Microsoft word - in france.fall2011.doc

UC Center Program Courses - Fall 2011
PCC 117. Media in France and the European Union
Prof. Joav Toker

Office Hours

By appointment


The course will explore and critically analyse major institutions, actors and trends in
contemporary French Media and attempt to situate them in the larger contexts of “unifying”
Europe and “globalized” world-media-scene.
We will examine the operational schemes, performances and internal decisional and power
structures of different branches of French media: written national & regional press,
specialized magazines, the publishing industry, advertising, radio, television, the internet. We
will engage in a specific analysis of ‘New Media’ and ‘Social Networks’ involvement,
influence and interaction with ‘traditional’ media spheres.
In the domain of social and political presence we will study and question practices of
newsgathering, deontological principles and constraints, media performance under pressure of
time, context, profit-making-structures, politics, violence, ethics and ideologies. We will
examine forms and styles of “information”, editorial policies and the variety of notions of
“Democratic pluralism” across the French and European Media landscapes; We will try to
define and decode distinctions between “news”, “commentary” and “analysis” as they are
being treated on the French and European media scenes.
In the domain of entertainment and “services” offered by the Media we will examine different
variations of publishing, broadcasting and ‘accompanying’ practices over the last 20-30 years.
We may attempt a parallel analysis of possible interaction between these two domains
(News/Entertainment), following political and ideological lines and some study of the
dynamics of change along the ambitions, the strategies and the priorities of the media
industries alongside “public demand”.
The course will alter traditional lectures with critical discussions and the analysis of written,
illustrated, audio, visual and virtual ‘excerpts’.
Every session will include a compact set of short oral-presentation of students (about 4-5
minute long), addressing specific aspects of the assigned reading material, previous (or future)
class discussions and the “field visits”.

Two “Media visits” are planned during the semester:

- The first one at the headquarters and studios of a major Radio or Television ‘institutional’ station (RFI, France 2, France 3, Canal Plus, etc.); - The second at the ‘operational centre’ of a Web site, including a discussion with the editorial board and contributors of the site (which will probably be chosen for its focus on ‘cultural’, ‘social’ or ‘ethnic’ perspectives (“la banlieue”, or immigration-minded, or “young-generation-oriented” Web site). - The visits will be pre-introduced in class the week before and debriefed in detail
Articles and book chapters reproduced in the Course Reader.


Keeping up steadily with current French and European news is strictly required. (International
Herald Tribune, RFI - Radio France Internationale, France-24 in English, other English &
French media outlets).
Reading assignments in course reader.
At least one short oral (4-5 minute) ‘class-report’ with a written component.
Two short thematic “reaction-papers” (1-3 pages).
Midterm and Final Examinations.
Informed and challenging opinions are highly encouraged during class ‘reports’,
presentations and discussions.

Please bear in mind that the order and the content of sessions may be modified on short
notice due to breaking French or European major news developments.

Class participation and active involvement in discussion: 20% Class-‘reports’ (written and oral components): 15% 2 Short ‘reaction papers’ (1-3 pages): 15% COURSE SCHEDULE:
Week 1
September 15th, 2011: Introduction: What shall we be looking for? How shall we
proceed? some terminology, short-term / long-term definitions we will be dealing with
regarding media, political, social and cultural ‘spheres’. Traditional Media vs. the Virtual, the
NET, Social Networks and their challenges.
Week 2
September 22nd, 2011: “Horizontal view” of French Media scene: Who’s who in in the written
Press, Radio, Television, the NET, Publishing & Advertisement Industries; ‘specialized’
press, “free-time”, leisure and “Magazine” press; Media institutions of reference; Notions in
historical and ‘trend’ evolutions.

Readings for Week 2:

Grimm, Dieter. (2009) Freedom of speech in a globalized world. Hare, Ivan and Weinstein, James (ed.) Extreme Speech and Democracy, Oxford University Press, p. 11-22. Chalaby, Jean K. (2002). Reason of State and Public Communications: De Gaulle in Context The De Gaulle Presidency and the Media, ch. 9 p. 189-208.
Week 3
September 29th, 2011: Media ‘machinery’ and performance: How do they operate, compete,
comply, survive, disappear or flourish?; Instincts, ambitions, limitations and constraints of
media coverage and production; senses of editorial, production and financial innovation
facing the “New Media”.

Readings for Week 3:

Klimkiewicz, Beata. (2009). Is the Clash of Rationalities Leading Nowhere? Media Pluralism in European Regulatory Policies. Czepek, Andrea Hellwig, Melanie & Nowak, Eva (ed.) Press Freedom and Pluralism in Europe: Concepts & Conditions. p. 45-74. Hallin, Dan and Mancini Paolo. (2004). Comparing Media Systems: Three models of media and politics. Cambridge University Press. p.21-45
Week 4
October 6th, 2011: Media as public actors: facts, emotions, analysis, power and counter-
power. Approaches and nuances related to notions of “media influence” in politics, society
and “culture”; Dynamics and impacts of the ‘New Media’; Notions of the ‘local’, the
‘national’, the ‘European’ and the ‘Global’;

Readings for Week 4:

