PARIS (AFP) -Agence France-Presse, the leading international news agency, is broadening its focus with the launch on Tuesday of AFPTV International.
AFPTV, which will offer video reports every day of the year, plans to produce 150 reports a month, initially in English and French. Reports in Arabic, Spanish and other languages will progressively follow.
Company chairman Pierre Louette said that “on the basis of a service set up in 2001 called AFP Video, we are moving on to AFPTV, a new international service made up of around 40 video journalists and of several production units worldwide.”
“We need to develop video production to enable the growth of our multimedia products,” Louette added. “While video is at the heart of the agency’s multimedia plans, multimedia development is central to the agency’s development prospects.”
Started in 1996 under a partnership accord with US financial news agency Bloomberg, AFP’s television production accelerated in 2005 and has become one of the company’s top priorities.
“We opted for a novel approach unlike that practised by the competition a decade ago,” said Denis Hiault, AFP’s Global News Director. “We process news with our own specific vision, our multicultural approach, in order to best analyse it.
“Rather than offering just the umpteenth version of a Baghdad booby-trapped car attack or the latest riot, our film comes with keys to understanding the news, with analysis that gives meaning to the information,” he said.
AFPTV footage was comparable to what is described as a news analysis in the printed press, he added.
Today’s new AFPTV service grew after the setup in 2005 of two test production centres, one in Baghdad, the other in Warsaw covering Eastern Europe.
“The choice of the location of our production units was based on our decision to provide something extra in comparison with the competition, as well as offering coverage of geographical areas they had shunned,” Hiault said.
The result is that AFP has set up permanent video positions in Istanbul, Bangkok, New-Delhi, Cairo, Nairobi and Rio de Janeiro.
“This is AFP’s most ambitious project since the launch of our international photo service two decades ago,” Hiault said.
“It’s a new opportunity to demonstrate our editorial know-how and bolster our place in the field as a primary source of information. Our video footage is based on the same criteria of excellence as our text dispatches.”