A rough translation of the headline: "President Obama thinks this would be a good way to control the media"
Earlier this year, Democrat Senator Ben Cardin introduced a bill to help struggling newspapers by allowing them to restructure as nonprofits giving them a boatload of tax breaks. Ahhh, but the French government has one-upped Cardin.
Naturally, the story is reported by the New York Times, which would, of course, be one of the primary beneficiaries if a similar plan were to be adopted in the United States:
Newspapers have tried many things to stave off a seemingly relentless decline in readers. Now France is pushing forward with a novel approach: giving away papers to young readers in an effort to turn them into regular customers.
The government Tuesday detailed plans of a project called “My Free Newspaper,” under which 18- to 24-year-olds will be offered a free, yearlong subscription to a newspaper of their choice.
“Winning back young readers is essential for the financial survival of the press, and for its civic dimension,” the culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand, said.
The project is one of a number of measures, including direct financial subsidies, announced by the government last winter, after a study of the problems facing the newspaper industry.
About 60 publications are participating in the new project. In addition to papers like Le Monde and Le Figaro, they include a variety of local publications, as well as the Paris-based International Herald Tribune, the global edition of The New York Times. Even L’Équipe, a popular sports daily, is taking part.
Where the hell are the Democrats on this issue? C’mon, man, we want our free newspapers. We already have our free food, free rent, free cars, and free cell phones.
It’s a right. We’re pretty sure it’s in the Constitution. Isn’t that what they meant when they talked about freedom of the press?
Source: Reuters, New York Times