist channels mentioned alongside general-
       interest channels by participants in the Italian, Spanish, British, Luxembourgeois, Portuguese and
       Finnish “standard” groups, by their Danish “regional” counterparts, and by the Belgians, Austrians,
       Czechs, Hungarians and Poles generally. Some, but more rarely, do not exclude regional channels,
       either (among the supporters of these channels in Spain, Greece and the Czech Republic).

       On the other hand, many of those who opt to reserve this kind of programme for specialist
       channels are among those who express doubts as to whether the programmes have enough of a
       “mass audience” character.

       We find them in particular in France, Germany, and Slovakia and in the Latvian “standard” group.

       On the other hand, other options favouring specialist channels – expressed by “selective” viewers in
       the United Kingdom, Luxembourg and Portugal – do not appear to be inspired by the same

8. Programmes about the arts, culture and literature in the other European countries.

       The principle of programmes on the culture of other European countries is received
       favourably by a very large proportion of the European citizens questioned.

       In some very pro-Europe Member States, this idea is greeted especially enthusiastically and
       unanimously in all the groups: Spain, Luxembourg, Hungary, where the interviewees see this as a
       response to their wish to see Europeans better informed about, and acquiring a greater empathy
       towards each other.

       In several, on the other hand, it is received with more moderate interest (in Greece, Finland and
       Estonia) or with mixed feelings, depending on the population category in question: less interest
       among “standard” (or “regional”) TV viewers than among the “selective” viewers in the United
       Kingdom, Cyprus and Slovenia (and among the lower-educated people in Poland), and even
       disinterest displayed by the former in Belgium, Ireland and Denmark. The Dutch are also divided
       between spontaneous support and at times substantial misgivings.

       The reasons for the reservations are uniform: the fear of programmes that are too intellectual for the
       average person, for whom art and culture in the traditional sense of the term are not part and parcel
       of his everyday world.

       In other Member States the declarations made by interviewees who are on the face of it in favour,
       show that they, too, distrust elitism and in fact make their agreement conditional on an open view of
       culture in the broad sense of the term, or say that this stated interest is in fact in a style of programme
       that they spontaneously imagine as corresponding to this view.

       Irrespective of the countries, we can think that overly “specialised” cultural programmes would in
       fact only attract a minority of viewers.

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         In some Member States, it even appears on analysis that the interpretation of the term “culture of
         the other European countries” is not really distinguished from the content of “travel” programmes
         – this being the case in particular in the United Kingdom.

         When called upon to say what types of channel they would envisage seeing such programmes
         on, the participants in the group discussions cite:

         o   (Public) general-interest channels, predominantly, in some Member States: Italy, Spain,
             Ireland, Finland, Malta, Hungary, Poland and Estonia.

         o   General-interest channels or thematic channels with a more or less cultural connotation
             in many others.

             This is the case in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Portugal, Austria, Denmark,
             Sweden, Cyprus, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia and Lithuania. Belgians tend
             more towards favouring specialist channels.

             In a few countries, the two types of channels are cited, with a propensity on the part of the
             non-selective viewers to push this kind of programme onto specialist channels.

         o   The idea of broadcasting on regional channels as well is not excluded by the interviewees
             in some countries: France (although this is no doubt on account of the more “intellectual”
             image of France 3 rather than its genuinely regional character), Greece, Cyprus, the Czech
             Republic (and to a lesser degree Spain, Austria and Slovenia).

 9. Programmes devoted to the other European countries’cinema, including films or series in the
    original language, interviews with film directors, reportages, etc.

         In some countries, such programmes on cinema meet with quite widespread interest in
         principle: in Portugal, Finland, Estonia and to a lesser degree in the two other Baltic States and in
         the Czech Republic: one in two or more people interviewed seem here to want to see more
         European films – without the type of group being a very distinguishing criterion. Their showing in
         original version, which is usual for foreign films in these countries (except in Lithuania where
         dubbing is more frequent), does not pose any problems for them and is even regarded as desirable
         (apart from cases of incomprehension by people who imagine that the original version would be
         without subtitles).

         The participants in the French groups also say they are receptive to the cinema of the other
         European countries, but with more frequent misgivings about original versions. A degree of
         interest is also expressed in the different Belgian groups in respect of film classics (but scarcely
         for aspects peripheral to the films themselves which were included in the presentation of the
         proposal, namely interviews and reports).

         In most of the Member States, on the other hand, we see a clear split between a small
         number of interviewees with a keen interest and a majority of others who express
         indifference or misgivings.

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         o   The former constitute a minority of film enthusiasts, enlightened fans of arthouse movies
             and foreign films, some of whom spontaneously say they are tired of the endless flood of
             Hollywood productions.

             These people do not see any objection to films being shown in their original language version,
             something they even look for (and which in any case is the normal way in which foreign films
             are screened in many countries). However, the “extra material” related to the film (reports,
             interviews with directors, etc.) is rarely mentioned as an element of major appeal.

             These interviewees are most often found in the groups of “selective” TV viewers, and among
             people of a higher educational and cultural level.

