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E-Mailbag: Goings On Across The Pond

We received an email today from Ben T. offering up a few questions for our upcoming 10 Plus 1 interview with "60 Minutes" Producer Rome Hartman. We liked the questions quite a bit, but figured there were better people to address the particular issues raised by Ben. Here they are:
1. How much of a European viewership does CBS have?

2. How well do European news organizations cover American issues?

3. Do you have to struggle to get European news on the evening broadcast here in the states?


Answers -- from the CBS News London bureau chief and CBS News foreign editor -- after the jump.

Glad you jumped. Here, as promised, are your answers:

1. The CBS Evening News airs on Europe's Sky News at 12:30 AM daily. Sky is a subscription-based satellite TV service, and its 24-hour news channel is kind of like the CNN of Europe. (Or rather, the Fox News of Europe, since it's owned by Rupert Murdoch.) It's tough to estimate the overall European viewership of CBS, but it's safe to say few Europeans count CBS as their primary news source. Many do, however, know that CBS is one of the big American broadcasters. As a side note, while accurate numbers are hard to determine, it appears that last month, 3% of the traffic to CBSNews.com came from Europe. That's just to give you a vague idea of CBS' internet reach there.

2. We spoke to CBS News London Bureau Chief John Paxson on the issue of how well European news organizations cover American issues. Paxson says he believes Europeans cover American issues fairly well – and extensively. "There's a great interest in everything American, across the board. The coverage is huge," he says. In Britain, he adds, "there's always been a heavy interest in America, because there's a feeling that what America does in terms of foreign policy has a direct impact on the British."

Paxson also pointed to what he sees as a crucial difference between European and American media's coverage of President Bush. "Europe right now does not like George Bush very much, and the European media are quick to criticize the Bush administration – probably quicker than American media," he says.

3. As for whether it's a struggle to get European news on the Evening News, CBS News foreign editor Chris Hulme says it depends on the issue. "There's an abiding interest, obviously, in terror attacks in Europe, like the ones in London and Spain. It's a little more difficult to get European political news, such as the recent election in Germany, on the air." He adds that he doesn't think "there's a vast appetite for European political news here."

Do you agree? Let us know in comments. And keep the good questions coming.