The structure of the digital media space / La structure de l’univers médiatique en ligne

Speakers: Sylvain Parasie, researcher at Sciences Po Medialab / Intervenant: Sylvain Parasie, chercheur au Médialab de Sciences Po

What is the main difference between the North American and the French media landscapes? According to research conducted by Sciences Po Medialab, it’s the influence of far-right, alternative-fact publications on the mainstream media.

Medialab’s visualization of media sources and their connections to each other.

The biggest problem in the United States today, Sylvain Parasie explained, is the very strong political polarization. « You can see total separation between the left and the right media outlets, they are completely independent universes, » Parasie said.

In the U.S., far-right media sources, like Breitbart, hold significant sway in mainstream media. Breitbart‘s content is cited in national publications and widely retweeted—an unfamiliar phenomenon in France.

In France, on the other hand, Medialab found no polarization between right- and left-wing media. Instead, French media tends to be more hierarchical, with divisions between core media outlets—like national TV and newspapers—and more fringe, partisan publications.

Using data collected from 420 French media sources over a six-month period, Medialab worked to figure out how the French media ecosystem compares to the U.S. « In France, the structure of the media space is highly hierarchical because you don’t really have a distinction between left-wing and right-wing media, » Parasie told the audience. Core media rarely share information from other sources, while niche and partisan media frequently cite core media.

<blockquote class= »twitter-tweet »><p lang= »en » dir= »ltr »>&quot;There is a good news : there is less space for alternative facts in France&quot;, concludes Sylvain Parasie <a href= »;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw »>#NPDJ2019</a></p>&mdash; Pierre Hardy (@pierrehardy8) <a href= » »>December 9, 2019</a></blockquote> <script async src= » » charset= »utf-8″></script>

In the French media landscape, gatekeeping by elite media outlets remains prevalent, which helps to prevent widespread dissemination of false information and partisan news, but also leads to a disconnect between elite institutions and growing social movements, like the yellow vests.

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