             However, it should be noted that even some people in this category point out that they already
             have access, in particular when one has subscriptions to cable or satellite multichannel
             packages, to a wide range of cinema. This is the case, for example, in Italy, Malta and
             Hungary, where the kind of programme offered arouses particularly low interest. Some
             Austrians also point out that these days their content (together with the “extra material”) can
             be found on DVDs.

         o   The latter perceive the programmes suggested as very elitist.

             They do not have the same curiosity for European cinema. Some (in Sweden, Cyprus, etc.) say
             that they are so used to American “formatting” of films distributed in their country that they
             dread the effort that would be required to “get into” a different and more demanding style of
             cinema (even though they regret this).

             In several countries, misgivings regarding original language versions are widely mentioned: in
             Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg (at least when people watch on television,
             where subtitles are not very legible), Greece and Poland. There, too, cases of a lack of
             understanding are sometimes detected among TV viewers who imagine original versions
             without subtitles (some Poles) or even the reports and interviews in the original language
             (some Britons).

             These kinds of misgivings also exist in the former countries where the attraction for these
             programmes is a priori greater, but they are less widespread there.

         As regards the types of channels on which programmes on European cinema could be

         o   The interviewees mainly think of specialist or thematic channels (devoted to cinema or of
             a predominantly cultural nature) in one Member State in two.

             They hardly mention any others in France, Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria,
             Denmark, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Latvia. The general-interest channels are
             cited in second place in Italy, Belgium and Lithuania.

         o   Specialist and general-interest channels are cited more or less equally (or: all kinds of
             channels) in several other countries: in the Netherlands, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia,
             Slovakia, and among the “selective” TV viewers in Luxembourg and Greece.

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           o     The general-interest channels are those that come to mind in others: in Ireland, Finland,
                 Sweden, Malta, Estonia – and among the “non-selective” viewers in the Member States
                 mentioned above.

10. Game programmes whose candidate must answer questions about Europe and the other European

       The way the idea of this kind of programme was received varies considerably according to the

       A distinction can be made between:

       o       Some Member States in which quite a lot of interest is revealed in all the groups: Spain,
               Belgium, Portugal, Sweden, Hungary and Lithuania.

               The interviewees see these as enjoyable and entertaining programmes, which also give the
               viewer the chance to learn about aspects of the other European countries.

       o       Some Member States in which the interest shown in the various groups is more moderate
               and accompanied by questions or conditions.

               This is the case in Germany, Greece, Cyprus, Slovakia and Estonia. These are programmes
               which are not new as regards their concept apart from the multinational participation of the
               contestants; questions are raised as to whether it would be possible to find suitable candidates
               able to answer the questions and, above all, the possibility of captivating the television audience
               who, on the face of it knowing very little about Europe, would not really be able to play the
               game themselves at home.

       o       Some Member States in which a split is observed between “standard” TV viewers attracted
               by the idea and “selective” viewers who as a rule do not often enjoy this kind of popular
               entertainment (the “regional” viewers in the countries where they were specifically questioned
               are found on one side or the other, but tend more not to be very interested).

               They include France, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Malta, Slovenia and Poland.

       o       One country where the split is the other way round: Luxembourg, where it is the “selective”
               TV viewers who are the most receptive.

       o       Some Member States where the concept is not very appealing – Finland, Latvia – or is very
               unappealing – the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

               Here we find, in a more general manner, a disaffection vis-à-vis a style of programme which is
               slightly old-fashioned and simplistic, as well as major doubts about the possibility of arousing
               the interest of viewers who would be a passive audience since they would not know the answers
               to most of the questions.

       As regards the kinds of channels that people think of for such programmes, these are chiefly
       general-interest channels in most of the Member States.

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       The interviewees in certain countries are split between the different types of channels (in
       Luxembourg, Austria, Denmark and Cyprus) or some of them also think of specific channels (some
       Italians, many Britons, some Slovenes and Czechs and some “selective” viewers in Portugal and
       Latvia). It will be observed, however, that these statements do not mean much in cases where the
       people concerned have no interest in the programmes in question.

11. Entertainment programmes, with artists and famous people from several European countries

   Declared interest in this kind of programme differs very markedly from one Member State to

       It appears quite high in Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Hungary and in the three Baltic States, as
       well as among the “standard” Belgian and Portuguese viewers and the “regional” Austrian viewers.

       In short, people see this as possibly enriching the existing programmes of the same kind at national
       level, with some – especially in very small countries – showing curiosity for the idea of discovering
       artists of other nationalities who are unknown to them.

       Reactions are mitigated in France (a degree of interest among fans of light entertainment, but a
       rejection of this genre among a sizeable section of the interviewees), among the Belgians in the
       “selective” and “regional” groups, the “standard” and “selective” Austrian viewers, the Danes and
       the Slovaks.

       The reasons for interest are the same, as are the reasons for misgivings. Many adopt a wait-and-see
       attitude for want of being able to “get a feel for” the content and tone that these programmes would

       They are predominantly reserved in Italy, Luxembourg, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, the Czech
       Republic and Poland, and generally negative in Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands,
       Greece and among the “selective” Portuguese TV viewers.

       The main reasons for a lack of interest are indifference to this type of programme in general, the
       feeling that there are already plenty – or even too many – of them (in Germany in particular), the
       lack of any perceived logical link between this television genre and the European Union (in the
       Netherlands, for example), or even the lack of any great desire to see performances by foreign artists
       or figures known in their own country but not ringing any bells in ones’ own. This latter category of
       objection is often made in particular in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Poland. Some Czech
       interviewees also report their doubts on account of the fact that the translation needed in most cases
       causes much of the wit in a light, humorous programme to be lost.

       As regards the types of channels on which people would expect to see these programmes
       shown, these would chiefly be general-interest channels (and for some interviewees, explicitly
       commercial ones).

       To these can be added specialist channels (for some of the Italians, Britons, Greeks, Austrians,
       Danes, Slovenes, Czech, Hungarians and Lithuanians) or regional channels (according to some
       Dutch, Greek and Cypriot interviewees).

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   12. Debates on European issues between experts from the European Union and experts from our
       own country.

           This programme proposal rarely arouses any great enthusiasm.

           We see a relatively large number of declarations of interest in the different groups in
           Luxembourg, Greece, Austria and Malta, where the debate formula seems to be appreciated.
           Some Danish viewers from various categories, although less attracted by it, nonetheless say they
           would probably watch such programmes, depending on the subjects discussed, recognising the
           need to be better informed on the European Union.

           In other Member States, only a minority of viewers, generally “selective” or from the
           higher-than-average educational bracket, express a similar view: in France, Italy, Spain,
           Portugal, Finland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. In a few others, there is also a minority
           interested (without the same criterion of differentiation of the attitudes being as clear) or at least
           a non-rejection in principle: Sweden, Hungary, Estonia and Lithuania.

           Among the other interviewees the dominant attitude is that programmes perceived a priori as
           elitist and difficult, discussions readily imagined as over the heads of the average person, and
           carried on between experts far removed from daily life, using a specific language amongst
           themselves, and undoubtedly abstract subjects hold little or very little appeal.

           On top of this comes a certain saturation of the very formula of debates, highlighted mainly by
           some Frenchmen, Germans, Swedes, Hungarians, Poles (who quite clearly have had enough of
           “sterile” political debates) and some Lithuanians.

           This leads, inter alia, to declarations of almost total disinterest in the United Kingdom,
           Belgium, Ireland, Cyprus, Slovakia and Latvia.

           In other Member States, those who are potentially interested or at least not wholly
           unreceptive insist on a number of conditions: that there genuinely be a debate and exchanges
           of ideas that result in progress being made on the subject under question, that the experts present
           know how to make themselves understood in simple language, that the discussion leaders be
           particularly qualified and able to interpret and reformulate in simple terms complex ideas tackled
           in the discussion, or that the public be able to take part by asking questions live.

           Finally it will be noted that in some Member States there is a fear of the debates being biased (in
           Poland) or dominated by the European experts to the detriment of their less self-assured national
           counterparts (in Estonia and Latvia).

           As regards the types of channels adapted to the scheduling of such programmes, the
           hypotheses differ from one country to another.

           o   Specialist channels cited predominantly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium,
               Portugal, Poland and Latvia.

           o   General-interest and/or specialist channels in Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands,
               Austria, Finland, Sweden, Cyprus, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary and Estonia.

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           o   General-interest channels mainly in Denmark, Greece, Malta, the Czech Republic and
               Lithuania (where this no doubt reflects a higher degree of public interest than is seen to be
               the European average), as well as Ireland.

13. Interviews of European commissioners and Members of the European Parliament at regular

       Interest shown for this kind of programme is low overall.

       In many cases, the reasons for this are the low propensity to pay attention to political subjects in
       general, and the perceived distance between average viewers and leaders of any kind.

       Attitudes seem more favourable among the Latvians, Lithuanians, the “selective” Greek, Finnish and
       Maltese viewers, and some (“regional”) Austrian and German viewers.

       In some Member States, the general disaffection observed towards politics and politicians
       could be slightly less great in the case of interviews with Community officials than national

       This is observed among some Italians (from the higher-than-average educational bracket), among
       some Belgians, Luxembourgeois, Spaniards, Irishmen, Portuguese and Danes: credibility and
       objectivity a priori better or less poor, vision perhaps wider than a purely national vision, etc.

       In three of them, they are not very interested at all, the distance between average people and the
       European officials and MEPs (who are unknown and anonymous) being very great: in the United
       Kingdom, Sweden and Estonia.

       As regards the types of channels on which the interviewees would think of seeing these
       programmes shown, attitudes are mixed.

       These would mainly be (public) general-interest channels, for the Irishmen, Greeks, Finns, Danes,
       Maltese, Czechs, Estonians and Lithuanians.

       Frenchmen, Britons, Portuguese, Poles, Slovaks and Latvians would, on the other hand, be inclined
       to favour specialist channels.

       In the other Member States, both are mentioned as possibly being envisaged.

       Few are those who think of regional television channels.

14. Interviews of our country’s ministers in charge of European affairs at regular periods

       This proposal elicits an even more markedly lower level of interest; it is even almost
       unanimously rejected in a good number of Member States.

       What is involved is the greatly deteriorated image of politicians in all countries, be it in respect of
       their actual skills or, in the case of the overwhelming majority, their ability to talk about a subject

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       with a minimum of objectivity, avoiding “waffle” and using language that is not totally obscure for
       the general public.

