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Media in France week 13


(Media Policy and Regulation)


In the first half of our session we will discuss aspects of contemporary press policy (including aspects of the 2009 Etats généraux de la presse écrite). In the second half of the session we will move on to general aspects of contemporary audiovisual policy. I will also give an outline of the role of the CSA (you should visit its website beforehand - see right hand side of the page). We will conclude by considering some of the circumstances around Sarkozy's reform of public television (see links on right).


Core reading: Raymond Kuhn, The Media in Contemporary France (2011), chapter 4.

Take notes on the following questions:

Pp. 81-85 'The importance of politics in media policy-making' 

  1. Who have been the dominant shapers of media policy in France, and how has this dominance asserted itself?
  2. What other pressures have worked on the shaping of media policy?


Pp. 85-93 'Media policy during the Sarkozy presidency'

(Take notes separately for text-based media (pp. 85-9) and television (pp. 89-93))

  1. List the key measures taken by Sarkozy in relation both to the press (electronic and printed) and to television
  2. What reasons were put forward for these measures (either by Sarkozy or others).
  3. How did Sarkozy's measures in these domains relate to previous modes of political involvement in the French media?


Pp. 93-6 

  1. What are the key challenges for French public service broadcasting in the current media landscape?


Pp. 96-100 

  1. What are the principles and mechanisms for regulating broadcasting media content in France, firstly as far as politics is concerned, and secondly as regards general cultural content?



For presentations:


2 pairs of students will give each a presentation of an extract from Les Etats généraux de la presse écrite: Livre vert (2009) (a general commission tasked with defining future policy for the printed press). The report can be downloaded HERE. The extracts and quiding questions for the presentations are detailed below:


Introduction: pour gagner la bataille de l'écrit (pp. 3-6)

1. What are the reasons for the 'crisis' in the information media, and why does it require 'urgent' action?

2. Why should the decline of this particular sector of the economy be of concern to the State? What should it do?

3. What should the journalistic enterprises themselves do?


Pole 3: Le choc d'Internet: quels modèles pour la presse écrite? (Just read for moment pp. 36 to 43 - stop just before 'Dispositifs fiscaux' heading)


1. What challenges does the new mediascape pose to traditional journalistic enterprises?

2. How and why should the State intervene to promote digitalized information media?

For my discussion of television regulation (notably roleof CSA), click below (you'll need the photocopied sheet to follow discussion):



CSA Website

(note in particular television section)



Sarkozy and the reform of France Télévisions - 3 extracts from TV archives: