Mediapart English celebrates its tenth anniversary

This month, Mediapart English celebrates its tenth anniversary. It is an opportune occasion to remind our readers of how we work and how to navigate our pages and their rich archives containing more than 2,000 feature articles spanning a decade of reporting and landmark investigations.

Mediapart launched its English-language service, Mediapart English, in October 2010 in what was, true to the spirit of this online journal, a novel move amid the French media landscape.

To our very first readers of ten years ago and the many more who have joined us since, we extend our hearty thanks for your loyalty and support. For those joining us now, this special anniversary offers the occasion to re-introduce Mediapart English.

The regular feature articles published through the week, every week, are based on those published by Mediapart in French. They cover a wide range of news stories, political analysis, photo journalism and opinion articles and, most importantly, the many ground-breaking, revelatory investigative reports that are a hallmark of this website. There are now more than 2,000 feature articles available on the Mediapart English pages.

Firstly, a more general word about Mediapart: all of the contents on the website (which also include a service in Spanish, launched in 2013), are accessible through subscription which, as a totally independent publication with no advertising or private shareholders, is Mediapart’s single source of income (see the video “Only our readers can buy us”). Since its launch in 2008, Mediapart has become a major and influential player among French media, and today, with more than 200,000 subscribers, its economic model has proved that high-quality journalism can indeed thrive in the digital age.

Since October last year, Mediapart is permanently established within a non-capitalistic, not-for-profit structure (see more on this from Mediapart's publishing editor Edwy Plenel here and here) which permanently guarantees its independence.

All of the keenly priced subscription packages on offer give unlimited access to the whole of Mediapart, in French, in English and in Spanish, (identical subscription offers are available via the English pages and those in French).

The Mediapart English team is composed of professional Anglophone journalists, and our principal task is to produce English-language versions of reports from Mediapart’s pages in French (major stories are sometimes published simultaneously). The word “version” is important because these are not word-for-word translations – French and English-language reporting is often structured differently – although the factual contents and all quotes are, of course, strictly the same. We also add explanatory information and live links about people and events who and which may be unfamiliar to Anglophone readers. Every article in English features a link at the end to the original French article upon which it is based.

The regular feature reports published on Mediapart English appear through weekdays and at weekends. What do our stories cover? We place a priority on reports about France – notably on social, political, economic and environmental issues – and reporting on the Francophone regions of the world which are often little-covered in the Anglophone press. However, that does not exclude original coverage of other international news by Mediapart correspondents worldwide, and of global issues like migration and the environment.

Added to this are investigative reports compiled in conjunction with other international media partners, such as the European Investigative Collaborations network, which has included the Football Leaks series of revelations of corruption and tax evasion in the world of professional football. There are also reports compiled with Mediapart’s editorial partners in France, which include regional independent newsrooms, such as Marsactu and Mediacités, and the literary review En attendant Nadeau.

On top of our regular feature reports, the Mediapart English pages include a section on the homepage called ‘Web review’ and a right-hand column, the ‘Club’. The latter is dedicated to posts from subscribers (each subscriber is automatically allocated a blog, which they are free to use – or not), from the Mediapart team, and also from invited outside contributors (‘Les Invités de Mediapart’). The ‘Club’ column, clearly distinguishable from the editorial content, is an interactive tool (along with readers’ comments to articles), offering a platform for debate and opinions.

The ‘Web review’ section (close to the top of the homepage) is a rolling presentation of day-to-day news about France, which links to reports from other media around the web.

Searching the archives: if you are looking for past articles published in English on a particular subject, it is preferable to use the search engine that sits at the top right-hand position on any Mediapart English page (marked as “Recherche”). This is English-language sensitive, and will produce quicker results in English than the same search engine on the French pages. Nearly every article contains a “Related articles” box, which is also useful for combing back through stories that have developed over time, and in some cases over several years, notably long-running investigations.

Among the latter are those into political corruption and illegal party funding and which became the subject of judicial probes in France. These include the so-called “Karachi affair” (see here and here); the Liliane Bettencourt scandal; the suspected Libyan funding of Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 presidential election campaign  (and related dealings with late dictator Muammar Gaddafi's regime) .

Mediapart’s acclaimed investigations also include that into Jérôme Cahuzac, a socialist budget minister who was forced to resign and later stood trial over Mediapart’s revelations of his secret tax-dodging foreign bank account, and the astonishing activities of President Emmanuel Macron’s disgraced security aide Alexandre Benalla, and also the revelations of French actress Adèle Haenel, whose allegations that she was abused, when a minor by film director Christophe Ruggia rocked France’s cinema industry (that investigation by Mediapart’s Marine Turchi was applauded for its thoroughness by US Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow, whose revelations about Harvey Weinstein largely prompted the #MeToo movement).

Meanwhile, if you are simply curious to see what articles have been published over recent months or years, these can be found by going to the bottom of the Mediapart English homepage and running through the “Previous page” boxes (limited to the past five years). These will show you Mediapart’s extensive coverage of the so-called “yellow vest” movement of social insurrection, the inside workings of French intelligence services’ counter-terrorism operations, poverty in France (for example here and here, and the many controversies over the government’s handling of the Covid-19 virus epidemic in the country (examples here, here, here, and here), plus related reports on the longstanding malaise in French hospital services, and also a series of investigations into sex abuse in the Catholic Church. These are but a few examples of the hundreds of topics covered in this unique catalogue of reports about contemporary France, and which offer an insight into the issues and events shaping the country.

Finally, we once again thank you, dear readers, for your interest in Mediapart English and for your precious support for independent journalism.

Graham Tearse

Editor, Mediapart English


Le Club est l'espace de libre expression des abonnés de Mediapart. Ses contenus n'engagent pas la rédaction.