       Moreover, it is imagined that they would talk about “political” or institutional subjects, which are not
       the priority subjects European citizens want to know more about.

       At the very most, we can see measured and conditional interest among a small number of citizens:
       some “selective” viewers in France, Luxembourg, Portugal, Finland, Malta and Slovenia, and some
       viewers from various categories in Austria, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Lithuania. However, it
       would still be necessary for these programmes to avoid the “political” pitfalls that lead the other
       interviewees to reject the idea.

       If such programmes were shown, it seems logical to many that they should be shown on public
       general-interest channels.

       However, the opposite idea sometimes prevails, with specialist news channels being regarded as
       most appropriate to a kind of programme which would only have an audience limited to a small
       interested section of the public: in France, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Hungary and Poland as
       well as among “selective” TV viewers in Italy, Luxembourg, Austria and Slovenia, and among
       various Belgian, Dutch, Irish, Austrian, Slovakian and Lithuanian interviewees.

       Regional television channels are rarely cited.

15. Programmes on sports in the other European countries, including matches and competitions, but
    also reportages on champions and sports teams as well as sports in local people’s lives

       Interest shown for such sports programmes is very low – and the reactions in this regard are
       broadly homogenous across the different Member States.

       In short, one precondition is being attracted to sport – which is not the case in the majority of the
       viewers questioned, and especially women.

       Secondly, even those who appreciate sports events generally feel that there is already plenty on offer
       in this field, be it on channels accessible to everyone or on thematic sports channels.

       Thirdly, there is no perceived link between sport and the European Union, and even the wider
       European dimension of sport is barely perceived. People think either of its international character
       (Olympic Games, World Championships) or its national character (interest in the results of the
       national champions and teams), or (more rarely) its local character.

       In their very great majority, the interviewees therefore do not see any justification for the type of
       programme proposed. It does not contribute anything as regards broadcasts, and the other aspects
       (reports) could only arouse interest, even among fans, if they involved sportsmen or national teams
       with whom they might feel identified.

       We find only a few relative exceptions to this general rule: among some minority (male)
       interviewees in Malta and Cyprus who feel a degree of island isolation and for whom the European
       dimension would be synonymous with opening up (including an embracing of sports other than

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       football, which is dominant for the former), and among some Lithuanians for less clearly explained

       Elsewhere, we find a moderate interest expressed here and there among sports fans, for example in
       respect of little-known sports among some people, but this is very limited.

       The question of the channels on which they would prefer to see this kind of programme is very
       theoretical in these conditions.

       We can note, for the record, a frequent tendency to designate specialist thematic channels, which in
       some of the cases in fact means relegation of such programmes to this kind of channel which is not
       accessible to everyone. It is only in Spain, Luxembourg, Greece and Malta that general-interest
       channels are mentioned more. In a few other countries, general-interest channels are mentioned
       alongside specialist channels (Italy, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Cyprus and Slovenia).

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       To wind up the meetings, their participants were informed of the identity of the body that had
       commissioned the study, the European Commission, which would like “citizens to be better informed on
       European issues through television”.

       It was added that to this end the Commission was in the process of “setting up a support system,
       including financial support, to television channels planning to develop programmes including some
       European content”.

       The discussion leaders asked the participants what they thought of this.

       The spontaneous reactions to this announcement are very predominantly positive.

           In some Member States the people questioned even express very keen and unqualified satisfaction,
           unanimously or almost unanimously: in Ireland, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Slovenia, Slovakia, Hungary
           and Lithuania.

           Satisfaction is also very general in France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Portugal,
           Finland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and more moderate in Sweden and the Czech Republic. Attitudes
           are more qualified or mixed in Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland.

           Two aspects need to be distinguished:

           o   The first concerns the Commission’s initiative to have this study carried out, which is
               greeted in all the countries and which nobody criticises.

               It is recognised as legitimate and desirable that the Commission should be concerned about the
               information citizens receive about European issues.

               Moreover, as in other studies for various Directorates-General in which the group discussions
               concluded with a similar theme, the people questioned have the satisfaction of having been
               consulted and listened to by the Community institution, which they feel thus displays the
               consideration it has for people’s opinions, and shows itself to be closer to them.

               In several of the new Member States, in particular, some interviewees even say they are flattered
               or contrast this display of openness to the indifference towards citizens that they sense from their
               own governments – reflections of this nature having been made spontaneously for example in
               Cyprus, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

           o   The second concerns the Commission’s policy of support to television projects with a
               European content.

               It is also viewed in a very favourable light by the interviewees in most of the Member

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           The need to inform people better about Europe and the European Union appears obvious, the
           medium of television is considered as relevant to do this given its very large audience, and the
           legitimacy of the Commission’s intervention is not questioned at all. On the contrary, the fact
           that it should set itself the mission of contributing to a higher level of knowledge and seeing to it
           that Europeans find out more about each other is perceived very favourably.

           Only some people wonder about the effectiveness of such an approach given the indifference
           displayed by the citizens – themselves included – in respect of Community issues. Whilst they
           regret this, they fear the size of the task will be considerable.

