There’s a lot of talk of bailouts and plans of action and Important Decisions To Be Made these days. And as controversial as a lot of those plans may be, at least America’s aren’t as dumb as one being put in place by monsieur le p’tit président, France’s Nicolas Sarkosy, aimed at helping the dying medium of print:

The French state will help provide free newspaper subscriptions to teenagers for their 18th birthdays, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Friday. But the bigger gift is for France’s ailing print media….

One of Sarkozy’s solutions to help the industry is a pilot program that will give teenagers celebrating their 18th birthday a free, yearlong subscription to any general news daily of their choice. The publisher is to give the newspapers away, while the state pays for the deliveries.

That initiative appeared designed to assuage industry fears that young readers don’t share the same appetite for print media that their parents and grandparents have, denting current and future revenues.

“The habit of reading the press is learned very young,” Sarkozy said, while insisting that the aid would only buy time for publishers to adapt to the new media landscape….

–full article at AP, via BoingBoing

Because I’m sure that all of those 18-year-olds will renew their subscriptions when they become impoverished 19-year-old college students or unemployed minimum-wagers or underemployed newspaper editors. At least, I’m sure that’s what surveys of France’s young people have shown.

I mean, Sarkozy did do surveys, didn’t he?

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