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Zen TV

12/06/2008 - par Mark Tungate

Look at that iPod in your hand. It's as smooth as a pebble. It's also white. In a world that is cacophonous, confusing and potentially dangerous, it makes sense that the iconic product of our times should be soothing and unobtrusive. This yearning for simplicity is what makes the current Hokusai exhibition at the Musée Guimet (www.guimet.fr) so relevant. It's all about quiet perfection. The Japanese print master's waves and birds and flowers are intensely detailed yet entirely calming. In short, they are pure.

And now we get to the media bit. As you probably know, the 15-year-old TV channel Euronews relaunched last week with a new on-air look and logo. The logo is interesting : after working with our pals at FFL for 18 months, the end result was a white circle. This is ripe for satire, but I'm not going to go there, because it works. The circle is accompanied by a one-word slogan : « Pure ». Surprise, surprise : Euronews is repositioning itself as the news channel of the iPod generation. The aural aspect of the branding fits in with this idea : the new musical signatures of Euronews are electronic and ambient. A remix could find its way onto your iPod very soon.

Of course, Euronews has always been minimalist. Its flagship programme, No Comment, shows images with no voiceover, ripped from the news and pasted undiluted on the screen. The result is spookily addictive. Now Eurosport has pushed this idea to its logical extreme, and morphed into Zen TV.

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