dimanche 24 mai 2009

Magazines Play "Catch" with French Kids

A shelf with "catch" magazines in Librairie du Parc,
Boulogne (France), close to a major elementary school.

In French, "catch" stands for wrestling.
There is a new trend among young boys (10 +): "catch". The media take advantage of this trend and obviously accelerate it. There is even a magazine for kids 6-12 : CatchGame.
July 2 : 18 new magazines dedicated to catch have been launched during the last eight months in France (monthly or bimonthly), plus many special issues (hors série). These magazines often offer posters and tattoos. Source : Base MM (June 2009). 

There are TV programs about catch on many channels (Canal Plus Sport, NT1, RTL9, W9) and of course collector cards for trading card games. Cards are sold by newspaper stores (and, on the net, by the WWEuroshop which also sells WWE figurines, T-shirts and posters). They mostly show American wrestlers (Triple H, The Undertaker, John Cena, etc.). Cf. infra, Slam Attax Cards.
Yesterday, "catch" finally made the front page of the largest Parisian paper (Le Parisien) and its national issue (Aujourd'hui). 
What role does the media play? Does it just mirror something which started among kids during recess (cours de récré)? Is it simply something launched in Europe by the American WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and amplified by the media?
How can this phenomenon be reconciled with what is announced as the end of print? What is the Internet's role in all this? Wasn't it supposed to "kill" the printed press, especially for the so-called "digital generation"?
Once again what seems simple is but a simplification.

"They're All Crazy About Catch".

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