           Others, implicitly recognising this difficulty, attempt to contribute to solving it by coming back
           to their previous comments to recommend choices of subjects or ways of dealing with them
           which would be likely, in their view, to increase the audience of the proposed programmes.

           In these countries very few raise the question of the objectivity of the information in channels
           receiving financial aid from the Commission: a few Germans, Spaniards, Belgians, Swedes,
           Czechs, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, but a priori without suspicion.

           In only a few countries, the misgivings or doubts are greater and the citizens interviewed
           more divided.

           This is the case in Italy (opposition by some of the participants to the idea of devoting public
           funds to such projects), the United Kingdom (fears, albeit relatively not very exaggerated, of
           biased pro-European information), the Netherlands (worry among some regional TV viewers of
           receipt of financing leading to dependence) and Poland (suspicions of non-neutrality on the part
           of those who are the most stand-offish as regards the European Union).

           Again these reservations do not come from all the citizens questioned in these countries.

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                            GREAT          GENUINE          MODERATE         VARIABLE          MINORITY     TYPES OF   AUDIENCE
                          INTEREST         INTEREST         INTEREST         INTEREST          INTEREST    CHANNELS     PROFILE
REPORTS                   ALMOST                                                                             GEN
PEOPLE’S LIVES          ALL MEMBER                               UK                                          SPEC       BROAD
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES        STATES                                                                              Reg

REPORTS                 VERY MANY                              DE IT                                         GEN
LOCAL SOLUTIONS          MEMBER                                 AT                                         REG SPEC     BROAD
TO THE PROBLEMS           STATES                               UK SE

PRACTICAL INFORMATION      MANY              IT IE EL        DE BE NL                                        GEN        BROAD
RIGHTS/OPPORTUNITIES      MEMBER                FI              AT                                UK SE     Reg Spec     SEL+
FOR CITIZENS              STATES                 SI             LV

REGIONAL INFORMATION       LU NL            FR IT AT          DE BE IE                                       REG        BROAD
ON IMPACT OF THE          EL ES PT          MT CY SI        FI UK DK SE                                      GEN       SEL+ REG+
EUROPEAN UNION           PL CZ SK HU         EE LT               LV

EUROPEAN SLOTS              FR EL         BE LU NL IT                           DE ES                        GEN
IN TELEVISION NEWS          AT SE         IE PT FI DK            UK                                         Reg Spec    BROAD
BULLETINS               MT CZ SK HU        CY SI EE LT                          PL LV

WEEKLY PROGRAMME           DE PT               IT           FR BE LU NL                            ES        GEN        BROAD
ON EU NEWS AND            MT HU LV          CY PL CZ        IE EL ES AT         EE LT           UK DK SE     SPEC        SEL +
CURRENT AFFAIRS                                                  SI                                SK

PROGRAMMES ON           BE LU IE EL PT        IT ES                              NL               FR DE      GEN
SCIENCE, THE              AT FI DK            SI PL                                                          SPEC        SEL +
ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH     MT CY HU LT           CZ SK                             UK SE             EE LV

PROGRAMMES                  LU ES                           FR DE IT EL       BE NL IE                     GEN SPEC
ON ARTS AND                  HU                             PT AT FI SE        UK DK                         Reg         SEL +
CULTURE                                                      MT CZ SK         CY SI PL
                                                              EE LT LV

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                                                ANNEX I
                                    PARTNER INSTITUTES
                                IN THE 25 MEMBER STATES

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(AT)   Austria                    Karmasin Motivforschung (Vienna)

(BE)   Belgium                    EADC – Yellow Window (Antwerp)

(CY)   Cyprus                     Synovate – Cyprus (Nicosia)

(CZ)   Czech Republic             MARECO ( Prague)

(DE)   Germany                    Echanges Marktforschung (Cologne)

(DK)   Denmark                    Ulveman Explorative – Erik Liljeberg Research Consultancy (Copenhagen)

(EE)   Estonia                    TNS EMOR (Tallinn)

(EL)   Greece                     FOCUS (Athens)

(ES)   Spain                      Escario Research (Madrid)

(FI)   Finland                    Marketing Radar (Helsinki)

(FR)   France                     CSA (Paris)

(HU)   Hungary                    Ad Hoc Plus Research (Budapest)

(IE)   Ireland                    TNS – MRBI (Dublin)

(IT)   Italy                      Market Dynamics International (Milan)

(LT)   Lithuania                  Baltic Surveys (Vilnius)

(LU)   Luxembourg                 Ilres (Luxembourg)

(LV)   Latvia                     TNS Baltic Data House (Riga)

(MT)   Malta                      MISCO (Valletta)

(NL)   Netherlands                PQR (Amsterdam)

(PL)   Poland                     BSM (Warsaw)

(PT)   Portugal                   TNS Euroteste (Lisbon)

(SE)   Sweden                     Kommunicera (Stockholm)

(SI)   Slovenia                   RM Plus (Maribor)

(SK)   Slovakia                   Psymareco (Bratislava), in cooperation with MARECO

(UK)   United Kingdom             Andrew Irving Associates (London)

                  Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004       89
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                                               ANNEX II
                             DEMOGRAPHIC COMPOSITION
                                         OF THE GROUPS

