Amid the gloom and doom surrounding the printed press in many countries, France is going ahead with a â‚¬600 million aid package to help paper-based newspapers and magazines survive the 21st century. The money will be used for:
- distribution: supporting the kiosks where the papers are sold, home distribution, etc;
- modernization of printing presses;
- giving the printed press similar breaks that online publications have; and
- giving free subscriptions to 18-year olds.
The Sarkozy government’s support for media groups has come under attack from people who accuse the president of giving financial aid to media conglomerates who own the newspapers and magazines. I think it’s a waste of money. What the French government has done is to subsidize an outdated method of delivery. Much as I love books, beautiful magazines and printed matter, I don’t think you can stand in the way of technological development and its consequences. People are mobile. They prefer to get much of their news online. Subsidizing the old-fashioned method of delivering the news makes as much sense as giving money to horse-and-buggy companies when the motor car came on the scene. If they’re giving money to the papers, why not also to bakers, plumbers, and computer programmers?
To read more, go to this article in Le Monde: