How states, markets and globalization shape the news: The French and US national press, 1965-97

Rodney Benson, Daniel C. Hallin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article presents a comparative content analysis of the US and French national press in the 1960s and 1990s to test hypotheses about the influence of media structure on journalistic discourse. The US and French press are presented as strongly contrasting models, with the US press more commercialized, and the French press more closely tied to the political field. Using a variety of story- and paragraph-level content indicators, this studyshows that the French press (Le Monde and Le Figaro) offers relatively more critical coverage, a greater representation of civil society viewpoints, a stronger emphasis on both the ideological and strategic 'game' aspects of politics, and a higher proportion of interpretation and opinion mixed with factual reporting. Representing the US national press, The New York Times is shown to 'index' its coverage more closely to political elite viewpoints. Despite globalizing pressures, French-US differences have not diminished over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-48
Number of pages22
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Content analysis
  • France
  • International comparative research
  • Sociology of news
  • United States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication


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