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66 | 2014
L’école dans les médias

Education in the media
La escuela en los medios de comunicación
Edited by Xavier Pons
66-L’école dans les médias-couverture
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ISBN 978-2-85420-604-3

How is school presented in the media? Are there differences between how schools actually function (“the real school”) and how the media report on them (“the mediatised school”)? What are the issues and consequences of this media coverage, its effects on public debate and its implications for educational actors?

Eight authors – researchers and journalists – analyse the characteristics of media output on schools in their respective countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Senegal and the United States. Issue 66 of the Revue internationale d’éducation de Sèvres offers an stimulating comparative approach to these questions.

The authors highlight the importance assumed by “ready-to-publish” stories in their countries and show that the politicisation of stories is often a prerequisite for their coverage in the media. An ongoing reductionist approach to the issues – which can sometimes take the form of sensationalism – is in evidence, and tends to identify the causes of observed problems in the individual behaviours of actors rather than in systemic terms.

The contributions to this issue reveal that media coverage can expand the public debate to encompass new questions.

So it is with the media success of prize lists and rankings such as PISA, which simultaneously reveals expectations related to the quality of education systems, feeds into alarmist discourses on the teaching crisis and opens up new areas of research. A comparative approach proves useful here in highlighting the complex relationship, varying depending on local contexts, between public policy and media coverage.

Issue coordinated by Xavier Pons