Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Media in France Week 18


For weeks 17, 18 and 19, we will be considering France's outward-facing international media, with particular emphasis on the creation of its new global news TV channel France 24.

Reading for week 18


Joseph Nye, 'The Changing Nature of Power', in Nye, Soft Power. The Means to Success in World Politics (2004), chapter 1 (chapter available as an electronic download through the library HERE)

Guiding questions for Nye:

1. Summarize the key features of 'soft power' as defined by Nye. How does it relate to more conventional understandings of power? How useful is it as an additional concept?

2. Why, in Nye's view, is soft power becoming increasingly important in the contemporary world?

3. Why do you think that 'soft power' emerged as a new and important category in American political thought?

4. Can you imagine in what ways French strategists might see issues of soft power in a different perspective?

Jean K. Chalaby, 'The Sun always shines on Global News TV Networks', in Chalaby, Transnational Television in Europe: Reconfiguring Global Communications Networks (2009), chapter 9, pp. 173-92 (chapter available as an electronic download through the library HERE).


Lecture/Seminar Content


We will begin by discussing the questions on the Nye text above, as a way of exploring changes in the dynamics of international relations and the importance of cultural and media resources in those dynamics.

I will then give a lecture on the history of France's endeavours to use both 'old' and 'new' media to project itself on a world stage. Once a pioneer in such techniques, France has struggled recently to develop an effective programme for the contemporary world. This will help us understand the field into which France 24 was launched (comparatively late), and the challenges that it has faced.

Lecture slides can be made available here: pdf (PDF Document) or ppt (Powerpoint Presentation).

In the last part of the session, pairs of students will present a range of global news channels and we will consider their key features.


Web resources:

A selection of global news channels

If you are presenting as part of a pair one of these channels, please use this template as either pdf (PDF Document) or word (Word Document) . The Chalaby text will be a good place to start your research. Do not worry if you cannot find answers to all questions. When considering audience figures, try to distinguish between figures that give potential audiences (households who could access channels if they wanted to) and actual audience figures.

CNN: main website and CNNi site (global news TV)

BBC World: World Service Radio and BBC World News (access to some of the programmes may be limited from the UK)

Aljazeera English

Deutsche Welle (go to 'Media Center' tab for access to radio and TV programming)

CC TV (China)

NHK World (Japan)

Russia Today

Seminar recordings: