French Journal for Media Research

Mohamed Bendahan et Yassine Akhiate

When the ideological minority eclipse the identity and linguistic majorities:Case of Moroccan media facing youngers


Il s’agit dans ce texte d’analyser le fonctionnement de la réception des jeunes marocains dans un contexte audiovisuel en mutation économique. En présence d’une offre diversifiée, de sources variées, avec des moyens techniques actuels, les jeunes pourraient être amenés à un « bricolage médiatique », qui allie plusieurs formes de réception et de production. Ainsi, l’analyse des productions audiovisuelles permettra d’explorer les corrélations entre cette offre et sa consommation et en dégager la représentation de cette catégorie  « jeune public» dans les médias marocains, ainsi que l’image qu’elle a construite autour des différentes offres. Ainsi, les données générées par l’audimat peuvent aider à une meilleure compréhension des modèles de consommations « profiling »  des services audiovisuels par les jeunes marocains.


The aim issue of this text is to analyze the functioning of the reception of young Moroccans in an audiovisual context that is undergoing economic change. In the presence of a diversified offer, from various sources, with current technical means, young people could be led to a “media tinkering”, which combines several forms of reception and production. Thus, the analysis of audiovisual productions will make it possible to explore the correlations between this offer and its consumption and to identify the representation of this “young audience” category in the Moroccan media, as well as the image it has built around the different offers. Thus, the data generated by the ratings can help a better understanding of the models of consumption “profiling” audiovisual services by young Moroccans.

Texte intégral


1Since the beginning of the 2000s, the Moroccan media landscape is in a phase of economic, political and cultural change. In the history of Moroccan television, for example, the importance given to audiences is closely linked to the different statuses and models of this media. The fluctuation between public and private audiovisual services, as well as the competition of transnational televisions, largely conditioned the consumption of the citizens for the programs of the television and the radio.

2In this context, studying the reception and use of television and radio by young Moroccans is an occasion for developing a reflection on the economic and cultural model of these two media especially for young Moroccans aged between 19 and 27 years. Research around these issues of reception from the 70s through the 80s, in the context of information and communication sciences, are divided into two schools: one favoring media consumption “active” including the current of “uses and gratifications” and the other highlighting the excessive importance of the media and their psychological and ideological impacts on public opinion. It should be noted that the latter current represented by the “Frankfurt School” has been widely exploited by the current of «Cultural Studies“ as theoretical tools for a better comprehension of our media environment and how we deal with-it.

3In any case, in the current reception of young Moroccans, there would be an interweaving of logics and construction of modes of consumption that suggest the cohabitation of the two theoretical levels.

4In this article, it is a question of analyzing the operation of the strategy of the public audiovisual operators and the reception of young Moroccans in a general way in the face of an audiovisual field in economic mutation. In the presence of a diversified offer, from various sources, with the current technical means, young people could be led to a ”media tinkering1“, which combines several forms of reception. Thus, the economic analysis of audiovisual productions will push us to explore the correlations between this offer and its consumption.

5From a methodological point of view, this research is in line with studies on the reception and uses of the media. We will mainly build our corpus on the basis of an analysis of the construction of the media offer.

The legal construction of the young consumers2

The role of the constitution in the Moroccan context

6The Moroccan Constitution of 2011 emphasized a set of fundamental rights for Moroccan citizens without differences in culture, language, sex, color or physical appearance.

7Only this Constitution of July 2011 in Article 33, unlike all the others that preceded it, is the responsibility of the authorities to pay the necessary attention to the youth of the country, through all measures appropriate. Thus, the legislator's aim is to build ”a regulatory reference that will have to cover all aspects of the life of young citizens even abroad“ through the fact:

8• To make the participation of youth in the social, economic, cultural and political development of the country generally

9• Provide effective help for young people to enter the active and associative life and provide assistance to those in difficulty of schooling, social or professional,

10• Provide support for young people's access to vectors that connect them with culture, science, technology, art, sport and recreation, while creating the conditions for the full deployment of their children creativity and innovative potential in all these areas.

The Audiovisual Communication Act (ACA)3

11In the context of the liberalization of the Moroccan audiovisual landscape in 2002, a set of sectoral legislative texts have emerged. Apart from the creation of the sector regulator (HACA) and the lifting of the state monopoly over audiovisual communication, the ACA is a structuring text and carries a new philosophy characterized by a desire for openness and diversification in this area. Concerning the supports and the proposed themes.

12Nevertheless, even if the ACA was promulgated before the new constitution of 2011, this did not prevent it from carrying a set of values for the benefit of young audiences.

13A linear reading of article 9 paragraph 7 and article 67 makes it possible to understand that the ACA is presented as a base for the protection of the young public in a liberalized landscape, in particular for children and adolescents under 16 years old.

The specifications and the standards of regulation

14The specifications (CB4) of the audiovisual operators are the concrete translation of the philosophy of the regulatory provisions of the ACA. The CBs are considered as a legal basis linking the operator to the regulator and the citizen to the operator. The fact that the television experience in Morocco is mainly public, directs our analysis towards the study of the CB of the operators composing the public pole.

15After the first CB of the operators of the public sector of 2006 and those of 2009, the last new CB of October 2012 recorded the concretization of the values ​​of the constitution of 2011. Even with the modifications that knew the legal frame of reference for the audiovisual sector, in particular the implementation of the Audiovisual Law in 2005, it is the geopolitical framework as a whole that has changed with the advent of the uprisings of populations in the MENA region, mainly made up of young people.

16An analysis of the CB makes it possible to identify certain specificities, synthesized in table 1 in the appendix.

Theoretical framework

17According to Laurent5 Martin in his analysis of the relationship between ”culture & media“, the fields of Cultural Studies (CS) and Medias Studies (MS) do not coincide but overlap partially. According to the same author, it is also very common that all those working in the field of ”media studies“ do not use the concepts, the references, and the problems of ”cultural studies“ as for the case of audiovisual regulators. All those working in the field of ”cultural studies“ do not work on the media, as for academics. However, overlapping areas exist that can be highlighted in two ways. The first is to identify, in the canonical works of MS, the place reserved for CS perspective; the second proceeds in the opposite direction by estimating the weight of media studies in CS work.

18In our case study, it is more a question of the first approach where the question of CS is highlighted at the level of work related to MS.

19Some works relate mass communication, culture study and MS in a form that is not exclusively CS. In fact, American media studies remain mostly faithful to a theoretical model that combines the social sciences, political economy and structural functionalism. The positivist and quantitative paradigm remains dominant. In this sense, Laurent Martin explains that the CS came to reinforce those who, interested in the media, questioned the dominant positivist, quantitative and behaviorist model. The rejection of the paradigm of ”effects“ in favor of that of ”uses“ has been one of the keys to this change of perspective. It is at work from the early works of the British CS, especially in the pioneering book by James Halloran, The Effects of Television (1970) where, finding that could not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between the violence shown in television and juvenile delinquency, he came to wonder whether the very question of effects was relevant. He switched from classical media analysis to CS by focusing on the ”vision of the world“ developed by television through content analysis as do regulatory departments such as the CSA 'France, HACA (Morocco) , CSA (Belgium), etc.

20The model of active interpretation and the rejection of technical determinism, both present at Stuart Hall and applied by David Morley, marked the British CSs; the use of the ethnographic method, the concepts of ”imagined community“ and ”fan culture“ rather characterized their American version or the subaltern studies of English-speaking universities, with books like those of Janice Radway6 or Ien Ang, which manifested the desire to give voice to the ”dominated“, to ”take the actors seriously“ by escaping the discourses of overhang of the University7.

Typology of the supply and production of television content

21The television offer, mainly public, is structured on the basis of the normative provisions proposed in the specifications. Thus, the offer of the programs results in an independent production of the grid which will have to touch, each time, a global or specific audience.

The program grid of the public broadcasting service8

22Since the implementation of the new specifications in October 2012, television operators are required to make available to the public, at the level of their websites, all information concerning tendering procedures, the program schedule, the code of ethics, the specifications, the programs of external production or co-production, as well as all the information necessary for a greater transparency of the public service.

23Once the legal provisions concerning the rights of the young public are clear, they will have to be found at the operational level through the program schedule and program production forecasts (PAD: ”Ready to broadcast“ and co-production). Thus, we will use the example of SNRT to analyze the weight and importance given to young audiences by this operator who has a public service role.

24The information and criteria summarized in Table 2 highlight some characteristics of the production aimed at young people in general. Thus, we found that the weight of the number of television programs intended for young audiences in relation to the total investment forecasts of public channels is relatively low. Producers prefer to dilute the youth component, let alone those abroad, in a cross-section that involves young people and adults.

25In the absence of a relationship between the thematic vocation of the chains and the investment forecasts, we observe a relatively important presence of a desire of investment in programs which target the young people at the level of the religious chain ”ASSADISSA“ and the regional channel of Hassani expression of the southern provinces ”TV LAAYOUN“ with respectively 5% and 4.5% of forecasts9.

26Regarding the monthly weight or frequency of monthly presence of youth programs on the screen in investment forecasts, it leans relatively to the Amazigh expression channel ”TAMAZIGHT". Despite the fact that this channel only broadcasts 228 hours per month, it focuses an average of 3.4% of its screen for PAD production and Co-production for young audiences.

27So for a population aged between 15 and 25 years, which represents more than 20% of the Moroccan population, the weight of the investment programs that are intended for them monthly on the public television screens is of the order 0.33% of the monthly release time.

28These figures should be connected by a reading of the impact of programming as a whole on the young audience.

