The Journal of Caribbean History: Volume 39, Issue 1

Article 5
La Presse Sportive dans les Antilles Françaises

Jacques Dumont


Abstract

The broadcasting of sports and the media are inseparably linked. The sports press is an interesting field that allows one to carve out a specialized area of study and at the same time highlight its place as a social discipline. This specialized press in Martinique and Guadeloupe, from 1930 to the 1960s, which is the focus of this essay, goes from abundance, with no less than five magazines for the 250,000 inhabitants, to zero, with no dedicated sports magazine. Compared with other countries (Europe, the United States), during the period under study the press seemed to have had certain biases, three of which were dominant: a pioneering or “missionary” focus, a “militant” tendency with sports being used to support more or less explicit social claims, and the commerical promotion of sports products. Different kinds of sports heroes, created and given public exposure by the press, make it possible to follow the cross currents of a quest for identity and the inscription in modernity of a performance cult. This work attempts, within the boundaries proposed, to highlight issues for comparative studies with other Caribbean countries.