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EDWIN JAMES ABAR, University of Massachusetts Amherst


In August of 1974, the French broadcasting system underwent a change in organizational structure. L'Office de Radiodiffusion-Television Francaise was reorganized into seven companies, each with a specific responsibility. The extent of the change is debatable but there is little doubt that Valery Giscard d'Estaing's intent was to effect a system freer from governmental control and bring about fiscal responsibility. The extent of the achievement of these goals is the subject of this dissertation.^ Chapter One examines the social, cultural, and political climate of France. The chapter reveals a country with contradictory philosophies and a strong desire to hold on to the past.^ Chapter Two reviews the literature in the related fields of economics, sociology, political science, history, and communications. The historical perspective highlights contradictions in systems theory, especially in the areas of goals and organizational structure.^ Chapter Three describes the French system with particular emphasis on organizational structure. The West German system is also cited for comparison.^ Chapter Four examines government documents which indicate that the system does not function efficiently. Financial reports indicate the new system became more and more dependent on commercials and tax revenues. Both increases were counter to the intent of the reorganization.^ Chapter Five summarizes the dissertation and offers the following conclusions: (1) Reorganization or initiation of a media system must take into account the culture, heritage, economic traits, and political philosophies that have contributed to the uniqueness of that country. (2) Reorganization should be undertaken with consideration of international as well as national implications. (3) Reorganization should involve the entire country rather than a political power structure. (4) Reorganization should begin with a goal-oriented agenda. (5) Reorganization must be structured to permit internal flexibility. (6) The new structure should be technologically compatible to existing systems and if possible to one universally established system. ^

Subject Area

Mass communication

Recommended Citation

ABAR, EDWIN JAMES, "A CRITICAL EXAMINATION OF THE FRENCH TELEVISION SYSTEM: 1974-1979" (1982). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8210290.