French teens to get state-funded newspapers

To encourage newspaper reading — and help the struggling press — the French government will offer 18-year-olds a free daily copy of the newspaper of their choice, President Nicolas Sarkozy said Friday.

“The habit of reading the press takes hold at a very young age,” Sarkozy said, presenting the conclusions of several months of talks to an audience of media executives, journalists and officials in Paris.

Newspaper companies will provide copies for free; the state will cover distribution costs.

When I was on the Mercury News editorial board, I urged my colleagues to call for a law requiring all Americans to read a daily newspaper.  It was a joke then.

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  1. Homeschooling Granny says:

    For 50 years it was my habit to read a daily newspaper. Habit did not prevent my dropping my subscription when I could get what I need faster and better elsewhere.

  2. John Drake says:

    The first ones are free. Once they’re hooked, then you make them start paying.

    They sound like playground pushers.