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RTL group, at the forefront of information

Published on 18 November 2015

RTL Group’s TV channels and radio stations, as well as Enex, RTL Group’s global news provider, have been working around the clock since Friday 13 November 2015, in the wake of the devastating attacks in Paris to keep the world updated by the minute.

Following the terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday 13 November, RTL Radio in France turned over its scheduled programming to provide its listeners with up to the minute updates and take on its duties as a public broadcaster. From the outset of the events on Friday night, the news offices and journalists of France’s number one radio station mobilised themselves en-masse. As events unfolded, Marc-Olivier Fogiel presented a special edition programme at 23:00. On rtl.fr and on social networks, the digital office provided live, round-the-clock coverage and delivered a minute-by-minute account of events following the first attack.

The station at Rue Bayard continued its efforts throughout the weekend. As of the day following the tragic events, journalists, lead correspondents and political analysts were lined up to provide commentary, analysis and eyewitness accounts on the air, in particular during a special Grand Jury programme on the attacks, presented by Elizabeth Martichoux, Chief Political Editor at RTL Radio.

On Monday 16 November, RTL Radio dedicated a further full day to special programming. Prime Minister Manuel Valls chose the morning slot to address France and answer the questions posed to him by Yves Calvi and Olivier Mazerolle. The day’s usual programmes have been modified into special editions, in particular to take calls from listeners and allow them to take part in the dialogue and provide their account of events.

M6 has replaced its usual Saturday morning programming with a special edition editorial at 08:45, presented by Nathalie Renoux. On Sunday, the channel broadcast two special edition programmes in the evening: in a 90-minute documentary the news analysis programme 66 minutes, presented by Xavier de Moulins, showed exclusive images and witness accounts provided by emergency services in the hours following the attacks. In the late evening, Benjamin de la Villardière presented a special live Enquête Exclusive, dedicated to profiling the attackers.

On the day following the attacks, RTL TVI and Bel RTL (radio) also dedicated a part of their broadcast schedule to the events in Paris, with a particular focus on news updates. On Wednesday 18 November, the TV-channel will broadcast a special edition of Coûte que Coûte about ISIS’s financing.

The response to the Paris attacks has been the busiest breaking news event in the 21-year history of Enex, RTL’s international news video content and satellite provider. In the three days following the attacks, Enex has facilitated more than 180 live reporter stand-up transmissions and scores of live signals from relevant locations. A special satellite news team was deployed to the Bataclan venue to provide services to more than 20 of Enex’s 53 global partners. Reporters from as far afield as Argentina, Chile and Mexico have been sent to cover the events.

Enex’s Luxembourg headquarter has been working nearly 24 hours a day to respond to the crisis its coordinators in Sydney, Australia and Bogota, Colombia have been brought into the coverage. Adrian Wells, Managing Director of Enex, said, “Once again France has been at the centre of tragic events and once again the professionalism of our news colleagues at M6 and our other French partner, BFMTV, has been extraordinary”.

In two special edition programmes by RTL Aktuell on Saturday, RTL Television reported on the attacks in Paris. Viewers received extensive information on the current developments in the French capital at 12:00 and 18:45. The channel’s news and magazine programmes are also continuing to report primarily on the attacks.

On Friday evening at 22:51, N-TV had already gone on air to present a four-hour special edition programme with immediate reports on the events. N-TV kept TV viewers and online and mobile users up to date with the latest information all weekend long. Journalists reported directly from Paris, the German-French border, Berlin, Frankfurt airport and the G20 summit in Antalya. In addition, lead foreign correspondent Antonia Rados, an expert on the subject, made a guest appearance in the studio. Along with all-day special edition programmes on the subject, Heiner Bremer hosted politician Karl-Georg Wellmann and terrorism expert Michael Lüders in Terror in Paris – Kommt der Krieg jetzt nach Europa? (Terror in Paris – is war coming to Europe?), which aired on 16 November 2015 at 17:10.

The attacks were also the main topic of discussion on the radio. A half-hour news special aired on Saturday on 104.6 Berlins Hit-Radio, and lead news presenter Christian Haffmann has been reporting live from Paris since Monday morning. 105.5 Spreeradio interrupted its programming on Saturday to broadcast a special episode of Jochen Trus am Morgen from 6.00 to 10.00. Reports on the French embassy in Berlin were among the topics included in the broadcast. Christian Haffmann also reported for 105.5 Spreeradio from Paris. In addition, columnist and former mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, will appear as part of a further in-depth report on Wednesday (18 November 2015). Radio Brocken has also modified its programming, including the broadcast of an interview with the minister-president and interior minister of Saxony-Anhalt. 89.0 RTL and Antenne Niedersachsen were, and continue to be, on air with special edition programmes as well. As the media partner for the German Football Association’s friendly match against the Netherlands in Hanover on 17 November, Antenne Niedersachsen has focused its reporting on the attacks in Paris.

Once the news was known, RTL Z went live fast with breaking news, with presenter Roland Koopman in the studio and correspondent Stefan de Vries in Paris. Reporting on TV and online, RTL News was live on RTL Z and later on RTL 4 until around 01:30. The next day, on 14 November starting at 08:00, live broadcasts from reporter Geert Gordijn, together with correspondent Stefan de Vries in Paris, were held again on both RTL 4 and RTL Z, as well as a Liveblog online.

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