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Local pure players in
Southern France
Between journalistic diversity
and economic constraints
Nikos Smyrnaios (University ...
The context
Local news in France is an oligopolistic market
Diminishing circulation & ad revenue
Newspapers conservative o...
The questions
What are the editorial strategies and journalistic
practices inside local pure-players ?
What are their busi...
The research ground

Name

Founded

Area

Audience

Revenue

Staff

Sources

Marsactu.fr

2009

Marseille
pop. 1,5M

200k ...
The players
Marsactu: investigative journalism, economy, politics.
Target: urban, upper class, educated, liberal. Founded
...
Relations to the public
Ariège News‟ proximity to its public: geographical
Marsactu: geographical + sociological
Carré d‟i...
Strategies & practices
All: at least as much field reporting as desk work
Marcactu & Carré d‟info: intense use of social n...
Business models
Unable to attract sufficient revenue from subscription
or/and advertising
Carré d‟info closed in December ...
Local pure players
Proximity journalism (geographically but also
sociologically and politically)
Strong participatory cult...
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Local pure players in Southern France Between journalistic diversity and economic constraints

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Presentation at the "Local journalism around the world: professional practices, economic foundations, and political implications" Conference

Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford, February 26-28, 2014

Published in: Education
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Transcript of "Local pure players in Southern France Between journalistic diversity and economic constraints"

  1. 1. Local pure players in Southern France Between journalistic diversity and economic constraints Nikos Smyrnaios (University of Toulouse), Emmanuel Marty (University of Nice) Franck Bousquet (University of Toulouse) 

  2. 2. The context Local news in France is an oligopolistic market Diminishing circulation & ad revenue Newspapers conservative on the web “Nouvelle vague” of journalistic start-ups Pure players are independent, participatory, innovative but economically weak Proliferation at the local level
  3. 3. The questions What are the editorial strategies and journalistic practices inside local pure-players ? What are their business models ? Is there a chance that such players survive and reinvigorate local journalism ?
  4. 4. The research ground Name Founded Area Audience Revenue Staff Sources Marsactu.fr 2009 Marseille pop. 1,5M 200k UV €220k (-€100k) 10/5 Advertising +PR films Carredinfo.fr 2011 Toulouse pop. 900k 60k UV €12k 4/3 Advertising + subscription + teaching Ariegenews.com 2007 Ariège pop. 150k 450k UV €254k (-€10k) 8/2 Advertising +PR films
  5. 5. The players Marsactu: investigative journalism, economy, politics. Target: urban, upper class, educated, liberal. Founded by an experienced manager Carré d‟info: inspired by Rue 89, society, culture, technology, neither crime, nor sports. Target: urban left leaning. Founded by young idealistic journalists. Ariège News: everyday life in the country, politics, sports, economy. Target: rural. Founded by an experienced entrepreneur.
  6. 6. Relations to the public Ariège News‟ proximity to its public: geographical Marsactu: geographical + sociological Carré d‟info: geographical + sociological + political Urban educated public: commentator, informant, watchdog, disseminator Marsactu+Carré d‟info: strong participatory culture Facebook & Twitter larger than Google Priviledge local audiences (advertisers „target)
  7. 7. Strategies & practices All: at least as much field reporting as desk work Marcactu & Carré d‟info: intense use of social networks for research & promotion Loose hierarchy & highly autonomous work Marsactu & Ariègenews: good terms with local authorities and business Multitasking (text, video, photo) Marsactu Hard News/investigati on Carré d‟info Ariègenews Soft News
  8. 8. Business models Unable to attract sufficient revenue from subscription or/and advertising Carré d‟info closed in December 2013 Ariègenews‟ main revenue sources: advertising and PR film production mostly for municipalities and local authorities. Close to breaking even but difficulties in investing. High video distribution costs. Revenue stagnating Marsactu‟s main revenue sources: advertising and PR film production mostly for business. Tripled revenue between 2012 and 2013, €100k losses
  9. 9. Local pure players Proximity journalism (geographically but also sociologically and politically) Strong participatory culture More critical of local politics & business Outdoors journalism as opposed to desk But… Dependency on PR activities, difficulties in investing, small audiences of opinion leaders
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