Newspapers of Record Online and the Evolution of the Status of Writing
The constant evolving of the press that has significantly been revealed since being online is subject to large numbers of different kinds of reflections, both inside and outside academia. Already in an ongoing crisis for the last thirty years (due to numerous factors – including breaks in coverage, the ongoing decrease of readership often considered in correlation with the rise of other information and communication technologies), the press in so-called ‘developed countries’ has found itself facing a set of issues raised with the emergence of the internet and its potentialities. When ‘going online’, newspapers did not land in a no man’s land where everything was yet to build. Instead they have had to adapt to and to integrate into a space where many other news relaying voices are spoken. In this context, newspapers of record raise our curiosity. Sometimes called the ‘elite press’, and occasionally known to make various ‘peculiar’ moves in their editing, the happy few have lately started facing ‘modernity’ at different paces, as their Golden Age seems to be further away every day. In the French case, it no longer suffices to rely on its model (‘famous’ for its explanatory virtues), as it had once proved to be when radio and then television became popular. How are these ‘prestigious’ newspapers learning to share this common space with the many other voices? What are the evolutions that can be seen in the press of record in the French context? How does the concept of what is ‘record’ translate into the context provided by the internet? Furthermore, is the press of record on the other side of the Atlantic undergoing similar evolutions? Could the French and Anglo-Saxon models for journalism of record be converging towards a comparable model, in a history that has often underlined diverging definitions of news coverage? My PhD promotes an interdisciplinary approach of a work in progress situated in the French Sciences de l’Information et de la Communication. The need for knowledge of the French context and the traditions it holds are not to be underestimated here, as we look at the field from various perspectives: that of what news is considered to be; as well as what the profession means. Furthermore, more classical disciplines such as philosophy, as well as more recent transatlantic theories on alternative media will be invoked in an attempt to fully grasp what is at stake in culture of the Press of Record. I will try to question what is too often (and wrongly) considered ‘untouchable’.