Paris shooting: Charlie Hebdo survivors start work on new issue - with help from French media

The office at the headquarters of Liberation on Jan 9, 2015 in Paris, as editorial staff of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and Liberation gather. -- PHOTO: AFP
The office at the headquarters of Liberation on Jan 9, 2015 in Paris, as editorial staff of French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo and Liberation gather. -- PHOTO: AFP

PARIS - Surviving employees of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper that lost its top staff to gunmen in a Paris attack this week, started work on a new issue on Friday in premises loaned by the newspaper Liberation.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls and Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin visited Liberation in a show of support for the journalists, cartoonists and others shown into the building in central eastern Paris.

Among the employees were one of its columnists, Mr Patrick Pelloux, and its lawyer, Mr Richard Malka, who had told AFP on Thursday that a special "survivors' issue" of Charlie Hebdo would come out next Wednesday, with one million copies printed instead of the usual 60,000.

The massive print run is a sign of defiance after two gunmen using automatic rifles mowed down the newspaper's staff during an editorial meeting on Wednesday this week. Twelve people were killed, including five of the newspaper's most prominent cartoonists, and two policemen.

The surviving staff members were met by Liberation's bosses and shown to an area donated to them to work on the issue.

"There are around 30 people with Charlie Hebdo. They need to be able to work with humour," one of the bosses, Mr Laurent Joffrin, told reporters.

"We are hosting them because they don't even have a pencil. Their computers and all their equipment have been sealed" in their bloodsoaked offices a few streets away, said another, Mr Pierre Fraidenraich.

Another French newspaper, Le Monde, supplied the Charlie Hebdo team with computers, in a sign of solidarity by media after the attack.

Other major French media, including AFP, Le Monde newspaper and Canal+ television, are also offering assistance.

In London, The Guardian's editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger tweeted that the Guardian Media Group had pledged 100,000 pounds (S$202,000) to Charlie Hebdo "to help ensure it's not silenced".

Others have also pledged financial support.

France's culture minister said on Thursday she was looking at injecting around one million euros (S$1.6 million) into Charlie Hebdo to ensure its survival.

A French media fund managing 60 million euros donated by Google in 2013 will reportedly make a 250,000-pound donation to Charlie Hebdo. Government agencies have also taken subscriptions to the newspaper to lend it support.

Support has also come from Charlie Hebdo's distributors, reported French broadcaster France 24. One distributor, Messageries Lyonnaises de Presse, said it will give its share of profits from the issue before the attack back to the magazine, and it will do the same for next week's edition, while also offering free publicity.

Another distributor, Presstalis, said it will also forego its commission for the next issue.

SOURCES: AFP, FRANCE 24