Le Temps via WorldCrunch | Time
The resignation last week
of French President Francois Hollande's budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac over allegations of tax fraud has been shining a spotlight on one model of online investigative journalism. Mediapart
, a French website founded five years ago by a pair of veteran journalists from newspaper Le Monde, now has another feather in its cap for breaking (and sticking with) the Cahuzac scandal, and has a subscriber base that proves online journalism can work.
Co-founders Laurent Mauduit and Edwy Plenel are celebrating the latest victory for Mediapart, which first gained fame for exposing Nicolas Sarkozy's campaign finance scandal in 2010. Both during that investigation and the Cahuzac story, politicians, readers and other members of the media questioned the site's allegations.
"Not only did Cahuzac lie but we were also belittled by our colleagues, who told us this was nonsense,” Mauduit told Time's Vivienne Walt
. French National Center for Scientific Research
sociologist and media specialist Jean-Marie Charon notes that skepticism is a product of French culture, which largely mistrusts the media.