29Thus, the issue of digitalization of content with all the advantages it offers (choice on demand, storage and viewing, international accessibility) would allow young Moroccans abroad to follow the national content. Therefore, whatever the degree of appreciation of the content broadcast, the usual means of dissemination and reception do not allow monitoring and monitoring of the ratings especially for satellite broadcasting. It is in this sense that the content broadcast and followed on the internet allows a very precise sizing of the offer in function and the targeted demand.

Which impact on the audience?

30According to the SNRT, the young audience between 15 and 25 represented between 2012 and 2016, respectively, 19% and 17% of the total Moroccan population having consumed its television services. In order to analyze the audience, we chose to take the example of two programs for young people: Web2.0 and 100% CHABAB.

31Respectively broadcast by 2M and AL AOULA, Web2.0 and 100% CHABAB broadcasts are considered flagship programs for young audiences. Despite their specific thematic vocation to young audiences, the audience rate for these programs, according to the figures of the public sector, does not exceed 120,000 television viewers on average for each of the two programs. This situation raises again the question: where is the young Moroccan public?

Circulation and modes of competition

32In the current state of things, the multi-media offer such as mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc., marks a turning point in the consumption of young people. These technological means form the privilege of this category par excellence. The fans of the targeted emissions profit from the new technical means. The relationship they have with the electronic media has changed a lot. The practice has become widespread and uses are anchored around two poles: the frequentation of sites, especially for music and films, and the remote communication, with all the services available (mobile phone, instant messaging, Facebook). Young people have integrated these media in their daily lives, regularly but sometimes even excessively, an average of 4 to 6 hours of connection to available services according to the priorities of the moment.

33The mobile phone has become vitally important and sometimes it would seem difficult to live without them; a majority of them consider it important to be in touch with friends and family all the time. It brings together several uses at once (calls, radio, video, internet and facebook).


34The segmentation of the audience, listener and spectators, is now in the foreground. The realities of young Moroccans as well as regional and cultural realities have long been ignored. The cultural, social, economic and political implications are enormous. The various components of the ratings are not yet sufficiently present in the programming of Moroccan audiovisual channels. The analysis of the regulatory framework of the Moroccan channels shows an insufficient place of the young public in the various emissions carried out. It should also be pointed out that a lack of demand exists between the young audience and the adult audience on which producers are playing.

35The audio-visual sector needs to further promote other sources of measurement, including direct on-air participation and interactivity via networks to confront the public's views with programmers' intentions. Young people are avid users of these methods and are looking for a place in the national media.

36Current knowledge of youth tastes is primarily focused on culture and entertainment, including sports, music, and radio coaching programs.

37Among the most obvious findings conveyed by the results presented, Moroccan fiction occupies a prominent place except that it is consumed on alternative platforms such as grouped viewing of episodes on the Internet.


Source: SNRT & Soread-2M
Tab 2: SNRT Programs with external production or coproduction in 2017


Source: SNRT data and author analysis


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Tab 1: The importance of the Younger’s in the TV and radio specifications Books of 2012


1  This concept has been used by the authors for more than ones research for analyzing the increased using of more than one media or platforms (audio, video, letters, etc.) for having single information or the same information.

2  The Moroccan audiovisual sector, like all the structured markets, regulates the actions of the operators on the basis of a system of specifications, which concretizes the fundamental concepts of the constitution and the law on the audiovisual communication codified (77-03)

3  Until the month of September 2018, the entry into force of the Audiovisual Communication Act 77-03 after its amendment in 2016 and its publication in the official bulletin has not yet impacted the operators' specifications through modifications.

4  Specification book in English or (cahier des charges in French)

5  Martin, L. (2009). Culture et médias : quelles approches aujourd'hui ? Le Temps des médias, 12(1), 261-277. doi:10.3917/tdm.012.0261.

6  Radway, J. (1999). What's in a Name? Presidential Address to the American Studies Association, 20 November, 1998. American Quarterly, 51(1), 1-32. Retrieved from

7  Martin, L. (2009). Culture et médias : quelles approches aujourd'hui ? Le Temps des médias, 12,(1), 261-277. doi:10.3917/tdm.012.0261.

8  Moroccan public broadcasting company. SNRT is the French Acronyms.  

9  The period of the study had been done between October 2016 and October 2017.

Pour citer ce document

Mohamed Bendahan et Yassine Akhiate, «When the ideological minority eclipse the identity and linguistic majorities:Case of Moroccan media facing youngers», French Journal for Media Research [en ligne], Conference Proceedings/Actes de colloques, Minorities/Minorités, mis à jour le : 12/12/2018, URL :

Quelques mots à propos de :  Mohamed Bendahan

Professor - Chief Department
Mohammed V University of Rabat, Kingdom Of Morocco

Quelques mots à propos de :  Yassine Akhiate

Associate Professor
Mohammed V University of Rabat, Kingdom Of Morocco



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