International conference organised by MSH Paris Nord, MSH des Alpes, MSH d'Aquitaine, MSH de Paris, MSH Nord-Pas de Calais
and Gricis Université du Québec à Montréal, within the ACI programme
« Les mutations des industries de la culture, de l’information et de la communication : bilan, cartographie, observation ».
  Workshop 3.1 - Workshop 3.2 - Workshop 3.3 - Workshop 3.4 - Workshop 3.5
Workshop 3.1 ICTs and transformations in supply strategies
  Chairman :
- Marie-France Carmagnat, MSH Paris Nord, France

Speakers :
Lionel Barbe, Université Paris 2 - Institut Français de Presse, France
«The participative media : emerging editorial models on Internet. The cases of Agoravox and the French version of Wikipedia»
>>> Download the communication (French)

Annick Batard, Université Paris 13 - LabSIC, MSH Paris Nord, France
« Journalistic criticism of DVDs : a second chance for the French cinematographic criticism? »
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Camille Brachet, Université Paris 4-Sorbonne - Celsa, France
«Emergence and circulation of new objects in the field of cultural industries through the analysis of the uses of the "podcast»
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Aurélien Le Foulgoc, Université de Paris 2 - Institut Français de Presse, France
«The flow of televised programs by Bittorrent networks : Birth, structuration, uses and influences»
>>> Download the communication (french)

Nikos Smyrnaios, Université Stendhal - Grenoble 3, GRESEC, France
«A typological essay of the online information producers strategies»
>>> Download the communication (french)


«The participative media : emerging editorial models on Internet.
The cases of Agoravox and the French version of Wikipedia

Lionel Barbe
Université Paris 2 - Institut Français de Presse, France

>>> Download the communication (French)

An article drawn from the magazine Nature has recently shown that Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia on Internet, is offering articles which quality could be compared to those contained in the Encyclopedia Britannica. Besides, the citizen journalism website Agoravox, launched by Joel de Rosnay and Carlo Revelli, is becoming very successful.
How do the editorial models of those citizen media work? How do they manage to be efficient?

Wikipedia and Agoravox have in common a participative editorial model. Indeed, they do not hire professional journalists nor editors. They only rely on the voluntary participation of citizens, providing them with content, generating dynamism on a collective level. In that respect, Wikipedia and Agoravox do offer alternative publishing and editing concepts, based on self-written and self-regulated contents.

According to their detractors, if the collective websites can spread the information in a very efficent way they can also constitute the ideal window that propagates rumors or manipulation attempts. Their strength lies in their free and quick publication of information. As a consequence, they can be easily diverted by people whose motivation is not to inform nor express ideas. In fact, their freedom to publish information is in fact more limited than it seems to be. The self-regulation, practised before the publication of the information (Agoravox) or after (Wikipedia), tends to avoid the drifts or abuses.

It is now acknowledged that those participative websites do prefigure a new editorial model which is not centralized on a pyramidal concept. They rely on each person as a consumer and creator of the media content itself. Nevertheless, the self-regulation is mainly practised by “super users” whose power and commitment have widely surpassed common users prerogatives. Moreover, they contribute to a collective recognition which goes beyond a mere altruistic behaviour.

In that respect, are the citizen media really what they are supposed to be? Don’t they risk to become more and more professionalized and evolve towards a hierarchical and classical model? Would their egalitarian purpose be able to resist their transformation into a mass media?

«Journalistic criticism of DVDs : a second chance for the French cinematographic criticism?»

