Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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Precarious and handicapped people under-represented on television

The Higher Audiovisual Council presented its annual barometer of diversity on television 2018.

Stable figures that once again show that precarious and disabled people are underrepresented.

The protests of "yellow vests", a turning point in the issue of diversity on television? For Memona Hintermann-Afféjee of the Superior Council of Audiovisual (CSA), the demonstrations of the last weeks indicate a «More respectful representation quest " on the screen. " Maybe after this French psychodrama ", Advance the president of the working group" Social Cohesion "at the CSA, the claims of the" yellow vests "will lead to more visibility.

Elites overrepresented on the screen

In 2018, certain social categories are still not very present on television. The CSA paints tables classifying the French population by socio-professional category (CSP) and divides them into three categories: the higher (+), the lower (-) and the inactive CSPs, according to the categories established by the INSEE.

But the French company has 27% of CSP – and 44% of inactive. But the 18 television channels studied by the CSA show in 2018 only 12% of CSP – and 14% of inactive. On the other hand, the CSP + are overrepresented on the screen (74%) whereas they make up only 27% of the population (the remaining 2% concern people with marginal or illegal activity).

The finding is the same for the "non-white" people (black, Arab, Asian, or "others"). This year, the representation of these groups has increased slightly: they are 17% on screen, compared to 16% in 2016. " There is such a gap between France as it is and what we see on TV. Of course people are interested in their own destiny "Laments Memona Hintermann-Afféjee.

The French overseas almost invisible

New of the barometer this year, the addition of the criterion of the place of residence. The city centers are now distinguished from places poorly represented on the screen: large sets of popular suburbs, villages, overseas and peripheral neighborhoods of houses and small buildings.

While 9% of the French population lives in Overseas, people perceived as living there are only present on the screen only 0.3%, if we exclude the public channel France O, threatened with suppression by the Édouard Philippe government last July.

Another battleground, people with disabilities. This year, they are only 0.7% on the air. The robot portrait of the handicapped person drawn up by the CSA in 2018 is a man, inactive, white, seen rather positively and coming from a peripheral district. A representation far from reality where between twelve and fifteen million French people would be provisionally or permanently handicapped.

France will have to switch to the Web

Each channel knows its diversity performance but " not to get angry »Audiovisual actors, the list of good and bad students will not be published on the CSA website. " The purpose of this barometer is to start a frank dialogue with the chains and make them make progress commitments, not to make a comparison Explains Memona Hintermann-Afféjee, recalling that the CSA is above all an advisory body.

"It's not the CSA that makes the TV, we're not the problem ", She assures, before concluding: " The weapon against television and radio is the wallet and the audience. For the former grand reporter at France 3, the situation will change " the day people will say 'you do not represent us anymore, you insult us, so we do not look at you anymore ".

Julia Benarrous

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