The French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo plans to respond to an extremist attack that decimated its staff by upping its usual print run of 60,000 to 1 million copies next week.
Next week’s edition will have only eight pages, half the size of the last edition, according to French news reports.
“It will be a reduced eight-page edition,” said Richard Malka, the newspaper’s attorney. “Although cartoonists from all over the world have offered their work, we took the view it would be important to produce it all ourselves, using the crew remaining.”
The attack on an editorial meeting by masked gunmen wielding automatic rifles on Wednesday killed 12 people, including five cartoonists and Charlie Hebdo’s chief editor. It also left two policemen dead.
France declared Thursday a national day of mourning.
Liberation magazine announced on Thursday that Charlie Hebdo will begin operating out of its offices.
“We are providing them with everything they will need to produce their newspaper,” a release by Liberation said.
Liberation also helped Charlie Hebdo continue publication in 2011, when it was firebombed after publishing cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.
The newspaper Le Monde has promised cash to help meet Charlie Hebdo’s estimated half-million-euro production cost.
Charlie Hebdo had sold only half of its press run of 60,000 at the time of this week’s attack, when a copy cost 3 euros or about $4.20.
Prices have since soared. More than 2,400 copies were listed on sale on ebay.ca on Thursday, with one copy of Wednesday’s issue listed for $4,202.10.
The often cash-strapped newspaper has amused and infuriated readers since 1970 with cartoons lampooning all religions and public figures, including the Pope, Islamic extremists, politicians and celebrities.
Hours after the shooting, officials from various French radio, television and newspaper outlets met at the French culture ministry.
“We have a mission,” Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin told reporters after the meeting. “We have to organize ourselves so the next edition of Charlie Hebdo comes out.”
“Public aid to help Charlie would be justified,” France’s justice minister, Christiane Taubira, said in a radio interview on Thursday. “We cannot envision Charlie Hebdo disappearing.”
The tiny publication has received death threats since 2006, when it republished a dozen cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that had appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.
Former Charlie Hebdo employee Caroline Fourest told ABC News Australia that she’s confident current and former workers will rally to get the paper back on newsstands next Wednesday.
“We made jokes about the crazy, stupid people who were violent enough to be afraid of a simple cartoon,” Fourest said. “They can continue to be afraid because there will be more cartoons.
“To have an automatic weapon and kill people is really easy. You don’t need any talent to do that. You need talent to be a cartoonist. You need talent to be a journalist.”
Fourest worked at Charlie Hebdo at the time of the 2011 firebombing.
After that attack, editor/cartoonist Stéphane (Charb) Charbonnier told Le Monde newspaper: “I’d rather die standing than live on my knees.” Charbonnier was one of the employees killed on Wednesday.
- With files from James Overton in Paris