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Television PolicyThe MacTaggart Lectures$
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Bob Franklin

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748617173

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617173.001.0001

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Ethics, Broadcasting and Change: The French Experience

Ethics, Broadcasting and Change: The French Experience

The James MacTaggart Lecture 1988

Chapter:
(p.123) Ethics, Broadcasting and Change: The French Experience
Source:
Television Policy
Author(s):

Christine Ockrent

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617173.003.0012

In this lecture, the author, a broadcaster and programme maker, analyses the ethics underlying rapid change in France's broadcasting system. She details the shift at the TF1 Network from a public-sector organisation run by ‘miserly, incompetent civil servants’ to a private-sector broadcaster, owned by civil engineers. The author claims that deregulation is ‘inevitably damaging to standards’, and that television ratings have become the key consideration with game shows, sitcoms, American series and films dominating French television schedules resulting in ‘conformity and uniformity’. The paradox which emerges is more television channels but less consumer choice. Standards of news programmes have also declined as ‘some presenters…imitate entertainment shows’ and ‘what is interesting has long since overrun what is important’. The author also insists that whatever its dangers, expansion is essential if the broadcasting system is to survive and compete internationally. This will require large capital investment of the kind Rupert Murdoch has made in Britain to develop satellite and cable channels in France.

Keywords:   France, broadcasting, ethics, TF1 Network, deregulation, standards, television channels, expansion, capital investment, Britain

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