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004   90
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                            Standard viewers                              Selective viewers                         Regional viewers
             Men         Women 20-40 years 41-60 years   Men         Women 20-40 years 41-60 years    Men         Women 20-40 years 41-60 years
(AT)               4           4       3       5             5            5       5           5               5        5     4         6
Austria      Vienna,                                     Vienna,                                      Vienna,
             08.09.04                                    09.09.04                                     13.09.04
(BE)               4            4      4       4             4            4       3       5               4             4    4         4
Belgium      Brussels,                                   Antwerp,                                     Antwerp,
             16.09.04                                    09.09.04                                     02.09.04
(CY)               4               4   4       4             4             4       4          4
Cyprus       Nicosia,                                    Nicosia,
             16.09.04                                    21.09.04
(CZ) Czech     5                5      4       6             5             4       5          4               4        4    4              4
Republic     Prague,                                     Prague,                                      Olomouc,
             15.09.04                                    16.09.04                                     20.09.04
(DE)           4               4       4       4            4              4          5           3   4             4        4             4
Germany      Cologne,                                    Cologne,                                     Cologne,
             26.08.04                                    24.08.04                                     25.08.04
(DK)           4               3       3       4             3             3       2              4       4         2        2             4
Denmark      Copenhagen,                                 Copenhagen,                                  Odense,
             13.09.04                                    13.09.04                                     14.09.04
(EE)           3               5       5       3             3             5      5               3
Estonia      Tallinn,                                    Tallinn,
             14.09.04                                    14.09.04
(EL)               4               4   4           4         3             4      4            3          4          4      4          4
Greece       Athens,                                     Athens,                                      Patras,
             06.09.04                                    08.09.04                                     15.09.04
(ES)           4                4      4           4         4           4.       4               4       4        4        4          4
Spain        Madrid,                                      Madrid,                                     Madrid,
             14.09.04                                    13.09.04                                     14.09.04
(FI)               3            5      5           3         4            4       5           3
Finland      Helsinki,                                   Helsinki,
             14.09.04                                    14.09.04
(FR)               2               6   4           4     3               5        3           5           3         5       4          4
France       Paris,                                      Paris,                                       Rennes,
             08.09.04                                    07.09.04                                     09.09.04
(HU)           4               4       4           4         4            4       4       4               4         4       4          4
Hungary      Budapest,                                   Budapest,                                    Miskolc,
             17.09.04                                    17.09.04                                     20.09.04
(IE)           3               4           3   4             3         4          4           3
Ireland      Dublin,                                     Dublin.
             21.09.04                                    21.09.04
(IT)           3               4           3   4             4        3           3           4           3         4       4          3
Italy        Milan,                                      Milan,                                       Asti,
             07.09.04                                    08.09.04                                     09.09.04
(LT)           5               5           6       4         5        5           4       6
Lithuania    Vilnius,                                    Vilnius,
             06.09.04                                    06.09.04
(LU)           4            3          4           3         5        5           5       5
Luxembourg   Luxembourg,                                 Luxembourg,
             09.09.04                                    14.09.04
(LV)           4           4           4           4         4       4            4               4
Latvia       Riga,                                       Riga,
             21.09.04                                    22.09.04

                       Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                                   91
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(MT)            4               4       4           4     5         3       4       4
Malta         Valletta,                                 Valletta,
              04.09.04                                  11.09.04
(NL)            4           3       3           4         4             3   3       4       4       4        4   4
Netherlands   Amsterdam,                                Amsterdam,                        Amsterdam,
              06.09.04                                  01.09.04                          02.09.04
(PL)            3         5         4           4         4             4   4       4       4       4        4   4
Poland        Warsaw,                                   Warsaw,                           Katowice,
              06.09.04                                  06.09.04                          07.09.04
(PT)            2     4             4           2         4         4       5    3
 Portugal     Lisbon,                                   Lisbon,
              14.09.04                                  15.09.04
(SE)            3    4              4           3         4         3       3    4          3         4      4       3
Sweden        Stockholm,                                Stockholm,                        Stockholm,
              21.09.04                                  28.09.04                          23.09.04
(SI)            3       4           4       3             5         4       5    4
Slovenia      Maribor,                                  Maribor,
              09.09.04                                  10.09.04
(SK)            4       4           4       4             4             4   3    5          5         4      4   5
Slovakia      Bratislava,                               Bratislava,                       Banska Bystrica,
              10.09.04                                  15.09.04                          17.09.04

(UK) United     4       4           4       4             4             4   4   4           4           4    4       4
Kingdom       London,                                   Surrey,                           Southampton,
              15.09.04                                  21.09.04                          16.09.04

                    Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                        92
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                                               ANNEX III

                                       DISCUSSION GUIDE

               Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004   93
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                                           TELEVISION STUDY
                                           DISCUSSION GUIDE


Good afternoon/evening. My name is… and I work with…, the research institute in charge of the study for
which we are here together. This study is about television.
To start with, may I ask each of you to introduce him/herself briefly: please tell me who you are, where you
live, if you live alone or together with someone else, if you have children, what you do for a living (if you
are working) and what your wife/husband does, and finally what are your favourite leisure activities and


I.1     Let us talk about what you usually watch on television. I will ask each of you to think of a typical
        week, and to try to think back of all the programmes that you watch during that week.