Annick Batard
Université Paris 13 - LABSIC, MSH Paris Nord, France

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Following our examination of the importane of newspaper criticism in the identification of CD-ROMs as cultural products, this paper focuses on the criticism of French video DVDs. In it, we question the birth of DVD criticism in non-specialized newspapers as well as the form   such criticism takes, and its evolution compared to traditional literary criticism. We consider DVDs to be to films what paperbacks are to hardbacks : a second market to a first product. There are other element to be taken into account as well. A DVD (the acronym for "Digital Versatile Disc") contains sound, text and image. It is possible to distinguish a "video DVD" from a "DVD-Rom", but newspapers usually just talk about "DVDs", meaning a disc containing a film along with an additional program (often a bonus "making-of" the film). The term "bonus" may sound as if referring to a mere-by product, but it not always the case. DVDs are also mainly reveiwed by film critics, although not exclusively. Other specialists (such as classical music critics, for example) or multimedia specialists dabble in it too. In this paper, we point out how the criticism of DVDs follows other traditional types of criticism, as well as that of new multimedia cultural products.We also underline some DVD criticism specificities. Like traditional criticism, DVD reviewing sums up and assesses the content of the program burned on the disc. Technical criteria put forward in the criticism of the CD-ROMs are also used in the DVDs criticism. In terms of productions, DVDs and their criticism waver between reintroducing forgotten pieces, and collecting titles from a single, more or less famous, director. As far as reception is concerned, DVDs and their criticsim waver between almost esoteric pieces or extremely famous ones.

«Emergence and circulation of new objects in the field of cultural industries through the analysis of the uses of the podcast»

Camille Brachet
Université Paris 4-Sorbonne - Celsa, France

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The recent observable changes affecting the culture, information and communications industries allowed the development of new cultural products. I will focus on a type of object in particular, the "podcast", in order to show how the propagation of a marginal practice gave rise to the emergence of a new industry of audio-visual contents. Exploiting the possibilities offered by the Internet, users regularly produce new objects such as the "blog", the "audioblog", the "podcast", as well as new practices like "podcasting", and ceaselessly make them evolve.

These objects and their contents interrelate and circulate in a macrostructure managed by one microcommunity (usually called "blogosphere"), to extend to a broader sphere. Before any analysis, it seems essential to begin with a quick definition of the studied objects: what is "podcasting"? What are its observable variations? The term "podcasting" comes from the combination of "iPod" (walkman MP3 marketed by APPLE) and of "broadcasting". It is a system of diffusion and aggregation of audio contents intended for the walkmans, such as the iPod.

By adding technologies necessary to the automatic remote downloading of audio and video files, "podcasting" was conveyed by the "blogs": "blogs" also enable their authors to publish their audio or video files themselves; "podcasting" now makes it possible to download writing, audio, and video automatically into micro-computers and walkmans. From all these forms, one can also distinguish the "audioblogs", i.e. "blogs" featuring audio-visual contents. It is finally a tool (Ipod) associated to a technology that allowed the emergence of a new object conveying new cultural contents.

This new mode of diffusion and consumption of contents then circulated to reach a widened sphere, until its commercial reappropriation, which itself gave rise to new uses. It is more specifically these uses and their stakes that I propose to analyse in my communication. Various technologies combine to build a new multi-media object, hybrid, shaped through usage, borrowing from the new media as well as from the traditional ones. Today, there are roughly two great kinds of "podcasts": those of the private individuals and those of the media. Indeed, one can witness a very fast recuperation of this new way of consuming contents, first by radios, then by television channels. The consumption modes of mass media are thus redistributed, the listener evolving from a flow consumption to a select consumption. Practices change and contents necessarily adapt. On the basis of observations carried out on the Internet, I propose to outline these new practices and their effects on the audio-visual landscape.

«The flow of televised programs by Bittorrent networks : Birth, structuration, uses and influences »