Baudrillard, Jean. The Global and the Universal. Screened Out: 156-159
Nye, Joseph S. Jr. (2008). Public Diplomacy and Soft Power, The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 616: 94-109, In Daya Kishan Thussu (ed.) (2009). International Communication: A Reader, Routledge, London & New York. p. 333- 344.
Week 5
October 13th, 2011: Commercial realities and constraints; Media business models, free
newspapers, political affiliations and sympathies, regulation and innovation; Advertisement,
free downloads and copyrights; Who’s really in charge: The Parliament, the Bureaucracy or
the Market…? Media as players in the European unification process;
Preparation of the 1st Media visit.
Readings for Week 5:
Vedel, Thierry. (2009). Pluralism in the French Broadcasting System: Between the Legacy of History and the Challenges of New Technologies. Czepek, Andrea Hellwig, Melanie & Nowak, Eva (ed.) Press Freedom and Pluralism in Europe: Concepts & Conditions. p. 261- de Smaele, Hedwig. (2009). The Enlarged Audio-visual Europe. Media in the Enlarged Europe. Intellect: 13-21.
Week 6
October 20th, 2011: 1st ‘Media visit’: At the headquarters and studios of a major Radio or
Television ‘institutional’ station (RFI, France 2, France 3, France 24, Canal Plus, etc).
Readings for Week 6:

Kuhn, Raymond. (2007). The Public and the Private in Contemporary French Politics.
French Cultural Studies, June vol. 18 (185 – 199). Behmer, Markus. (2009). Measuring Media Freedom : Approaches of International Comparison. Czepek, Andrea Hellwig, Melanie & Nowak, Eva (ed.) Press Freedom and Pluralism in Europe: Concepts & Conditions. p. 23-36. October 27th, 2011: Midterm Examination (in-class essay)
[1st short ‘reaction-paper’ is due]

Week 8
November 10th, 2011: The Media and French ‘universal’ claim: The ‘Francophonie’;
Revised notions of “Soft Power” in Media, in Diplomacy and the “peaceful deployment of
Democracy”; “across the borders” multi-directional impacts. Some EU comparisons:
Northern ‘Rhine .Model’, British traditions and “solidity”, Mediterranean Europe, the
Central-Eastern newcomers to the EU;

Readings for Week 8:

Mason, Moya K. (1999). La Francophonie: The History, Structures, Organization and Philosophical Underpinnings; report to the "Organisation International de la Francophonie" (excerpts) Raycheva, Lilia. (2009). Mass Media Developments in Bulgaria. Czepek, Andrea Hellwig, Melanie & Nowak, Eva (ed.) Press Freedom and Pluralism in Europe: Concepts & Conditions. Harmsen, Robert. (2010). French Eurosepticism and the Construction of National Exceptionism. Chafer, Tony and Godin, Emmanuel ed. The End of French Exception? Decline and Revival of the ‘French Model’. ch. 6. p. 105-122.
Week 9

November 17th, 2011: Entertainment à la française, à l’européenne, reality shows and
voyeurism. The problematic fascination with Media “violence»; Concepts of ‘Elites’ and
‘Peuple’ in French history, politics & mass-media; Different notions of “responsibility” in
political and Media behaviour; Interactivity and confrontation between the traditional and
the ‘New’. Preparation of the 2nd Media visit.

Readings for Week 9:

Dauncey, Hugh. (2010). ‘L’exception culturelle’. Chafer, Tony and Godin, Emmanuel (ed.) The End of French Exception? Decline and Revival of the ‘French Model’. ch. 4. p. 72-84 Baudrillard, Jean (2002). The Racing Driver and His Double. TV Fantasies, Screened Out: 166-170. Dauncey, Hugh. French `Reality Television': More than a Matter of Taste? European Journal of Communication 1996; 83-102.

Week 10

November 24th, 2011: 2nd ‘Media visit: At the operational headquarters of a Web site,
discussion with the editorial board and contributors of the site.
Readings for Week 10:
Oates, Sarah. (2008). The Internet and Democracy. Introduction to Media and Politics, Drake, Helen. (2010). France, Europe and the Limits of Exceptionalism. Chafer, Tony and Godin, Emmanuel ed. The End of French Exception? Decline and Revival of the ‘French
Week 11
December 1st, 2011: Debriefing of the 2nd Media visit; “La République est UNE”: Liberté,
Egalité, Fraternité and Laïcité ; Media contributions and controversies in the domains of
« National Identity », immigration, ethnic diversity and “communautarisme”; Cultural
‘shocks’, nationalism, patriotism, xenophobia;
Readings for Week 11:

Vince, Natalya. (2010). France, Islam and Laïcité : Colonial Exceptions, Contemporary
Reinventions and European Covergence. Chafer, Tony and Godin, Emmanuel ed. The End of
French Exception? Decline and Revival of the ‘French Model’. ch. 8. p. 153-170. Ibrahim, Yasmin (2009). The Mediated ‘Ummah’ in Europe: The Islamic Influence in the Cultural Age. Charles, Alex, ed. Media in the Enlarged Europe: Politics, Policy and
Week 12
December 8th, 2011: [2nd short ‘reaction-paper’ is due] And what’s next?: Where are we
heading towards, in France, within the ‘Francophonie’, in the European Union? Balances and
adversities between ‘New’ and ‘’Traditional’ Media, contextual relativities, rapidly changing
Readings for Week 12:

Baudrillard, Jean (2002). TV Fantasies. Screened Out: 186-190.
Kuhn, Raymond. (2010). From Private Lives to Intimate Revelations : Politicians and the Media in Contemporary France. Chafer, Tony and Godin, Emmanuel ed. The End of French Exception? Decline and Revival of the ‘French Model’. ch. 9. p. 171-184. Jacques Derida and Bernard Stiegler. (2002). The Archive Market: Truth, Testimony, Evidence, in Echographies of Television pp. 82-99 , Polity Press 2002
Week 13
December 15th, 2011: Final Examination (in-class essay)


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