            Ask each of the participants successively.
            Let each one express him/herself spontaneously, then probe: which particular programmes or
            programme types, on which days, at which hours …

I.2    You have mentioned different programmes. Among them, there are probably some which you watch
       with more – or less– interest, or to which you pay more – or less – attention.

            Establish a classification of programmes : starting with a first category including the
            programmes which are nearly always watched and regarded as most interesting ; then getting the
            respondents to define other categories according to viewing frequency and degree of interest and
            attention ; through to programmes never or practically never watched
            Clarify the reasons for (greater or lesser) viewing frequency and interest
            Elicit viewing habits common to all or most participants/differences in viewing habits

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II.1    Let us talk about the different existing television channels. Please think of all the television channels
        you know – whether you watch them or not – and then try to group them in several families,
        according to how similar or different you feel they are.

            Incite the group to reach a consensus in defining families of channels
            Clarify the reasons for forming these families : what the channels grouped within each family
            have in common, and what makes them different from the other families
            Ask the respondents to express degree and reasons of interest (or non-interest) for the channels
            of each family

II.2    We are now going to consider each of these families of television channels successively. For each
        one, please tell me which are the particular channels of this family which you watch personally
        either regularly or more occasionally, what you particularly watch on these different channels, and

            Take each family successively. For each one :
               Get the respondents to quote all the channels of this family which they watch (more or less
               Clarify the reasons for regular, occasional, or non-viewing of the different channels quoted
               (and/or : of the family of channels)
               Identify specific programmes or programme types watched on these channels (and/or this
               family of channels) rather than on other channels


III.1   There are all sorts of programmes on television, between those dedicated solely to information and
        those which are mainly entertainment.
        I would like to discuss how television and different kinds of television programmes inform us and
        help us broaden our minds and learn things, in one way or another.
        Please tell me what you find in television yourselves in this respect, what you watch, what you find
        interesting, and why.

            Spontaneous reactions
            Probe :
               Types of programmes (mentioning concrete examples)
               Features (in content and/or form) of programmes in which one « learns things »

III.2   Another approach to this question is the subjects and topics which are dealt with in all these
        programmes. Which subjects do you find most attractive and interesting?

            Spontaneous reactions
            Probe :
                List of subjects/topics in which the participants find interest
                Degree and reasons of (greater or lesser) interest for these subjects/topics

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004                95
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III.3   Regarding how television can inform us, and help us broaden our minds and learn things, what
        would you say is missing or failing right now – that can be subjects or topics which you would like
        to see more about, or better ways to deal with these subjects?

        Spontaneous reactions
        Probe :
           Unfulfilled expectations in terms of content : subjects/topics missing in the television offer
           Unfulfilled expectations in terms of form : failings/insufficiencies/shortcomings in the way
           subjects are dealt with


IV.1    We are going to turn to a particular subject : Europe on television ; in other words all that can be
        seen on television about Europe, the European countries and what is taking place in those countries,
        the people who live there … etc.
        Please try to remember everything that you have seen on these subjects in the last few months,
        regardless of the type of programme in which you saw something.

        Spontaneous reactions
        Encourage the respondents to search back in their memories and probe :
           (For each one) In which type of programme
           (For each one) On which channel that programme appeared
           (For each one) How the subject was dealt with
           (For each one) Judgments on the interest of the subject and the way it was dealt with
           (For each one) Judgements regarding credibility/confidence in the information provided

IV.2    Let us now talk more specifically about the European Union on television : everything that can be
        seen on television about the European Union, its policies and programmes, its institutions ; in other
        words what it does, what takes place there, how it works, … etc.
        Please try to remember everything that you have seen on television on the European Union in the last
        few months, regardless of the type of programme in which you saw something.

        Spontaneous reactions
        Encourage the respondents to search back in their memories and probe :
           (For each one) In which type of programme
           (For each one) On which channel that programme appeared
           (For each one) How the subject was dealt with
           (For each one) Judgements on the interest of the subject and the way it was dealt with
           (For each one) Judgements regarding credibility/confidence in the information provided

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V.1    One also receives information and learns things in other media on the European Union or Europe
       more generally. What do you remember seeing on these subjects in newspapers and magazines in the
       last few months?

       Spontaneous reactions
       Encourage the respondents to search back in their memories and probe :
          (For each one) In which newspaper/magazine
          (For each one) How the subject was dealt with
          (For each one) Judgments on the interest of the subject and the way it was dealt with
          (For each one) Judgements regarding credibility/confidence in the information provided

V.2 And what do you remember hearing on the European Union and Europe on the radio in the last few
    months ?

       Spontaneous reactions
       Encourage the respondents to search back in their memories and probe :
          (For each one) In which type of programme
          (For each one) On which radio station
          (For each one) How the subject was dealt with
          (For each one) Judgements on the interest of the subject and the way it was dealt with
          (For each one) Judgements regarding credibility/confidence in the information provided

V.3    Overall, considering the information provided on Europe and the European Union on television,
       compared with newspapers and magazines and radio, what would you say?

