It will take a week to pull a new edition of Charlie Hebdo together, and it won’t be as robust as its usual offerings, but survivors and former colleagues plan to defiantly publish after al-Qaeda-linked terrorists assassinated key contributors yesterday.
The French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo plans to respond to an extremist attack that decimated its staff by upping its usual print run of 60,000 to 1 million copies next week.
Next week’s edition will have only eight pages, half the size of the last edition, according to French news reports. …
Former Charlie Hebdo employee Caroline Fourest told ABC News Australia that she’s confident current and former workers will rally to get the paper back on newsstands next Wednesday.
“We made jokes about the crazy, stupid people who were violent enough to be afraid of a simple cartoon,” Fourest said. “They can continue to be afraid because there will be more cartoons.
“To have an automatic weapon and kill people is really easy,” Fourest said. “You don’t need any talent to do that. You need talent to be a cartoonist. You need talent to be a journalist.”
At the time of the terrorist attack, only half of the previous run had sold. Now some of those are selling on eBay for more than $4,000 as the world rallies around free speech and free expression. Columnist Patrick Pelloux tells Sky News that it’s important to show that “stupidity will not win”:
‘It’s very hard. We are all suffering, with grief, with fear, but we will do it anyway because stupidity will not win,’ he said.
He added that the publication would have to be put together outside Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters which were not accessible following the massacre.
It’s not just the survivors and former colleagues pitching in for the effort, either. French media have rallied to the magazine’s side, offering “human and material” support and other assistance to keep Charlie Hebdo in publication:
No surrender there, it seems. In Europe, and in the US, debate over whether the Hebdo cartoons should be republished in solidarity with the magazine continues to percolate:
In France, the conservative daily Le Figaro printed its blue masthead in black over the headline “Freedom assassinated” but did not reprint any cartoons. Communist daily L’Humanite printed a picture of the last cover of Charlie Hebdo. The Paris tabloid Le Parisien’s headline also printed some cartoons.
In Britain, no national paper printed any of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons, although some did carry images of its front pages, although not prominently.
“I felt a duty to readers, I felt a duty to the dead, I felt a duty to journalism and I also felt a duty to my staff,” Amol Rajan, editor of the Independent, told BBC Radio. “And I think it would have been too much of a risk to unilaterally decide in Britain to be the only newspaper that went ahead and published.”
Germany’s national newspapers mostly printed images from the videos of the gunmen on front pages but Berlin’s regional newspapers printed Charlie Hebdo covers.
Berlin’s top-selling newspaper BZ, which has a circulation of just under 130,000, dedicated its front page to reprints of 18 Charlie Hebdo covers – with the headline “Vive la liberte”. It included the caricature of Mohammad saying “100 lashes if you don’t laugh to death”.
In Italy, leading daily Il Corriere della Sera dedicated one page to six Charlie hebdo cartoons. Spanish conservative paper La Razon reprinted Charlie’s October cover on its front page, in which Mohammad is seen on his knees at knife point, and headlined the cartoon with “We are all Charlie Hebdo”.
“If you start saying ‘well we’ve got to censor ourselves because we might upset murderers or potential murderers’ then we might as well just close down the media,” Martin Rowson, a cartoonist for Britain’s Guardian newspaper, told Reuters.
Some of the Hebdo cartoons were provocative enough that these organizations wouldn’t have carried them before this, either. That’s one reason CH existed — to fill the niche of iconoclastic caustic criticism, applied extensively and broadly. If a media outlet doesn’t usually republish images based on a standard level of offense, then they shouldn’t necessarily be obligated to reflexively publish them now … but most of these media outlets would have had no issue reprinting the Hebdo cartoons that skewered something other than Islam, and their readers and viewers know it.
Let’s offer a compromise. If they won’t include Hebdo images today, how about carrying cartoons like this from Nate Beeler that call out the threat to free speech and dissent?
At least that would be a start.
Update: Fixed two minor grammatical errors, and removed the link to Nate’s blog. I’ll get in touch with him to find the correct link.