A new test for French media

“Journalists from all over the world (France included) stand accused of being disconnected with reality and unable to forecast the news.”

It’s not breaking news that France will have a new president in 2017, but the election will have a major impact on the whole French media landscape. Here’s why.

alice-antheaume

  • The context of the French presidential election, to be held on April 23 and May 7, 2017, will be unlike any other. After Brexit, after Trump’s election, even after the French primaries on the right, journalists from all over the world (France included) stand accused of being disconnected with reality and unable to forecast the news. In France, it’s true that the media went full steam on former prime minister Alain Juppé, while his rival François Fillon, also a former prime minister, overpowered the competition. The French media now faces challenges: How to interview voters who don’t want to tell their real intentions? How to report facts when official sources sometimes lie?
  • The news competition will be fierce. We won’t know who’ll have the greatest impact until the final runoff results. France’s legacy media companies are not so strong. Several international-born digital players are launching in France just before the run for the presidency (Business Insider, Forbes); others are now well established (Le Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Slate.fr, etc.); others operate from Brussels, at the center of Europe (Politico); and others “made in France” (Les Jours, Contexte, Médiapart, etc.) are doing well online. The real fight may not only be between legacy and born-digital media, but between media companies and algorithms which are said to be the real decision makers for elections, especially for undecided voters.
  • The winner of the news competition will be the one who masters readers’ mobile screens. 44 percent of the French population uses a smartphone to access news. The French love push notifications, and “notification journalism” in France, if I can call it that, will be key. For Brexit, Politico Europe used a referendum tracker implemented in Apple Wallet to send notifications without any app. “We pushed news every 20 minutes, but our users wanted more,” said Politico’s Kate Day during her lecture at Sciences Po Journalism School. “They are really addicted when they are really interested in the topic.” Meanwhile, Le Monde’s team keeps mobile push notifications to no more than 5 per day. There’s no firm rule about the right frequency of alerts; besides, smartphones’ users can opt out if they’re getting overwhelmed. In 2017, the fight to become the best “pusher” is only beginning.

Alice Antheaume is executive dean at Sciences Po Journalism School in Paris.

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Tressie McMillan Cottom   A path through the media’s coming legitimacy crisis

Lam Thuy Vo   The primary source in the age of mechanical multiplication

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Anita Zielina   The sales funnel reaches (and changes) the newsroom

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Richard J. Tofel   The country doesn’t trust us — but they do believe us

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Earn trust by working for (and with) readers

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Nushin Rashidian   A rise in high-price, high-value subscriptions

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Errin Haines Whack   Chaos or community?

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Mario Garcia   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   News after advertising may look like news before advertising

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Trushar Barot   API or die

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Maria Bustillos   “It’s true — I saw it on Facebook”

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem