Tuesday, March 22, 2005

France's Workweek

Both ran nearly identical AP articles about France changing their workweek laws. Although both attribute the articles to the AP, they use different opening sentences and Fox has a few extra sentences at the end. Fox’s article is a little tougher on France. Here are the opening sentences:

CNN: French lawmakers voted Tuesday to reform the country's 35-hour workweek by allowing employers to increase working hours.

FOX: French lawmakers effectively abolished the country's 35-hour workweek Tuesday by allowing employers to increase working hours — and pay — as the country struggles with high unemployment and stagnating living standards.

CNN talks of France “reforming” their laws. Fox uses more dramatic language in using the term “effectively abolished” and points out the reasons for the change being “high unemployment and stagnating living standards.” Did Fox add that in as a dig on France or did CNN choose to leave that out? Fox also adds this uncomplimentary information near the end (or did CNN leave it out):

Last year, a parliamentary committee reported that the 35-hour week cost France more than $13 billion a year, casting doubt on a labor ministry study that suggested it had created 350,000 jobs between 1998 and 2002.

Some also argued that the shorter week hurt living standards because employers froze salaries to make up for lost labor.

Links to today’s articles:

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