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10 - Peopolisation et politique

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Christian Delporte

Quand la peopolisation des hommes politiques a-t-elle commencé ? Le cas français

Le Temps des médias n°10, printemps 2008, p.27-52

The promotion of politicians’ private lives may have increased in the past thirty years but the phenomenon dates in fact from the end of the 19th century when the hallmarks of modern journalism first appeared. The emergence of two genres, the interview and reportage, and advances in the visual techniques of newspaper make-up and lay-out enabled journalists to highlight the “the man behind the façade”, the domestic settings of those who wield power. From the gossip columns of general interest and specialist newspapers (Gil Blas), in the 1880s and 1890s, through to the well-known stage-managed communication stunts of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, and including, during the inter-war years, the star-treatment given to French and foreign leaders in escapist magazines and reviews, the French media have never truly refrained from highlighting the private lives of top politicians. This trend increased as the fourth republic neared its end, because of the crisis in representative parliamentary democracy and the search for a providential father-figure, and during the fifht republic whose very institutions call for the personalisation of power-politics. DrapeauFrancais

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