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Political pluralism and electoral campaigns

Official audio-visual campaigns

General legal framework

The law provides that certain polls and consultations chief clerks cause the diffusion of official emissions during which political trainings can present themselves their argumentations and their candidates. The national companies of television programs and radio are held to produce and diffuse these emissions. The cost of the audio-visual countryside is dealt with by the State

The emissions are diffused on the antennas of Radio France (France Inter) during the official countryside.

The law determines the total time volume of the audio-visual countryside and entrusts in general to the Superior council of audio-visual the care to distribute this duration to cover the two ballots by taking account of the representativeness of political trainings which introduce candidates.

Article 16 of the law of September 30th, 1986 lays down thus that the Council “ fixes the rules concerning the conditions of production, programming and diffusion of the emissions relating to the electoral campaigns (...) ”.

The principle of equal acces to the means of production

The decision adopted on this occasion poses the principle of the freedom of expression of the limiting candidates by pointing out nevertheless some such as saves public order, the respect of others or the prohibition of matter in advertising matter. Other obligations relate in particular to the prohibition of use of the national anthem. Unlike other countries, it is for example interdict to disparage political adversaries or to proceed to calls for capital.

The Council defines the rules concerning the conditions of turning and assembly of the emissions. In a preoccupation with an equal treatment, it fixes the maximum duration for the recording of the emissions and the assembly of the sequences. The warranty of the principle of equality also results in publishing the list of the technical devices placed at the disposal of political trainings.

The decision relating to the conditions of production, programming and diffusion makes it possible political trainings to bring their own videographic documents (images of public meetings, videos clip, documents sound…) within the limit of 50% of the total duration of the time of emission allotted (decision n° 2011-61 of February 15th, 2011 relating to the conditions of production, of programming and diffusion of the emissions of the official countryside for the renewal of the general advisors of Mayotte of the March 20th and 27th, 2011).

According to the type of election, he is proposed to the candidates of turnings in outside and the use of computer graphics means. The radiophonic diffusion rests on the resumption of the soundtrack of the television program.

The information of the public

The Council also takes care that these emissions are inserted in the program timetables of the editors concerned into hours of significant listening, with the need several times per day. The order of passage of the emissions is the object of a lottery.

See also:

Official audio-visual campaigns on television

Learn more

Key dates

  • 1955 - First broadcast simultaneously on radio and TV official countryside at the time of the legislative elections

  • 1965 - First broadcast simultaneously on radio and TV official countryside for the presidential election

  • November 12th, 1969 - Adoption by the Board of directors of the ORTF of a directive which poses the principle of a pluralist access to the antenna

  • 1982 - Creation of the High ranking authority of the audio-visual communication (HACA)

  • 2000 - Definition by the Superior council of audio-visual of the “principle of reference as regards pluralism”