       Spontaneous reactions
       Probe :
            Interest, quality and credibility of Europe-related information on television compared with
            information provided in newspapers/magazines and on the radio (pluses and minuses of
            Is there anything that one finds in the press or on the radio that could teach lessons to design
            television programmes that make people better informed on the European Union?

                Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004            97
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We are going to try and think together of what could be done on television for us to be better informed and to
know more about the European Union or Europe more generally.

VI.1    Firstly, there may be subjects which you would be interested in, but are now hardly or not at all dealt
        Let us try to make a list of subjects that you could be interested in, in relation with the European

        Ask the participants to quote potentially interesting subjects. Incite them to work from the first
        spontaneously expressed ideas to find new ones, and thus to produce a (as) comprehensive (as
        possible) list of subjects

VI.2    As regards now the way European Union related subjects are dealt with on television, what should be
        changed, improved, or done differently?

        Ask the participants to express their expectations and suggestions, starting from their perceptions of
        shortcomings in the way television deals with these subjects. Ask to clarify with concrete examples.

VI.3    Lets us now play a game. Assume that you are in charge of imagining completely new television
        programmes on the European Union – programmes which do not exist now. You are the designers of
        these programmes, with complete freedom to propose whatever you feel could be interesting. That
        can include very different programme types, you are free to imagine whatever you like.

        Encourage the respondents to define the broad outline of several possible programme types
        Probe for each one: content, format, way of dealing with the subjects, tone and style of presentation,
        personality of the people presenting, or appearing in, the programme, … etc.

VI.4    Certain programmes are probably better suited to certain types of television channels than to others.
        To keep things simple, let us consider 3 major types of channels:

    A. National generalist channels, addressing wide audiences
    B. Regional or local channels, or channels having specific regional or local programmes
    C. More specialized channels, including information channels, cultural channels, international channels,
       or channels focussed on any other particular theme.

Thinking back of the different ideas of programmes which you came up with earlier (in VI.1, VI.2 or VI.3)
please tell me how you would imagine that these programmes could fit with each of these channel types.

        Probe :
           Programmes specifically for, or adapted to fit Type A channels
           Programmes specifically for, or adapted to fit Type B channels (specifying differences, if any,
           between regional or local channels)
           Programmes specifically for, or adapted to fit Type C channels (specifying differences, if any,
           between information channels, cultural channels, international channels, other theme - specific

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004              98
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VII.1   To end up with our discussion, I would like to submit to you various ideas that have been produced
        regarding television programmes or programme contents about the European Union. I will ask you
        what you think of each one.

        For each one, probe :
            Degree and reasons of (greater or lesser) interest
            Any suggestions on programme content or form

   1    A five minutes slot in each day’s TV news bulletins on current EU issues and decisions
   2    A weekly one-hour programme including information and reportages on current EU issues
   3    Programmes on sports in the other European countries including matches and competitions, but also
        reportages on champions and sports teams, as well as sports in local people’s lives
   4    Practical information programmes on the rights of European citizens: for example the right to study,
        work and live in any EU country, the rights of consumers who make purchases from other European
        countries, the Erasmus programmes for students, … etc.
   5    Interviews of our country’s ministers in charge of European affairs at regular periods
   6    Interviews of European commissioners and members of the European Parliament at regular periods
   7    Programmes about arts, culture and literature in the other European countries
   8    Reportages about the life of the people living in different European countries
   9    Entertainment programmes with artists and famous people from several European countries
   10   Regional information programmes showing the impact of EU decisions and programmes on your
        region or your city
   11   Game programmes whose candidates must answer questions about Europe and the other European
   12   Reportages showing solutions implemented by other European cities to try and solve such problems
        as transports, housing, urban security, school hours, access to public services, … etc.
   13   Programmes devoted to the other European countries’ cinema, including films and series in the
        original language, interviews with film directors, reportages, …etc.
   14   Programmes on scientific subjects, health, or the environment, showing experiences and giving
        views from different European countries
   15   Debates on European issues between experts from the European Union and experts from our own

VII.2   On this sheet of paper you will find the 15 ideas of programmes which we have just discussed. For
        each programme, could you please answer two questions, by ticking the appropriate box in this

        First question : on which (one or several) of the three channel types A, B, C which we discussed
        earlier would you prefer to watch such a programme ?

        A       National generalist channels addressing wide audiences
        B       Regional or local channels, or channels having specific regional or local programmes
        C       More specialized channels, including information channels, cultural channels, international
                channels, or channels focussed on any other particular themes

                 Televiewers and television programmes with a European content – November 2004           99
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       Second question : trying to be completely honest, please note if it is a programme that you would
       really watch or not in fact, if it were broadcast.

           Ask the respondents to fill in the questionnaires
           Ask them to make brief comments on their answers


We are carrying out this study at the request of the European Commission. The Commission would like
citizens to be better informed on European issues through television ; for this purpose it is setting up a
support system, including financial support, to television channels planning to develop programmes
including some European content. What do you think about it ?

           Spontaneous reactions
           Probe :
           ▪ Attitudes towards the Commission’s project to incite television channels to develop the
              European content of their programmes (perception of the project as being legitimate,
              credible, realistic ...).

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