The Audiovisual and the « invisible » local network : the production of soundtapes in small rural areas.

Review of an experiment tried in three rural areas (Bas-Grésivaudan, Chambarands and Vercors) about the production of soundtapes for information. This operation takes place in the programme of « Télépromotion rurale Rhône-Alpes-Auvergne », which is an organization instructed to supply the agents of the rural development with audiovisual means. The analysis of the possible uses of this support has been induced by previous investigations on the communication and information means of the farmers. These investigations have revealed the value of personal exchanges and evidences. After the establishment of small production units in various reception structures, it has been possible to study first the impact of such a media - the sound tape - which is cheap and technically easy to handle, and then the life conditions required for such units. This work has revealed small local communication networks which are often hidden by the regional or national media. These small networks aim to promote the dialogues about living conditions, about how to weight problems, and how to provide interlocutors with material for social and cultural identifications, more than technical and standardized information. Introducing this communication support - the tape - inside the « invisible » local network, induces the appointment of a professional technician in order to guarantee the continuity of the operation.