Defiant Charlie Hebdo to print 1 million copies

by Staff |

(REUTERS/Jacky Naegelen)A member of the media makes images of the front page of Charlie Hebdo which shows a caricature of French author Michel Houellebecq near the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, after a shooting Jan. 7, 2015. Twelve people including two police officers were killed in a shooting at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, a police spokesman said in an update on the death toll. The French president described the shooting as without doubt a terrorist attack.

PARIS (Christian Examiner) -- Undaunted by the gunning down of its leading cartoonists, the French weekly Charlie Hebdo plans to print a million copies next Wednesday, more than 30 times its usual run.

Offering funds and office space, French media rallied around the satirical paper on Thursday, a day after militants killed 12 people as journalists held an editorial meeting, to ensure the weekly's next edition appears on time.

The newspaper, which had been in temporary offices since its Paris building was firebombed in 2011 after printing a cartoon mocking Islam's Prophet Mohammad, will work from the premises of the left-wing daily Liberation, which announced the arrangements.

Charlie Hebdo's lawyer Richard Malka said the print run, which is normally about 30,000 copies but rises to 200,000 for the most controversial issues, would reach one million.

"We have decided to continue Charlie with those who survived," Malka told Liberation. "It's our way of saying that no, they did not kill Charlie, they haven't won."

Patrick Pelloux, a Charlie Hebdo columnist who was not in the office during the attack, sobbed as he told a television interviewer the newspaper would come out next week on time.

"It will be tough," he said. "We must not give in."

Malka said staff had no equipment to work with "no computer, no pencil, nothing" following the attack, which badly damaged the offices and turned the facilities into a crime scene.

Radio France, France Télévisions (national public television broadcaster) and the Paris daily Le Monde announced late on Wednesday they would provide "all the human and material means necessary so that Charlie Hebdo continues to live." Each urged other media companies to join them "to preserve the principles of independence of thought and expression that guarantee our democracy."

The paper's editor, Stephane Charbonnier, who was among those killed in Wednesday's attack, had appealed for funds from readers in November, saying the paper, which carries no advertisements, needed to sell 35,000 to break even.

According to the business daily Les Echos, French publishers have agreed to contribute 250,000 euros and a fund for new media partly backed by Google would contribute a similar amount. News distributors agreed to display the next edition prominently in their kiosks and shops.

"They wanted to kill Charlie Hebdo," Les Echos chief executive Francis Morel told his staff. "Not only did they not succeed, but we want Charlie Hebdo to emerge stronger from this tragedy."

Reuters