Eesti kuvand prantsuse meedias 2010. ja 2011. aastal



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The aim of the Master’s Thesis “Estonian image in French media in 2010-2011” is to give a detailed survey of Estonia’s image in different French media channels, to compare the nature and particular features of coverage, and to try to detect reasons why Estonia’s image has developed the way it has. In order to answer the questions set, the author used the following methods: content analysis to carry out a survey of the content of French newspapers, qualitative text analysis for articles and television and radio coverage, and analysis of interviews with French journalists conducted by the author. The empirical data used for content analysis included 252 articles. In 26 articles complete interpretation schemes were expressed and it was possible to determine dominative discourse; these were chosen for more detailed qualitative analysis. The Master’s Thesis revealed that coverage of Estonia in French media in 2010 and 2011 was plentiful and was dependent largely on specific events that took place during these two years. The dominating topic surveyed in the papers was the adoption of the euro and this was the theme most covered by the press. Estonia adopting the euro was seen in French media as an affirmation that the euro is still alluring and vital and that Estonia is setting an example for its southern neighbors. However, the press is doubtful whether the price paid for joining the eurozone and the moment chosen were right. On economical issues Estonia is a model for the other eurozone countries. Highly positive is the image of Estonia in France as an e-country and a cyber defense leader in the world. Cultural topics were widely and positively covered, mainly because of the Estonian culture festival that was held in Paris in autumn 2011. News about the kidnapped Estonians in Lebanon, the fire in Haapsalu, and parliamentary elections all passed the news gate. Up until now the tourism field has been covered little and has more potential in French media, in the author’s opinion. It appeared that French daily newspapers write the most about Estonia. The most articles were in Le Figaro and Le Monde. The regional papers are more likely to concentrate on soft subjects, writing the most about cultural and local events that take place in the region in connection with Estonia. The emotional tone of the coverage is neutral for short news and news stories that adhere to journalistic quality standards. In total 46 % of the articles were neutral. Opinions, interviews, portrait pieces, reportages, and reviews were mainly positive. All in all the selection included 31% of articles with a positive tone. Based on the fact that the original material forms a big proportion in analyzed articles and the emotional tone of the articles lean to different sides, beside news stories that are neutral, the journalist´s individuality and personality plays an important role in coverage. The three journalists interviewed are the only French correspondents who regularly cover Estonian subjects, while also focusing on other countries. They have all been concentrating on the same region for many years and they know the field of journalism well. They work as freelancers for different media outlets and look for Estonian topics themselves. For French media, Estonia’s geopolitical position is still post-Soviet and ex-communist. The thesis revealed that 16 % of articles referred to ex-Soviet or Eastern European while talking about Estonia in articles. At the same time 17% of articles mentioned Estonia as part of the eurozone, which also validates the hypothesis that acceptance in the eurozone helps others see Estonia as more integrated into Europe. Estonia’s wish to be Nordic is not represented (1% of the articles) in French media.