The New Old Media
The New Old Media
  • Park Lee Dahye / Society Desk
  • 승인 2011.04.06 14:04
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The old media such as newspapers and magazines have been faced with a crisis within the rapidly changing news media.  While there has been widespread speculation that the survival of the print journalism is threatened, the broadcast media that represent the status of the old media also are encountering new change with it.  To find out the way and direction for survival of print media, it is necessary to recognize those changes and countermeasures against it in the broadcast media as well as print according to new media environment.  The Sookmyung Times (SMT), as a print media and press team in SMU, visited France Télévisions, the national broadcasting in France, and there found a way to survive for print media.


The Power of Television


As a public broadcaster in France, France Télévisions has five channels; France 2, France 3, France 4, France 5, and France Ô (RFO Sat).  There are two of them; France 2, France 3 that are especially on the axis of the public broadcasting, the same as channels like KBS1 and KBS2 in Korea.  In addition to these, France 4 is available only on digital television, like IPTV, and France Ô, formerly known as RFO Sat, is networking featuring the French oversee departments.  Fortunately, SMT had an opportunity to directly visit it and feel the great influence of the television.  To produce a program, hundreds of widely specialized jobs are required in France Télévisions.  For example, to be a weather forecaster, it is required to complete courses in journalism.  Even news anchors have to take part in an editorial conference because they can write a script.  There are currently about 11,000 members of staff working now.  This is why France Télévisions has kept alive its history since 1964, striving to play a role as the public service in a variety of channels. 


Media Reform and Revolution


With new wind roughly blowing, however, major changes are under way in the French.  What is worse, it is almost inevitable that the old broadcast media including France Télévisions have been threatened and have had doubts about validity.  So, SMT tried to approach the matter about new changes and the present state of France Télévisions, conducting an interview with Director Daniel Yahdjian.  SMT’s major question was what changes had influenced France Télévisions.  Actually, France Télévisions is currently funded by the revenue from television licence fees and commercial advertising.  However, the French government announced that the new law on public broadcasting will phase out commercial advertising on the public television channels (at first in the evening, then gradually throughout the day in 2016).  For this reason, France Télévisions has insisted that the TV license fees should be raised because of the abolition of the fee that has still yielded the best earnings.  Nevertheless, it is said that there is no difference between the public and the private, compared to the contents in their programs while it comes up with new ways to compete with multimedia and free rivals; the point is that if the public service and the private have been operated by the same standards, the same duties, and the same logic, there is no reason for its existence.  Hence, the French government has thought that a cause of that doubt comes from a financial structure of the public service.  Now, the digitization blowing into the old media has wielded strong influence over them more and more.

Eyes on the Crisis


Last January, Oeil sur la Planete (An Eye on the Planet) was on France2 of France Télévisions.  The theme of that program was divided into four segments; Korean pop culture sweeping across Asia, the unceasing confrontation between South and North Korea, the technological innovations of Samsung, and religions in Korea.  Surprisingly, it was an unprecedented hit as a documentary dealing with Korea in Asian countries.  Behind the success of it, SMT could have an insight into how the print media could survive in the war of media by meeting with Director Patrick Boitet who made the documentary about Korea.  SMT asked him what served as the impetus for that well-made documentary.  He said that it is more important for France to focus on its structure organically connecting A to B in the story.  On the other hand, Korea tends to concern about more efficiency than composition.  “I think that we did our best to concentrate on showing unvarnished society as it was, not an artificial one.”  “The problem is not just what to say but how to say,” he lastly emphasized the importance of the communication.

Through the interviews and the tour, SMT looked into the crisis in the old media from various angles in connection with media reform mounted by the French government.  Also, SMT realized that it is quality of contents that could be a key to accept the new flow and keep their identity as a new old media, through the France Télévisions which still has had influences.  As a result, they are turning into the new old media now, so most importantly, establishing identity of media is needed for both print and broadcast media to survive.









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