Who owns the French media and what are their political leanings?

French media ownership has seen significant changes over the past decade – which has become relevant as the presidential election approaches, with some candidates appearing to be treated better than others.

The first round of voting for the election will take place on April 10 and the second, if necessary (if there is no outright winner in the first round), on April 24.

There has been a second ballot in every election since the current electoral system was introduced in 1965.

Current President Emmanuel Macron is the frontrunner for re-election (although he has yet to declare his candidacy). However, several other candidates could emerge as his closest challenger. These include politicians from all political backgrounds, including far-right and far-left candidates.

As always, the media will have an important role to play in shaping the narrative around the election.

Essentially, six billionaires and the French state control most of it. Here we break down who they are and the outlets they are affiliated with.

Okay, free market: The richest of the lot is Bernard Arnault, the head of the luxury empire LVMH. His stable of news includes The Parisianand The echoes newspapers, Radio Classique and magazines Challenges and Science and Future (with Perdriel Group).

Center-right : Another big name, Martin Bouygues, who made his fortune in civil engineering, the internet and mobile telephony. It owns nine television channels under the TF1 banner, including LCI news. He is currently trying to merge TFI and the M6 ​​TV group.

Far right: His rival Vincent Bolloré already owns most of Canal+’s pay-TV channels via Vivendi, and has transformed the 24-hour news channel iTele into CNews, a kind of Fox TV for France.

Pure and hard Catholic, he would contribute to the financing of the campaign of Eric Zemmour, former journalist / expert of CNews.

The row also continues at Europe 1 radio after Bolloré wrested control from the Lagardère group, getting rid of many journalists and replacing them with people perceived to be on the right.

Lagardère Groupe remains very influential through its publishing activity, with Hachette Livre as its flagship. How this will continue under Bolloré’s influence is much debated.

Law: Meanwhile, the Dassault family, famous for making fighter jets and computer-aided design software, owns Le Figaro and several journals.

Center left: Xavier Niel, founder of mobile phone/internet company Free, took a controlling interest in The world newspaper in 2010, and since then has invested heavily in regional newspapers and online news.

Center-right : Another telecom billionaire, Patrick Drahi, who runs SFR, bought Release (left) and built a small media empire, which includes the RMC radio station and BFMTV.

They are all likely to be interested in the forced sale by Vivendi of at least three of the 10 television channels in the TF1 and M6 bouquet. more. Vivendi must sell because the law states that an owner cannot control more than seven TV frequencies.

All private companies have to fight for space against public televisions and radios – financed by the €140 tax on every television owner and, increasingly, by advertising.

Center/Neutral: The flagship television channel is France2, in a daily ratings battle with TF1, followed by regional television channel France 3, France 5 and Franco-German public television Arte.

On the radio, France Inter, France Info, France Culture and France Musique are all public and regularly top the ratings in their sector.

The state also owns Agence France-Presse through a structure that guarantees the independence of the news agency, one of the most influential in the world.

Related Articles

When will we know the candidates for the French presidential election of 2022?

Election poll sees Macron ahead 90 days from vote – but often gets it wrong

Tinder-style app matches user with ideal French presidential candidate

Comments are closed.