Wednesday, April 14

At Radio France, a “radio owl” project frightens

Will Radio France soon launch a speaker intended for children, from which they will be able to listen, alone like adults, to programs cut out for their ears in a secure environment? This great idea was born in 2018, during the first “Idea accelerator” organized by the company, a kind of workshop“Intrapreneurship” organized around the theme: “Creating the radio of tomorrow for the listeners of tomorrow.” “Three employees of the Round House had then benefited from several days to” prototype “the fruit of their imagination, a “Connected object for programming and listening to Radio France content for 3-9 year olds”.

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Modeled as the nocturnal raptor, the “Radio Owl” was born. While this screen-less digital device is unlikely to keep either this name or appearance, its commercialization is fast approaching.

For now and at least until the summer, Radio France is careful not to say more. But the statutes of the company created to manufacture the object were filed on March 15, raising as many questions internally as reluctance. “The idea of ​​developing programs for children is good, recognizes Valeria Emanuele, SNJ union representative. But if, in order to finance them, you have to get money from outside and create a subsidiary, this is where the problems begin. “

“A dangerous precedent”

Bayard Editions (“I love to read”, “The beautiful stories”, “Pomme d’Api”, etc.) and Radio France are in fact supposed to contribute 350,000 euros to the project, when the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations is there. associates for 1.4 million euros, as revealed The chained Duck. A budget supposed to allow the (French) manufacture of the object itself, but also to refine its technological model, promising the regular refresh of the preloaded content.

“The creation of a subsidiary for commercial purposes (…) constitutes a dangerous precedent for the future financing of Radio France ”, protested the elected representatives of the central social and economic committee (CSE), in a unanimous declaration of March 25. This “Own resources search strategy” could encourage the state in a financial disengagement, they fear.

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On March 26, it was the turn of the two directors representing employees on the board of directors of Radio France to vote against the project. With an additional argument: public radio is not intended to make listeners pay to give them access to productions that they already finance through the contribution to public broadcasting. “It is a profound philosophical break with regard to everything that has happened at Radio France since its creation, indignant Jean-Paul Quennesson, SUD union delegate. Radio France cannot renounce its mission to address everyone free of charge. It would be turning our backs on the most modest. “

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