"Europe has a problem of the media. Euronews wants to fill this void"

The christian Naguib Sawiris, one of the tycoons more wealthy of Africa, argues that its entry in Euronews it was a "good commercial operation". Your company

The christian Naguib Sawiris, one of the tycoons more wealthy of Africa, argues that its entry in Euronews it was a "good commercial operation". Your company Media Globe Networks controlled from three years ago, 53 per cent of a news channel that was founded in 1993 to challenge the hegemony informative than the CNN exhibited during the first Gulf War. Its emergence was the fruit of the union of a dozen television public european, including RTVE, which left the shareholders a decade ago. "My arrival was an opportunity and a good business transaction. The station needed cash and was on sale. I have been the owner of some television stations in Egypt and I know how to make a channel a profitable business," explains Sawiris in an interview to THE WORLD from El Gouna, a villa on the shores of the Red sea, built by his family. At 64 years, Sawiris boasts a fortune, according to Forbes, reached 3,900 million dollars and is divided into telecom -holds a phone operator in North Korea - or the exploitation of gold mines.

at The helm of Euronews, Sawiris has driven a revolution that has aroused fears and doubts in the headquarters of the channel, settled since its opening in the city French of Lyon. "Europe has a problem of the media. If you watch CNN, you're not to a string of news but to a station focused on mr. Donald Trump. BBC is the string of british pro-Brexit. Al Jazeera is the voice of the islamic fundamentalists. The only international chain that can provide news to the europeans without interfering is Euronews. We want to fill that void," argues a billionaire who defends those who criticize the excessive pursuit of commercial channel. "Our rule has always been that we have to separate clearly the sponsored content of the editorial. With all due respect, no journalist would pay if it were not because there is advertising. What I do want to emphasize is that none of our sponsors and advertisers have the slightest right to interfere in our part editorial, that is a black box that cannot be touched. If you don't like what we do, can take their ads and leave. The editorial content is solely depends on the ethics and the awareness of the employees of Euronews".

The coptic boasts of having transformed the "appearance of the channel" and to have attracted new investors. Since February of 2017, after saving the distrust of Brussels and disburse $ 30 million, the american NBCUniversal owns 25 per cent of the operated Euronews, the authorities in european public retain the 22 percent remaining. "The americans would not have taken such a decision if they did not have the certainty that it is a medium of communication feasible with a lot of expectations of growth", slide Sawiris. "We are benefiting from the new partner. Our coverage in the united States is now stronger and we have access to the resources of the NBC," he adds. The investment has accelerated the shift of a channel that until now was a container of news of continuous emission. Under the slogan "All voices, all points of view, all are welcome", the station has been filling your grill with spaces led by a presenter as the alarm clock Good morning Europe, evening Euronews now or the night Euronews this evening and a programme of interview without any filters or editing led by Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the student leader of the greater French of 1968. The protagonist of your last delivery was Carles Puigdemont.

"The improvements and renewal of the schedule have been huge. As a result in the last four months have shown the largest advertising revenue in the history of the canal", has its main champion, determined to face the ghost of the fake news and the rise of populism and the extreme right that runs through Italy, Austria, Hungary, or Poland threatening the fragile unity of a community. In the path of reconversion, however, some languages have been reduced their broadcast hours, and the Ukrainian has disappeared from the screen. "It is true that we have lowered the number of languages but we have opted for differentiation. In these moments we have contents different depending on the language and we have begun to introduce local news according to the channel. In practice, we do not have a single chain but thirteen different, with new possibilities of attracting advertisers".

The last adventure of Euronews, with 600 employees, is launching its first branch office in Albania, thanks to the agreement with the local group IN Half. The new medium -baptized as Euronews Albania and directed the public albanoparlante of Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia and northern Montenegro - started their broadcasts in the next year. The string array will not invest in the project, but will share her experience and nurture of their content by extending its coverage in the Balkans. The experiment could be repeated in the future in other areas of influence in an expansion that Sawiris advocates while defending himself from those who are wary of their strategy. "On Euronews there are no red lines except that no one can insult anyone. You can talk about that Trump is close to Russia, or that their conduct is not to the height of a chair but you can't call an idiot. And that applies to the entire world," she explains.

Also to their homeland, Egypt, and its president, the former army chief Abdelfatah al-Sisi. Very close to the regime, the mogul does not hide: "At Euronews, we may speak of that Egypt does not holds a good record of respect for human rights but you can not insult the president". "While it is true, I will not be I who say that the coverage of the western media on the middle East is negative. Some years ago sponsored the book from a German photographer who filmed the garbage that accumulates on the roofs of the houses, more poor of Egypt. My mother made a copy and came to my office very angry. I was accused of meeting a work that was damaging the image of Egypt. I asked him if the pictures were doctored in Photoshop. They were real. If we alarm the instant the thing we should do is to help clean up those buildings, not to prevent or prohibit the work of the photographer. That is my philosophy. I have never called my channel to ask you not to publish negative stories of Egypt. I'm happy with its critical coverage of the country."

Surrounded by a management team from other chains european and american Sawiris -a verse on the loose, from their clothing to their freedom of expression - live from some years ago away from the media-driven universe egyptian, stifled by government repression and the imprisonment of reporters who launched the coup of 2013. "If you ask me if all the tv channels, public and private, are the property of the egyptian State, my respuesta is that, unfortunately, yes."

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Date Of Update: 14 December 2018, 08:01

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