How Has French Political Journalism Changed? (1980–2017)

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Erik Neveu



How has political journalism in France changed in the last quarter century? Any answer must highlight the crisis of confidence in the ability of political action to change the world that has developed in France and question the interdependency between the worlds of academics, politics, and the media. Political journalism has undergone a loss of status. Talk shows have become the prime forum on television for invited politicians.The clout of political reporting has declined even in the print media. At the same time, ironically, political journalism is displaying its vitality within a wider media landscape.It is to be found in new formats (blogs, books) consumed by a socially privileged audience. New codes for narrating politics are emerging: emphasis on personalities, humor or more informal speech, and use of social media. These new spaces are reorganizing an ecosystem of voices that places greater importance on experts, bloggers, and thinktanks. These changes also lead back to an old dilemma: Should political journalists be analysts of a microcosm, speaking to a minority? Or should they seek ways of making sense of politics for the majority?

DOI: 10.25285/2078-1938-2017-9-2-133-152

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