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The media in Morocco: a highly political economy, the case of the paper and on-line press since the early 1990s

Abstract : This article intends to analyse the Moroccan journalistic field since the 1990s using a relational sociology looking at its news businesses and showing their strong dependence on the economic and political fields. This initial analysis of the paper and electronic non-specialised press (and its managers) is based on five main issues. The first issue summarises the history of the nonpartisan press and the social and political protest issues within it since independence. The second shows how the explosive multiplication of the volume of news supplied by the paper press since the 1990s, and by the electronic press (notably since 2011) should not hide the historical features of this universe: very limited coverage, a journalistic world highly dominated by the state media and a partisan press, and very important inequalities (social, linguistic, etc.). The third issue is trying to describe the market where the press companies operate and which occupies a positional continuum located between two poles: the hanout (the shop) and the press group (and the careers of their senior executives). This also explains that the sustainability of publications depends on a balance based on political and economic parameters and certain uncrossable “red lines” (Monarchy, Sahara, and Islam). The fourth issue describes the very direct impact which the advertising and supply and distribution oligopoly, connected to the main powers in place, has on the working of the press companies. Lastly, the Moroccan social space transformations and the unique features of its consumption modes enable us to understand better why the Moroccan press is facing difficulties when trying to increase its audience.
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Contributor : Dominique Marchetti <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 10, 2017 - 11:40:47 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, August 5, 2020 - 3:11:05 AM



Abdelfettah Benchenna, Driss Ksikes, Dominique Marchetti. The media in Morocco: a highly political economy, the case of the paper and on-line press since the early 1990s. Journal of North African Studies, Taylor & Francis, 2017, pp.1-25. ⟨10.1080/13629387.2017.1307903⟩. ⟨halshs-01505066⟩



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