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The Europeans don’t want more information about EU. They want a better one! (Updated)

Submitted by on March 10, 2011 – 14:093 Comments

Accord­ing to the last Euro­pean sur­vey Euro­barom­e­ter, TV is the first source of infor­ma­tion on Euro­pean Union for 61% of the Euro­peans. And TV is also the most used media to “search for” infor­ma­tion on Euro­pean Union.

This result is sur­pris­ing since we know that in the same sur­vey, TV is pointed out as the media Euro­peans show the biggest dis­trust. And while radio is the media in which Euro­peans have most con­fi­dence (57%), it is also the less used…

Fur­ther­more, no one can argue that TV is also the least inter­ac­tive media and not the most prac­ti­cal tool to search for information.

Infor­ma­tion on Euro­pean Union is usu­ally con­sid­ered in audio­vi­sual media as inter­na­tional infor­ma­tion. Now, national sur­veys show that inter­na­tional infor­ma­tion and polit­i­cal top­ics are in free fall. For exam­ple, last sta­tis­tics of the French Audio­vi­sual national Insti­tute (INA) state that polit­i­cal infor­ma­tion now rep­re­sents only 5% of infor­ma­tion broad­casted in the TV news. On TF1, one of the most pop­u­lar French channels, international infor­ma­tion plum­meted by 32%. Is there a dif­fer­ence between pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors? In Bel­gium, a Flem­ish Uni­ver­si­ties’ sur­vey analysed 100.000 sequences, in 5223 news pro­grammes of the VRT (pub­lic chan­nel) and the VTM (pri­vate chan­nel) : in the last ten years, international infor­ma­tion on the VRT fell by 10%, keep­ing a mar­gin of 5 % with the VTM.

Inci­den­tally, accord­ing to the Euro­barom­e­ter, 50% of the Euro­peans think TV pro­grammes fea­ture enough Euro­pean Union. It’s also the case in print,on the radio and on the Internet.

So they think there are enough infor­ma­tion about Euro­pean Union but in the same time, 73% of them say the Cit­i­zens of their coun­try are badly informed about Europe. And 66% con­fess they are per­son­ally badly informed.

The spe­cific Euro­pean Parliament’s sur­vey, Par­leme­ter, con­firms those results: Euro­pean cit­i­zens don’t feel the impact of the leg­isla­tive activ­ity of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment in their life. Only 28% says they are well informed on Euro­pean Par­lia­ment activ­i­ties. For 51% of the cit­i­zens, the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment is unrecognized.

Maybe this appar­ent con­tra­dic­tion between “enough infor­ma­tion” and “not enough informed peo­ple” is actu­ally more a pre­ci­sion, lead­ing us to dis­tin­guish quan­tity and qual­ity of infor­ma­tion. Euro­peans point out there is a suf­fi­cient quan­tity of infor­ma­tion on Euro­pean Union, but that this one isn’t able to make them under­stand Euro­pean func­tion­ing, pol­i­tics and challenges.

More on this sub­ject : 3 ideas about EU’s media and com­mu­ni­ca­tion strat­egy, by Ana­maria Dutceac Segesten

Related posts:

  1. The future of Euro­pean infor­ma­tion and pub­lic broad­cast­ers hand in hand
  2. The EJC and the Com­mis­sion signed a four-year con­tract on Infor­ma­tion for journalists
  3. Hiérar­chie de l’information: le Par­lement européen va élire son nou­veau prési­dent mais per­sonne ne le sait
  4. How to recon­nect jour­nal­ists to Strasbourg?
  5. Viviane Red­ing: the con­fis­ca­tion of infor­ma­tion as strat­egy of communication?


  • Ron says:

    The prob­lem is that those who usu­ally inform cit­i­zens, jour­nal­ists or civil soci­ety, need also more infor­ma­tion, in par­tic­u­lar rel­e­vant (!), up-to-date and timely infor­ma­tion. So I think in prac­tice the divi­sion between more and bet­ter can­not be done so clear cut.

  • this is some­thing i have never ever read.very detailed analysis.

  • Haroon Saad says:

    The lack of con­nec­tion between EU insti­tu­tions is huge. The last fig­ures I saw showed that less than 5% of peo­ple could even name their MEP , let alone say any­thing about how the EP works.The bizarre thing really is that the EU has a huge impact on peo­ples lives. Nearly 85% of all national legislation(relating of course to EU com­pe­tences) is now com­ing from Europe. The demo­c­ra­tic defict is huge. As far as the Euro­pean Coun­cil is con­cerned it oper­ates no dif­fer­ent from a medieval, there is no account­ablity, there is no record just announce­ments. In the period 2004 – 2209 the EP made nearly 83% of its deci­sions in cam­era with the Coun­cil.
    As it cur­rently oper­ates , the EU is becom­ing pro­gres­sively less con­nected to cit­i­zens. Vot­ing in EP elec­tions have sys­tem­at­i­cally declined at each elec­tion. In 2009 just over 43% was the turnout. This masks and even deeper malaise. Where the break­down is avail­able then the turnout amongst those under 30 was less than 20%. The EU project is in real dan­ger of hav­ing stronger legal basis along­side grow­ing indif­fer­ence and indeed grow­ing hos­til­ity on the ground.
    We need our own jas­mine revolution.

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