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Géraldine Poels

Television’s Golden Age: a history

Le Temps des médias n° 27, Automne-Hiver 2016-2017, p. 111-123.


The three decades covering the 1945- 1975 period are commonly identified as the golden age of French television. This narrative has emerged as soon as the mid- 1970s. At that time, the professionals feel like they are witnessing a historic shifting tide, the end of an era. This paper examines the context of the emergence of this narrative and questions its actual dissemination in the public sphere. Its distinguishes, next to a militant version of the “golden age” narrative, committed to defending public service television, another version, more consensual. But the latter seems to fade into a nostalgic celebration of television’s idealized past.

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