Sunday 10 January 2010

"Le Bloguer" / "Der Blogger" on ARTE: Review of the first broadcast

I have to admit that when I blogged with positive anticipation that ARTE would introduce a new format called "Le Bloguer" / "Der Blogger" (The Blogger), I expected something totally different.

I had thought that this would be a format in which they would take up topics from the different European blogospheres or real web discussions and connect them in a modern TV-style. Something like L'Europe en Blogs with a broader range of topics and on TV.

But all they have done in their first broadcast (available for those living in Germany and France via ARTE+7 until Saturday) is to produce a standard TV programme, using 2-3 online videos and setting up a blog in German and in French, the French version having much more content so far.

This is no speciality of this particular programme, many other TV formats have their own blogs or use web videos - but they don't call themselves "The Blogger".

This wouldn't be a big problem - if the story-telling of the programme wasn't so slow, with very few cuts and long interviews that don't advance their story at all.

How can you make a programme called "The Blogger" that wants to be part of web discussions and then report at snail speed, without any provocation, neither visual nor in content?

If they want to create a debate around a topic like violence in schools (covered the whole 26 minutes), why spending 3/4 of the time on outdated corporal punishment or the question of how to get "discipline", while never really looking at the violence itself, its causes and the real effects this has in schools?

And where is the web in all this, despite the web videos used?

I have difficulties to understand what kind of audience they are looking for - but if they will have a second broadcast like this, they will have lost me, a person who really likes to watch ARTE and a blogger involved in web discussions. Especially if the moderator Anthony Bellanger continues to talk into the camera like a school teacher.

So the first "Blogger" was a clear #fail and the marks on ARTE+7 are quite bad so far - will they be able to change or continue their old-style, non-web story-telling for an unclear audience?