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Media in France week 3

Media in France: week 3. De Gaulle and television, I: worksheet


1. Background Reading

It is very important for the work in weeks 3, 4 and 5 that you have a good grasp of de Gaulle's overall political action over the period 1958-1969 (for indications on background reading, see top of de Gaulle bibliography).


2. Raymond Kuhn, ‘Television under de Gaulle’, in Kuhn, The Media in France (1995), pp. 109-37.


Introduction (pp. 109-13)

(i) Isolate 5 key indicators of the quantitative expansion in television under de Gaulle.

(ii) List the broad qualitative effects exerted by television over this period.

‘Television and the contested Gaullist Regime’ (pp. 113-18)

(iii) In what senses was the Gaullist regime ‘contested’?

(iv) How did such factors influence de Gaulle’s approach to television?

‘The establishment of Gaullist control of television’ and ‘The ORTF’ (pp, 119-28)

(v) What means did the Gaullist regime use to establish and maintain its control over television?

(vi) To what extent did any of these means come to seem counterproductive?

‘The Introduction of Advertising on State Television’; ‘Television and State Cultural Policy’; ‘Television and State Industrial Policy’ (pp. 128-34)

[You should read these sections for background knowledge, though we will not be focusing on these sections in seminar discussion]

‘Television and the 1968 ‘events’ (pp. 134-7)

(vii) Summarize the impact of the events of May 1968 on French television: a) as a news medium; b) as a State institution.


3. Student presentation

[For designated pair of students] Presentation of J. Bourdon, ‘La première star politique de la télévision française’, in Bourdon, Haute Fidélité. Pouvoir et télévision 1935-1994 (1994), pp. 53-61.

Prepare an exposé of 6-7 minutes: a) explaining possible reasons for de Gaulle’s skill in using television; and b) summarizing de Gaulle’s attitude towards television. Your handout should provide some suitable quotations from de Gaulle and his contemporaries, as cited by Bourdon.