Introduction: News Performance in the Online Age

  • Edda Humprecht
Part of the Challenges to Democracy in the 21st Century book series (CDC)


When in 2010 the web-based news outlet Médiapart revealed one of the biggest political scandals in France — the so-called Bettencourt affair — it turned traditional French political journalism upside down. The news outlet reported that millionaire and L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt had made illegal payments to members of the UMP, the French conservative party, including to former president Nicolas Sarkozy and the budget minister at the time, Eric Woerth. In addition, the case also showed that new web-based media outlets could serve as journalistic watchdogs and deserved at least as much public confidence as well-established media brands. The whistle-blower who initially revealed the case self-consciously decided to give the precious information to a relatively new journalistic start-up, rather than an established major newspaper — a first in French journalism.


Media Outlet Qualitative Comparative Analysis News Coverage Ownership Type Media Market 
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Copyright information

© Edda Humprecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edda Humprecht
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Mass Communication and Media ResearchUniversity of ZurichSwitzerland

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