The Dreyfus Affair: Investigative Journalism vs State Power

The Dreyfus Affair began with an inept investigation by French military intelligence of a leakage of military secrets by an unidentified French officer to the German embassy in Paris in 1894. Suspicion readily fell on a thirty-five-year-old artillery officer, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, who after a rushed and partisan interrogation was tried by court-martial, convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for life on Devil’s Island in French Guiana. The complexities which developed from this beginning became known as L’Affaire Dreyfus: it involved two hearings, at both of which Dreyfus was convicted, a parliamentary inquiry, and most famously a searing denunciation by polemicist…

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