In a new plan to aid newspapers, the French government will give all 18-year-olds free subscriptions to the newspaper of their choice, President Nicolas Sarkozy announced Friday, AFP reported.
The economic crisis as been especially troubling for newspapers, and many French media experts have branded the industry downturn a "threat to French democratic debate," leading to the government's set-up of a national conference on the industry's future, according to AFP.
The plan, a result of Sarkozy's study of the industry for months, will call for newspapers to give copies to 18-year-olds for free, and the government will pay for home delivery. The plan also states the government will double its budget for buying ads in the press, reduce payroll taxes for news media and freeze the postal distribution rate, AFP reported.
In all, the government will invest €600 million into print media in France during the next three years, Radio France Internationale reported.