This journal serves the important function of providing access, for those who do not read French, to communication research and debates about communications in the Francophone world. This is important because of the value of the contributions in their own right, but also because the study of communications raises, with increasing insistence the question of cultural relativity and of the relation, within an increasingly global sphere of communication and culture, of differing cultural traditions and their development. The various strands of Franco-phone communication studies have their generic equivalent in the English-speaking world, though the overall mix and the emphases they manifest may differ somewhat. Two directions which are prominent in both French- and English-language communications research are historical studies of communication and analyses of communication technology. Much research underscores not least the centrality of various media in the rapid historical evolution of modernity: the media's institutional alignments and organization; the various occupational categories involved; the nature of media output and portraits of their society.
Morevover, detailed attention to specific media technologies - not only their technical capacities, but also their social, economic and political contexts - helps us to develop a more nuanced idea of "the media" as a unitary historical factor. Both these strands of history and technology are represented by several articles in this issue of "Reseaux", and in fact merge in a number of the pieces. Apply to John Libbey & Co. Ltd for subscription rates.