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Fuelling the controversy on Uber's arrival: A comparative media analysis of Paris and Montreal

Abstract : In the last decade, ride-hailing services and especially Uber – the most famous of them – have created a stir in urban mobility and its governance. Much has been written in the media, but not much of this media coverage has been analysed in the academic literature. The purpose of this paper is to understand the representations tied to Uber's arrival and how public opinion has been shaped. To do this, we analysed the media discourses generated by Uber's arrival in two cities: Paris and Montreal. We explored the role of media coverage in fuelling controversy on Uber and in influencing policy debate. The material consisted of 354 articles published in local newspapers between 2014 and 2016. We found extensive media coverage of street protests. The scale of the coverage reflected the intensity of the protests, which were more frequent and violent in Paris than in Montreal. The media functioned as an echo chamber for the taxi industry and also for Uber. Public opinion about Uber as shaped by the media was ambivalent. The media dramatised the controversy, pressuring policymakers to take a position. Policy responses have shown more flexibility towards ride-hailing in Quebec than in France.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, August 3, 2021 - 6:15:53 PM
Last modification on : Friday, January 14, 2022 - 3:41:09 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, November 4, 2021 - 7:08:53 PM


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Gaele Lesteven, Sylvanie Godillon. Fuelling the controversy on Uber's arrival: A comparative media analysis of Paris and Montreal. Cities, Elsevier, 2020, 106, pp.102864. ⟨10.1016/j.cities.2020.102864⟩. ⟨halshs-02915565⟩



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