Local Media in France

Subsidized, heavily regulated and under pressure

Authored by: Matthieu Lardeau

The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815375364
eBook ISBN: 9781351239943
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter addresses the regional and local media and journalism in France and aims to give an overview of its current economic issues, with a focus on business model and ownership concerns. It examines the print press, radio and TV channels as well as online news sites. Regional and local dailies and weeklies face a declining audience (readership and purchasing) and therefore a drop of advertising revenues. However, these newspapers have been dominating their monopolistic, regulated, concentrated and subsidized market for many decades. The local radio and TV are subject to licensing by a public body that regulates the number of channels. The local TV market is small and not profitable; many channels require public subsidies or public ownership to survive. The local radio landscape is mainly run by the state-owned network France Bleu and numerous FM music stations. The business model of the printed press is particularly under pressure. This chapter highlights how much these local journalism markets are highly regulated by an interventionist central state and subject to concentration.

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