“Qualified personalities”: Sociology of the French Media Government from Cinema to the Digital Era

By Olivier Alexandre

Chapter in Reconceptualising Film Policies, 2017

Abstract

The nature of French audiovisual sector is determined by a layering of policies, created at various periods of time. A public policy system has been continuously developed and adapted since the 1950s, mostly focusing on the support to and defence of the artistic and moral quality of film and television programmes. This institutional system has relied on 'qualified personalities' emanating from diverse sectors such as cinema, television, arts, culture, education, administration and the political world. The chapter presents a sociological analysis of the French model matrix. It focuses on the revolving-door system and the policy-making personnel that have enforced a stable regulatory frame for audiovisual industries. The rise of digital operators and executives – more internationalised and engineering-solution oriented – is currently destabilising this ecosystem. There is an important generational, cultural, ideological and linguistic gap between the French 'Media government' and the management teams of the new players.

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