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Des décisions publiques « médiatiques » ? : sociologie de l’emprise du journalisme sur les politiques de sécurité sanitaire des aliments

Abstract : Are public policies made by the media? This would-be influence of journalists over public decisions is common place among “decision-makers”. It is also assumed by Agenda-setting as well as social problems theorists. Yet, the real nature of the phenomenon is more complex: it follows different paths along several directions. It rests on the active and variable engagement of the politicians and high civil servants who produce decisions. Thus, the question needs to be rephrased: to what extent does the production of public decisions depend on the journalistic field? In order to elucidate this question, this doctoral thesis offers a sociological analysis of the specific logics which lead decision-makers (i.e. ministers’ personal staff, and representatives aswell as high civil servants,) to pay attention to media coverage in decision-making processes. The elaboration of this theoretical framework, at the crossroads of the sociologies of journalism and public action, is based on ananalysis of the handling of the mad cow disease by French officials during the 1990s. The ambition is to account for the very attention the holders of the executive power (namely, the Ministers of Agriculture, Consumption,Health, but also the Prime Minister and the President), the members of Parliament and high civil servants paid to media-related challenges within the practice of decision-making. Thus, it appears that the most “media dependent”decisions are the result of the handling of the most symbolic issues according to the logics of action of the most dependent agents on legitimization stakes in the journalistic field: the principal ministers and their advisers
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Jérémie Nollet. Des décisions publiques « médiatiques » ? : sociologie de l’emprise du journalisme sur les politiques de sécurité sanitaire des aliments. Science politique. Université du Droit et de la Santé - Lille II, 2010. Français. ⟨NNT : 2010LIL20013⟩. ⟨tel-01249518⟩

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