French media raises €500,000 to keep satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo open

Remaining employees plan to ramp circulation up to a million next week with special issue

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The Independent Online

The French press has raised half a million euros (£400,000) to ensure the continuation of the satirical weekly magazine Charlie Hebdo after the twelve people were shot dead by gunmen at its offices yesterday.

€250,000 (£200,000) of the funding has been provided by the Press and Pluralism Fund, set up by French newspaper publishers to ensure a diverse media landscape.

Its contribution will be matched by the Digital Press Innovation Fund, which is financed by US web giant Google.

"They wanted to kill Charlie. Not only they will not succeed, but we want Charlie Hebdo emerge stronger from this tragedy," said Francis Morel, CEO of French newspaper group Les Échos.

One million copies of the magazine will be published next week as the publication’s remaining journalists vow to keep it in print after the tragedy.

charlie-hebdo-shooting-6.jpg French newspaper Le Monde quoted Charlie Hebdo’s lawyer, Richard Malka, as saying a million copies of the next edition of the magazine are due to be published on Wednesday.

The magazine’s weekly circulation is usually around 45,000.

Three of France’s media giants, Radio France, Le Monde and France Télévisions, have released a joint statement offering to help the publication continue and urging other companies to do the same.

"Faced with horror, the groups Radio France, Le Monde and France Televisions announce that Charlie Hedbo will be made available and its team will bring together all necessary means to ensure that Charlie Hebdo continues to live,” the statement said.

"The three groups invite the French media to mobilise this morning and come together to protect the principles of independence and freedom of thought and expression: guarantors of our democracy."

The murder of nine journalists, two police officers and a maintenance man by masked men has shocked France. Around 11.30am yesterday gunmen forcibly entered the offices of the satirical magazine, where a weekly editorial meeting was taking place.

After forcing journalists to identify themselves, the gunmen opened fire. They were later seen fleeing the building and are still at large.