Writer for satirical magazine says ‘stupidity will not win’, as about €250,000 lined up from Google-backed fund to support publication
French media has pledged to help Charlie Hebdo as staff at the magazine have vowed to publish next week with a print run of 1m. Photograph: Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images
Jane Martinson and Mark Sweney
Thursday 8 January 2015 13.47 GMT
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Surviving staff members of Charlie Hebdo have vowed to publish the satirical weekly next Wednesday, despite the murder of most of its senior journalists – with a much larger than usual print run of 1m copies.
Within 24 hours of the massacre of 12 people – including eight journalists – some €250,000 (£195,000) had been earmarked to support Charlie Hebdo by the Digital Press Fund, paid for by Google, to support the French press. French media groups including Le Monde, France Télévisions and Radio France, are also understood to be working on a plan to contribute a similar amount, urging other media outlets to join in offering humanitarian and financial support.
This money is expected to be taken from a donation tax, according to a report in Les Echos. In a further sign of the French media uniting to save the weekly, the two groups involved in the distribution of the papers will take no fee for next week’s issue.
Ludovic Blecher, the director of Google IPWA Fund for Digital Innovation, told the Guardian that many diverse, largely uncoordinated efforts were being made to support the left-leaning weekly following the attack. “We are a fund for the press. We must enable them to be able to write, even if we don’t agree, it’s a question of diversity of speech.”
He added: “The fund is trying to figure out a way to provide a financial support to Charlie Hebdo. We’re working on a process in order to find an exceptional answer to an exceptional situation. The role of the fund is to help the press. We’re playing our role. But we are still working on the technical process.”
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The press innovation fund was set up in February 2013 to settle the dispute between Google and the French government over whether the internet group should pay to display news content in its search results. Financed but not managed by Google, that money will go to support the survival of the weekly. The other money might be used for other “humanitarian” but as yet unannnounced support.
Richard Malka, the magazine’s lawyer, told Les Echos that the remaining staff aim to print 1m copies of the satirical weekly, which has a typical print run of 60,000.
In an emotional interview with French TV channel i>Télé, a free-to-air news channel, a visibly upset Patrick Pelloux, a casualty doctor who also contributed to the weekly, spoke of his efforts to save his colleagues as one of the first on the scene and vowed to publish next week’s issue. With tears running down his fac, he said Charlie Hebdo would continue as otherwise the killers would win die and the victims would have “died for nothing”. “Le journal va continuer, ils n’ont pas gagné.”
Describing what he found in the 11th arrondissement offices after being called by a colleague, the emergency doctor said: “It was horrible, many had passed away, they were shot execution-style. We were able to save the others who are feeling better this morning.”
The staff at the magazine were very aware of the threat that faced them, Pelloux added. Stéphane Charbonnier, the magazine’s editor-in-chief who lived under a fatwa and known as Charb, knew that in all rallies held by fundamentalists all over the world, Charlie Hebdo was “mentioned and targeted”.
“These were such good men,” he said. “These were people who were so generous. Of course disrespectful, irreverent [...] They were great humanists.”
He talked of upholding French values of justice and equality, a call that is being echoed by others in the industry. “There is no hatred to have against Muslims and everyone, each one of us … every day must keep the values of the French Republic alive.” Asked how, he said it would be difficult but that the death of his editors could not be “for nothing”. “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.
As the international media considered their own responses to the tragedy, Martin Rowson, a Guardian cartoonist and chairman of the British Cartoonists’ Association, called on his fellow cartoonists to join him in “donating a free drawing” to help ensure that publication can go ahead.
Following the deaths at a paper run by its tiny committed staff, the Charlie Hebdo website was amended to read Je Suis Charlie, translated into many other languages, including Arabic. Several witnesses reported hearing shouts of “Allahu Akbar”, as well as “We’ve killed Charlie Hebdo” from the gunmen, who also killed two policemen, a visitor and a maintenance worker.
Eight of the 12 people killed by the masked gunmen were journalists who had gathered for the weekly staff editorial meeting. Among those massacred at the mid-morning meeting were four of the magazine’s most famous names: the cartoonists Cabu, Wolinski and Tignous, as well as Charb.
Among the survivors is understood to be the weekly’s chief executive and a senior editor who was in London when the attack happened. Instead of its usual 16 pages, the group aim to publish eight next Wednesday.
Among many tributes was one from Karim Talbi, AFP’s deputy bureau chief in Moscow, who spoke of the generosity of the now dead men when he worked at the magazine. “They were all there, sat round a big table, doodling away as they munched on chunky chocolate bars and Petit Ecolier biscuits … I have often thought of Charb, of Cabu, as I stood before insurgents, soldiers, or at the Kremlin, trying to imagine what their sharp, witty eye would spot that I hadn’t. And tonight, despite the gaping hole they leave behind, I would like to believe there was chocolate and Petit Ecolier biscuits on the big table at Charlie Hebdo when they stopped drawing.”
Out of respect and support for Charlie Hebdo, many people around the world held a minute’s silence on Thursday.
— Marie Giffard (@mariegiffard)
January 8, 2015
Stylos brandis en l'air devant Notre Dame à midi #AFP pic.twitter.com/gDIQUWNIhq
International support for the left-leaning magazine which relaunched in its current form in 1992 also came on the website reddit’s RIP Hebdo staff. You are all heroes.
With its origins in a 1969 title Hara-Kiri Hebdo, which was banned after mocking the death of former French president Charles de Gaulle, the relaunch team which included Charbonnier pooled their money and set up a foundation to run Charlie Hebdo. According to a 2008 story in Le Monde the foundation was called “Kalashnikov Editions”.
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