Wednesday, October 28, 2009

French Papers Aim at Younger Readers; New York Times, 10/28/09

Eric Pfanner, New York Times; French Papers Aim at Younger Readers:

"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...

While newspapers nearly everywhere in the developed world are in crisis, hurt by an advertising slump and readers’ defection to the Internet, the problems are particularly pronounced in France. On a per-capita basis, only about half as many papers are sold as in Britain or Germany, according to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers in Paris.

Readership in France is especially low among young people. According to a government study, only 10 percent of those aged 15 to 24 read a paid-for newspaper daily in 2007, down from 20 percent a decade earlier."

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