CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Why are there two doctrines for the French foreign audiovisual policy, unlike in other countries? The first, francophone and cultural, was embodied by TV5 when it was launched in 1984. It was mostly carried out by diplomats and senior civil servants. The second, national, was focused on communication and information. It was defended by communication specialists, and shaped around the TV channels Canal France International and then France 24, on the model of CNN or the BBC. For thirty years, the persistence of these two antagonistic doctrines has been characterized by sudden doctrinal reversals. This instability of the French “foreign audiovisual policy” can be explained by the politicization of the appointments, a feature of the French politico-bureaucratic field that worsened in the 1980s. The article thus analyzes four successive sequences that have been highly politicized by the nominations and marked by reversals or changes in the rules of the game. Whenever the possibility of a new appointment became apparent, the candidates put the policy back on the political and media agendas, published numerous reports and counter-reports, revealed and used scandals, and matched their positions with partisan cleavages through alliances with a few political leaders.


  • television
  • audiovisual
  • appointments
  • politicization
  • TV5
  • France 24
  • public policy
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