Aurélien Le Foulgoc
Université de Paris 2 - Institut Français de Presse, France

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A new way to consume television has emerged with the growth of access to the Internet. It represents a new pressure of user communities on entertainment industries. The purpose of Bittorrent protocol (a new branch of peer to peer networks) is to distribute huge files quickly and easily. It is particularly suited to video files, which are especially heavy. How is this new peer to peer network organized? What types of contents are exchanged? Does this new access to foreign programs lead to a greater standardization of viewer consumption?
Television has been facing deep technical transformations during the last few years, especially due to the growing power of networks and computers. This leads to a new flow and consumption of televised programs. The quick and easy access to a greater variety of programs constitutes a new challenge and induces a new balance of power between the industry and the viewers. I intend to show how a new network has emerged with the combination of three elements : digital personal video recorders (like TIVO), the quality growth of the Internet access and the success of Bittorrent protocol. From trendy series to talk-shows, a new exchange economy gives access to a globalized content, which remains essentially dominated by the USA, Canada and England. This domination can be explained by the origin of two technical processes developed in the USA.
Entertainment industries (particularly the MPAA) have taken the lead in fighting this way to share content. But a commercial movement funded on Bittorrent is gradually appearing. This is the case of the BBC and ABC, which offer contents distributed by Bittorrent. This commercial assimilation is a token of acceptance of the qualities of this protocol. It generates two trends : the first is official, the second illegal.  In parallel, journalists are influenced by this new profusion of images and by this facility of access. In fact, different types of public watch these programs : viewers who enjoy series directly downloaded from the USA, and journalists who use this illegal access professionally, and are therefore under influence.

My study will initially be socio-discursive: I will demonstrate how and why this phenomenon appeared in the USA. The approach will then be structural, in order to show the organisation of this program flow (websites, suppliers, viewers.) With a websites study, I intend to show the nature of the flow, the country of origin and the regularity of distribution. A new program grid emerges, made by the public that consumes these programs. It is also important to study the nationality of downloaders. In the case of France, I will question the influence on some journalists who use this flow to produce their information. Indeed, this could be a new way to influence  journalistic practices.

It is because this new flow impacts the media system that it is important to question it today. The appearance of Jon Stewart (the Host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show) on the show Crossfire on CNN constitutes a real break, because more viewers watched it by Bittorrent than by the traditional broadcast. In France, more and more viewers catch trendy series, that feature French subtitles in order to make for a more comfortable consumption and a larger audience. This has a growing impact on the international program market, but also on the organization of the media system and on journalistic practices.

«A typological essay of the online information producers strategies»

Nikos Smyrnaios
Université Stendhal-Grenoble 3, GRESEC, France

>>> Download the communication (french)

The producers of online information are firms which operate in the process of collect and treatement of the news, in accordance with journalistic criteria, and diffuse it on the internet.

In spite of their relative heterogeneity, these economic agents are caracterised by some specific elements which make possible a comparative analysis. Their speciality resides in the editorial segment of the online information, in opposition to the technical aspects which constitute the activity of the intermediaries such as portals and search engines. Moreover, these actors have some difficulties in termes of profitability. Actually, for the majority of them, their internet activity is economically deficient.

Our presentation proposes a typology of the strategies adopted by the online information producers in their effort to adapt to the competition in the digital environement. The typologie presents itself as follows:

- The dominant mainstream press
The strategy adopted by the dominant mainstream press in France is based on user subscription as well as important investments in the editorial field. The media firms concerned by this model are prestigious journals which try to enhance the value of their original content in order to combine financial resources in provenance of publicity and subscriptions.

- The second order mainstream press 
The journals of this category are as prestigious as the precedent ones but dispose of less financial means, a factor that diminishes their editorial investements. Because of this, they tend to rely only on publicity which is unsufficiant for profitability. In this case the economic model choice is forced because of the lack of resources in order to create and develop a subscription plateforme.

- The commercial TV channels
A particularly succesful economic model of the passage to the internet is that of some commercial french channels. Indeed, in this case selling revenus for online services such as games and exclusive video content is added to the publicity revenus providing a large basis for commercial developement. The essential commodity of these firms, upon which is built their online activity, is their offline mass audience.

- The “showcase” editors
 In this case the firms that edit information sites have a main activity which consists in providing various services in counceling or communication. The editing activity, which is basically economically deficient, plays the role of “showcase” providing prestige and attracting clients for the main expertise of the firms.

- The transnational firmes
The transnational firms were the first ones to apply the convergence principle, adopting a reticulum organisational structure and a strategy of editorial means mutualisation. Their objective being to produce a standardised content which can be diffused in various channels, including the internet.