News by VICE

'Charlie Hebdo' Subscriptions Soar in Wake of Paris Attacks

The satirical magazine has bounced back from the brink of bankruptcy, with subscriptions rising 20-fold since last month’s massacre in Paris.

by Giulia Aloisio
Feb 4 2015, 6:20pm

Photo by Francois Mori/AP

Subscriptions to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo have risen from 10,000 to 200,000 following the terror attack that killed 12 people at its headquarters in Paris last month, the magazine's co-manager said.

"Revenues from the newspaper [sales and subscriptions] will be used exclusively to sustain publication — whatever the amount," Eric Portheault told the AFP Tuesday. "No dividends will be paid out to shareholders."

The surge in subscriptions could represent a gain of more than 13.3 million euro ($15.1 million) for the magazine in less than a month, when calculated at the average subscription price of 70 euro ($80) each.

Portheault added that the magazine has received 2.37 million euros ($2.7 million) in donations since the attack, which will be given to the families of the victims.

The first post-attack edition of Charlie Hebdo was released January 14 to massive demand across the world. Some 7.3 million copies have already been printed, compared to the normal 60,000 issues, of which only half are usually sold. The magazine hopes to net around 10 million euro ($11.4 million) from this edition, sold at 3 euro ($3.40) each.

Police question French 8-year-old for saying, "I am with the Terrorists."

With the increase in subscriptions, combined with sales, donations, and government contributions, the magazine, which was facing bankruptcy before the attack, could net approximately 30 million euro ($34.2 million), according to French daily Le Monde.

Laurent Léger, a journalist at Charlie Hebdo, announced on Twitter this week that the next issue of the magazine — the second released since the deadly attack — will be published on February 25. It was originally expected to be published on January 28.

The delay in publishing is thought to be due in part to the huge increase in demand, with Charlie Hebdo not being accustomed to dealing with the large orders it now has to handle. New Editor-in-Chief Laurent Sourisseau, known by his pen name Riss, will also need to hire a new team as he lost nine of his colleagues, including four of the magazine's most famous cartoonists and former Editor-in-Chief Stéphane Charbonnier.

Charlie Hebdo's journalists have been working from the offices of French daily Libération since the attack.

Exclusive interview with Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Luz (trailer). Watch here.

Despite the popularity of the magazine's most recent issue among subscribers and advocates of free press, the January magazine cover, featuring a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad, was not well received by some, and has even given rise to new threats for Charlie Hebdo.

The Express Tribune reported Tuesday that Pakistan's former Federal Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour announced he is offering a $200,000 bounty for the owner of the magazine.

"I had already declared that I will not tolerate any attack on the sanctity of the Holy Prophet," Bilour said on the floor of Pakistan's National Assembly Monday.

Sourisseau has told local media that the next edition of the magazine is unlikely to include any cartoon of Muhammad.

Meanwhile, global support continues to galvanize for the magazine, which has become a symbol of freedom of media and speech since the attack.

The French Public Investment Bank and the Ministry of Culture have both bought subscriptions to the magazine for their employees, while public figures abroad have also publicly expressed their support for Charlie Hebdoincluding movie star and former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger, who tweeted: "I stand w/ the ppl of France against terror & I want to send a msg so I'm subscribing. You should too."

Follow Giulia Aloisio on Twitter: @giulia7ar