French president Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged nearly $780 million in emergency aid for his country’s troubled newspaper industry. In addition to his pledge of €600m ($779 million), Sarkozy has promised that every 18-year-old in the country will get a free subscription to the newspaper of his choice for a year.
I was wondering how long it would take for media companies to get into the bail out line up. We now have our answer. But what now? Will other countries be pressured into bail out their failing news organizations? Canada’s largest media company CanWest is teetering on the brink and even the venerable New York Times is hustling to find nearly a half billion in capital to service it’s debts. Where does this end? And why should newspapers get the bail out? What about startups that are actually growing, attracting audiences and innovating? We should think carefully before we commit tax payer money to our media.