About the Talk
This presentation examines the rise of financial journalism in Morocco during the 1990s, focusing on the entrance of global capital into Morocco’s media market. In 1991 French press magnate Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber bought into economic weekly La Vie Economique a deal that was remarkable for its endorsement by the monarchy and being technically illegal according to prohibitions against foreign ownership in Morocco’s press code. During this time, Servan-Schreiber used financial journalism and the government’s need for transparent economic liberalization as an entry point into broader coverage of Morocco that took the paper in an increasingly generalist direction, broaching topics in politics and society among others. This boundary-pushing approach at a time when politics in particular was largely absent from Moroccan media bleeds over into publications started by his protegés. Tracing back a subsequent generation of taboo-challenging media owners and operators to their time at LVE under Servan-Schreiber offers insight into the establishing logics of the independent press in the context of neoliberal globalization and accompanying shifts in media-state relations. I argue that financial journalism and the economic press set the stage for a revitalization of the independent press in Morocco that is characterized by recognition of media’s role as a both facilitator for global capital and an increasingly powerful player in the realm of geopolitics. Additionally, on the domestic front, the economic press paves the way for the reentry of politics into public discourse and a liberal approach that attempts to work within the constraints of capital while not eschewing critique.
About the Speaker
Annemarie Iddins is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at Fairfield University and a Spring 2020 CARGC Faculty Fellow. Her research is primarily situated within the global media studies subfield of communication, focusing on transnational media industries and cultural politics in the Maghreb and its diaspora. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled No Concessions: Independent Media and the Reshaping of the Moroccan Public, which aims to provide a model for analyzing media-state relations in contexts that combine strong state influence with neoliberal tendencies. Iddins earned her Ph.D in Communication Studies from the University of Michigan and her work has been published in Media, Culture & Society, the International Journal of Communication, and the International Journal of Cultural Studies.
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