France 24 reported on Friday that resources were being showered on Charlie Hebdo to enable it to continue.
“Stupidity is not going to win,” said Patrick Pelloux, one of the magazine’s columnists as well as a practising doctor who delivered first aid in the aftermath of the attack, which left 12 dead.
That’s important. The murderers were striking a blow for stupidity in what they did, in addition to all the rest of it. Stupidity mustn’t win.
On Friday, Pelloux and other surviving staff members were seen heading into the offices of the French newspaper Libération, which has offered the magazine’s employers use of its premises for “as long as necessary”.
“We are hosting them because they don’t even have a pencil,” Pierre Fraidenraich, one of the newspapers directors told AFP. “Their computers and all their equipment have been sealed” in their blood-soaked offices a few streets away, he added.
Libération has given them a whole floor as well as equipment, and it’s added extra security.
But the offers of help did not end there. Numerous French media organisations– including Le Monde, France Télévisions, Radio France and FRANCE 24’s parent company France Médias Monde – have also vowed to “make available all the manpower and materials necessary to allow Charlie Hebdo to live on”.
Pledges of support have also come in from overseas, with The Guardian announcing Thursday a donation of £100,000 (€128,000) to help keep the magazine running.
Well done the Guardian.
That will be added to the approximately €1 million of funding French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin promised to make available for Charlie Hebdo “to ensure its continuation”.
Speaking to France Info radio, Justice Minister Christiane Taubira said that public aid for the magazine “would be justified”.
“The disappearance of Charlie Hebdo is inconceivable,” she said.
Ahem. Who said that? Who said public aid for the magazine would be justified? Who said its disappearance is inconceivable? Justice Minister Christiane Taubira – the one in CH’s “racist” cartoon that was actually not racist at all but anti-racist.
Before all this…Charlie Hebdo was sinking. Irony of ironies, the massacre has rescued the magazine.
Before Wednesday’s attack, the magazine had been in considerable financial difficulty, its declining sales bringing it to the verge of bankruptcy.
Weekly sales had fallen to around 30,000 a week, half the number printed, while it needed to sell at least 35,000 a week just to break even, Stéphane Charbonnier, or Charb, had told AFP before losing his life in the massacre.
He launched an appeal for donations in November to help save the magazine, but by the end of the year it had only raised a few thousand euros, much less than the €1 million hoped for.
That appeal is now set to continue with the full weight of the French media behind it, many of whom are relaying the call for donations through their publications.
The message will also be spread abroad through Reporters Without Borders.
How poignant is that.