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The representation of diversity

The barometer of diversity

What the barometer?

The barometer of diversity was created in 2009 on the initiative of the Council. This barometer is published once a year, it aims to on television measure diversity according to four criteria: the socioprofessional category, the sex, the perceived origin and the handicap.

The chains adhered overall to the principle of the study by recognizing that it made it possible to have a “photography” and to approach their achievements concretely, while suggesting with the Council certain installations making it possible to better give an account of the covered issue.

The barometers are part of the documents on which the Council is pressed to carry out the annual report on the representation of the diversity of the French company on television, intended at the Parliament.

Consult the results of the barometer of diversity.

The perimeter of diversity

The Council has a very broad design of diversity. It however chose to initially concentrate its action on the aspects of the diversity for which the political and social requirements were strongest. Thus, four criteria were retained to measure diversity on television: the socioprofessional category, the sex, the perceived origin and the handicap.

  • The socioprofessional category

The socioprofessional category was indexed according to coding INSEE by exploiting all the elements delivered to the antenna (subtitle with the function of the person, profession delivered in the account, visual elements or of context, etc).

  • The sex

It is a question of counting the number of men and the intervening number of women to the antenna.

  • The perceived origin

It is a question of distributing indexed according to categories of common directions from which, in France, the people are seen today like “white”, “black”, “Asian”, “others” but while being based on all the indications being able to be collected in the comments or by autodesignation.

  • The handicap

A person was listed like handicapped person when indices visible with the screen (wheel chair, visible malformation, cane of blind man, etc) or of information of the account allowed to identify a permanent handicap.


Global method

The methodology of the barometer was elaborate in agreement with the TV channels, which following the first barometers, put forth proposals with the Council so that this one as well as possible fulfills the mission which it had set through the realization of this barometer.

The objective of this study was to evaluate the perception of diversity in the programs of French television, while being based on the observation of two week of programs.

The method consists in indexing, in each emission, all the people and all the characters who appear on the screen and who express themselves, whatever the duration of this appearance and the speaking time. Only the speakers are indexed.

The indexing of the speakers is made on the basis of 4 apparent characteristic:

  • professions and socioprofessional categories of INSEE;
  • the male or female kind;
  • the perceived origin;
  • the handicap. 


The Council set up a principle of weighting which takes into account the duration of the programs (more or less 5 minutes) and the roles, according to their importance, of the indexed individuals (hero, main characters, and supporting characters).


The programs are observed during one or two weeks weeks, at the hours of strong audience (17 hours -23 hours, plus the 13 hour old tv news), on 16 chains of the DVB free like on Canal+.

The corpus thus consists of more than 1,400 hours of diffused emissions. It is thus about a sample taken at a given time of televisual flow.


More than 40,000 individuals are indexed, except publicity, with each vagueness of the barometer.

Learn more

Key dates

  • 2006 - Law of March 31st, 2006 known as “law for the equal opportunity”

  • 2007 - Creation by the Council of a working group on diversity and an Observatory of diversity

  • 2009 - Law of March 5th, 2009 relating to the audio-visual communication and the new public service of television

  • March 11th, 2008 - Creation of the Observatory of diversity in the audio-visual mediums

  • November 10th, 2009 - Deliberation of the Council fixing the framework of annual commitments of the diffusers