The Listening Post

Au revoir Sarkozy, bienvenue Hollande

Did Nicolas Sarkozy’s tempestuous relationship with the French media contribute to his defeat at the polls?

The French media says au revoir to Nicolas Sarkozy and bienvenue Francois Hollande. Plus, online animators that pack a political punch.

After a one term presidency, France voted out Nicolas Sarkozy and welcomed Socialist Party leader Francois Hollande. Sarkozy’s defeat marked the end of a tempestuous affair between a head of a state and the mainstream media. On the one hand, Sarkozy had placed some of his own people in positions of influence at some of the country’s most powerful media outlets. On the other, he has been in a battle with the country’s largest newspaper Le Monde and with left-leaning news website Mediapart. In this week’s News Divide, we look at Sarkozy’s relationship with the media and whether it contributed to his defeat at the polls.

This week’s News Bytes: The situation for journalists in Mexico and Somalia deteriorates, as journalists are targeted again; China bans Al Jazeera’s correspondent in China – it is the first international journalist to be banned from reporting there in 14 years; Libya passes a controversial law on freedom of expression; in the US, ABC News and Spanish language network Univision come together to launch a new channel; and what did al-Qaeda’s top media adviser think of US mainstream media?

Regular viewers of the show will recognise the name Mark Fiore. He is the San Francisco-based animator whose work we often feature in the Internet Video of the Week segment of the show. In 2010 he became the first online animator to win a Pulitzer Prize, a nod to how popular the medium has become. Fiore is not alone – he joins a growing number of online animators who are making their own mark across the web. And they all come with the same purpose – to get their message out there. In this week’s feature, Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead looks at how online animators are becoming a political force to be reckoned with.

Internet Video of the Week: The Hispanic population is the fastest growing voter group in the US so Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will need to get them on side if they want to win the presidential candidacy. Media coverage of Romney’s stance on immigration will have done nothing to garner support from Latinos. If only Romney had The Onion to head his PR campaign. The US satirical news website has come up with a fool proof charm offensive – and it comes in the form of an animated parrot named Paco. We hope you enjoy the show!


Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

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