The Media Prism and Reflections on Insécurité

Pamela M. Moores

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article considers media coverage of the theme of insécurité in the French presidential election of 2002, at which the National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen shocked the French nation by winning a place in the second round contest against the incumbent President Jacques Chirac. We examine the much-publicised accusation that the media contributed to Le Pen's success by excessive, distorting coverage of insécurité, the polemic surrounding this charge, and issues of media responsibility. While much writing on the topic has focused on thematic media analysis or on the interaction of politicians, the media and the electorate in setting the election agenda, this article discusses the findings of a number of quantitative media studies and focuses on the terms and nature of media discourse. Through a discussion of insécurité, the article highlights the misleading potential of simplistic labelling and vague emotive terminology, amplified in sensational coverage by competing media outlets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-419
Number of pages15
JournalModern and Contemporary France
Issue number4
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2006


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