Michael Peters, Euronews: “I support Tatarstan in the issue of broadcasting in the local language”

The head of the European news channel tells Realnoe Vremya about the interest of Europeans in Kazan

Euronews CEO Michael Peters has visited Kazan. In the capital of Tatarstan, the head of the main information TV channel of Europe talked with President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov and held a number of important meetings. Why the Tatar region is interesting for the Europeans and how the city-brands compete for the attention of the audience — Peters said in the interview with Realnoe Vremya.

13 years of cooperation between Tatarstan and Euronews

CEO of Euronews Michael Peters has visited Kazan. On 9 October, at the Government House, he held talks with President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov. They discussed the areas of cooperation between the republic and the TV channel, promotion of a positive image of the region to the European audience. In particular, the parties discussed the prospects of cooperation in the framework of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Tatarstan.

Michael Peters is accompanied by Euronews International Sales Director Kjell Stein and head of the Tatarstan press and mass communications agency at Tatmedia Aydar Salimgarayev.

It should be noted that the republic has been cooperating with the news channel for many years — since 2006. Tatarstan and Euronews have made several joint media projects within the framework of the 2013 Universiade and the 2019 WorldSkills. Besides, the European channel filmed several reports about the republic.

European journalists acquaint their viewers with the tourist sites of the region, cultural attractions, investment attractiveness and innovative developments of Tatarstan.

The daily 24-hour TV channel Euronews has broadcasted since 1993. Its founders are dozens of European TV companies. Since 2001, VGTRK has acquired its share of the main news channel. Now all important management decisions of the information resource are made with the participation of the Russian side. Although the company's management assures that shareholders cannot influence the editorial policy of the media.

It is headquartered in Lyon, France. The channel employs more than 300 people, 170 of them are journalists from different countries, broadcasting in dozens of languages. Also, the editorial board uses the services of dozens of freelancers.

“We are interested to know your history, your roots — literally at the level of DNA”

Peters' schedule of events in Kazan is very busy. In Tatarstan, he is holding a number of major meetings and visiting various facilities. However, he found a few minutes specially for Realnoe Vremya and answered our correspondent's questions.

Euronews has been working with Tatarstan for more than 10 years. Michael, how interested are European viewers in the life of the Russian province?

Yes, we have a long story with Tatarstan. We like to have long-term partnerships. And such partnership should be long-term. I think that Tatarstan is the name of the region that makes sense for the European audiences. Especially the name of the capital — Kazan — it is known by everyone, actually. It is interesting for us to know what is your culture, your origin, your roots, your DNA. This is a very interesting challenge in terms of communication to speak to European audiences about the brands that they’ve heard but they do not know exactly that they’re Kazan’s. As I’m saying all the time, now the names of regions, countries or towns become like brands. In a very competitive landscape, there are a lot of brands of towns and cities competing among each other to attract people, this is a challenge.

I think that Tatarstan is the name of the region that makes sense for European audience. Especially the name of the capital — Kazan — it is known by everyone, actually

Have you been to Kazan before?

Yes, I went to the World Cup. I went to see France winning in the stadium. Of course, it is a very good memory for me. Kazan gave luck to France, it is something we will always remember.

Is Euronews building cooperation with other regions, like with Tatarstan?

Yes, of course. We cooperate with Moscow, the region of Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and the Leningrad region. Especially the economic forum. We also cooperate with Kaliningrad. But I have to say that the partnership with Tatarstan is particular in the sense that it is quite deep and it is very long-term. It is something very interesting for us.

Is the European audience interested in broadcasting in the ethnic languages of the peoples living in the regions: Catalan, Scottish, Tatar and others?

There is a huge demand. If the question is whether we should launch using Tatar, then I am ready, I am your man.

By Timur Rakhmatullin