Firstly, a very warm welcome to Mediapart English. This is the start of a new adventure both for Mediapart and for us, the team who are responsible for the presentation in English of the articles you see here.
We are beginning Mediapart English in front of the site's paywall, free of access and open to the world. Eventually, the pages in English will become available to subscribers only.
You'll find these pages updated with new stories through the week offering a selection from all of Mediapart's extensive news and features coverage - focussing mostly, but not only, on France.
I'm the coordinator and chief dishwasher of a team of highly-experienced professional journalists who report on France for the Anglophone media (British, American, Australian etc.). We all have a long and wide experience of both journalism and translation.
But what we are doing involves much more than translation alone: we are re-presenting articles in English that were originally written by the French editorial team at Mediapart. We reflect their professionalism and ours by turning the articles into English in a style that our readers will recognise and understand.
You will also find footnotes and explanations in brackets. All links to outside sources are there only to help with an understanding of a subject presented, and are not part of the article. You may occasionally see links to French text, when we think that's appropriate, or fun or the only source for further information available. We hope you'll find it a valuable source of reference on a wide variety of subjects.
While we stick very closely to the original texts, the end product may be structured differently. For example, what was in paragraph five in a French article might be moved up to paragraph two in the English article. That is why we call them 'versions', as indicated at the end of each article.
Very importantly, every quote you read is strictly what was in the original French. There are no modifications of style or structure concerning quotes.
Naturally, all of the material in the translated articles can be credited by fellow journalists to Mediapart. We hope journalist colleagues will find it a useful and time-saving tool and, because the English content is not behind a paywall, they can provide a link to the stories on these pages.
French journalism and English-language journalism are two different beasts, and we hope we successfully meet the challenge of bridging that gap.
Where they are no different is in their core values of irreverence in the business of seeking out, and telling, the truth, as illustrated in Mediapart's dogged investigations into the Bettencourt affair.
Mediapart, an independent structure with no advertising, has imposed itself at the top of the French media scene in just two years. It was launched in March 2008 by a group of veteran press journalists led by Edwy Plenel, former editor of the daily newspaper Le Monde. Its trademark investigative reports have often been one step ahead of other French media, and have had worldwide coverage.
But it is also a news website that covers a great many other stories that don't hit the headlines, but which are nevertheless vital for an understanding of what makes France tick today; social issues, the economy, art and literature, cinema, national and regional politics and sport.
We'll be bringing you a selection of all of the site's reporting, and we look forward to your comments about what you like - or would like - to see presented on these pages.
It is important to note that the right-hand colmun of the English Home Page (that is, the 'Mediapart Club' column where you found this blog), is home to outside opinion and commentary. This is the interactive section, where Mediapart's journalists and subscribers can add their own content with blogs, expressed as individuals or groups. You will see a real mix of contents here, which we hope will be the subject of interest and debate. I should make clear, however, that we are not responsible for translating the material published in the Club column.
A big thanks to you for joining us here on this unique adventure, and we look forward to receiving your comments.
Le Club est l'espace de libre expression des abonnés de Mediapart. Ses contenus n'engagent pas la rédaction.