The French media landscape is basically run by two substantial drivers. First, print, TV, and radio markets have always been interdependent with politics and public administration. The elite of journalists and most media outlets maintain – more or less strong – ties with politics, and vice versa. Second, all news media markets are affected by a double-sided trend, that is not proper to France: A growing concentration of ownership in mainstream media as well as a process of standardisation that not only affects the editorial content of news but also the professional practices and profile and identity of journalists.
In reaction, more and more citizens forsake mainstream news media to get news to the benefit of new (alternative) online media – websites or social media – that offer distinctive editorial content and orientation. Some of these alternative media are strongly rejected by mainstream journalists and news media institutions because they are run by maverick journalists or individuals whose professional life is outside the mainstream occupation and their news approach shows an alternative view to the mainstream one. This struggle is particularly exemplified by the current debate on fake news and alternative or post-truth reality. Mainstream media people or intellectuals use to delegitimise alternative media in claiming they create and/or disseminate false news with the aim at challenging the legitimacy of institutionalised media elite or undermining the democratic systems.