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France – Under 24? Have a Free Newspaper – Slate Magazine

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As sales lag, the French government is trying to encourage young people to read newspapers again by offering a free subscription to people between the ages of 18 and 24 to any paper of their choice. While newspaper readership is declining around the world, it’s particularly bad in France, where half as many papers are sold as in the United Kingdom or Germany, and where only 10 percent of people under 24 reported paying for a paper in 2007. The government has set aside $22.5 million for the project, dubbed “My Free Newspaper,” over a three-year period, and some of the money will come from the papers themselves. One former editor of the conservative daily Le Figaro has criticized the program, saying it encourages the notion that papers should be free. Regardless, this doesn’t seem to deter proponents. “Winning back young readers is essential for the financial survival of the press, and for its civic dimension,” said Culture Minister Frédéric Mitterrand.

via slate.com

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