Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Tax Man and the Media

It's no secret that the French news media are subsidized. "General-interest newspapers" ranging from Le Monde to Humanité receive tax breaks that help keep them afloat. For exact figures on the size of these subsidies, you can refer to Julia Cagé's Sauver les médias (Harvard will publish my English translation next year). But it seems that the authorities are reluctant to extend this advantage to the new online media, at least in the cases of Médiapart and Arrêt sur images. 

Now, it may be simply that the tax authorities and legislators are slow to catch up with the changing realities of the media and the increased importance of online versus print. Or--a more sinister interpretation--it may be that the authorities are reluctant to support iconoclastic and critical news outlets that often take the lead in exposing government malfeasance, as Médiapart did when it broke the story of Jérôme Cahuzac's tax cheating or beat the drums regarding campaign finance law violations by the UMP and/or Nicolas Sarkozy. Are we witnessing backwardness of retribution? Hard to say, but in either case the consequences could be serious.

Médiapart is inviting concerned citizens to help by contributing money to keep it in business. If you're interested, you can use the site I did. But be forewarned: the form insists on knowing your country of residence and will accept only "France" as an answer, and when I clicked to pay, I immediately received an e-mail from my bank suggesting that someone might be misusing my credit card. But my contribution appears to have gone through.


Anonymous said...

Mediapart no longer requests government subsidies :

Nous avions par ailleurs décidé, à Mediapart, que nous cesserions de solliciter une aide publique lorsque nous aurions atteint l’équilibre financier. Cet équilibre, nous l’avons atteint à partir de 2011. Depuis, Mediapart n’a plus déposé de demande de subvention.

See here :

Its also worth pointing out that for the longest time there was a complete lack of transparency -including by the press itself- concerning these subsidies. Mediapart (and the internet) helped break this omerta.

Also : the entirely arbitrary criteria Fleur Pellerin is proposing to dispensate the public funds , indeed the fact itself that the minister seems to have entire control over who is a recipient of this state largesse and who does not, and the performance of the french press when it comes to bringing their government , and the national companies , to accountability , suggest that this kind of direct intervention should be avoided as much as possible.


bert said...

You recently argued that regional subsidies in the form of military porkbarrel spending were fiscally necessary inside a monetary union. Today you suggest that media outlets wanting to provide public-interest programming should shackle themselves to a voluntary subscriptions model. Reading your mind, I see you also believe Europe should tackle low pay through socially-enforced excessive tipping. Yippee ki-yay.

All joking aside, you get what you pay for.
And PBS is what you pay for. I don't see it often - am I wrong to believe it ain't much?

Unknown said...

Quand je repense à mes années sans fauteuil roulant, je me dis que j'ai perdu une partie de ma vie et ces compagnies d'assurance, après un tel accident de la route, se comportent comme des chacals.

Sappa Tamang said...

Welcome to Base Camp Trekking Tour! Hundred percent pure lands of highest Himalaya's adventures
Trekking in Nepal is one of the best adventure government registered company operating all adventure holidays trip to world most popular mountains Everest Base Camp Treks, Annapurna Base Camp Treks, Langtang Treks, Manaslu Treks, as well Upper mustang trek, Ganesh Himal Treks, Langtang Ganja La Pass Treks and all popular sightseeing tour of Ancients Kathmandu Valley and relaxing Chitwan Lumbini Tour on your desirable local budget for national and international travelers to Nepal.
Nepal Base Camp Treks (P) Ltd.( may be your next Trekking and Trekking Company in Nepal for any Trekking Agency in Nepal to highlander Himalayas Everest base camp, best mountain sceneries Annapurna Base Camp, recently promoting Manaslu Circuit Trek, several High passes Thorong La Annapurna Circuit,Gokyo Lake Chola Pass,Gokyo Lake Renjo La Pass, Chhukung Kongma La Pass, Rolwaling Tashilapchha Pass, Gosaikund Lake Pass, Kathmandu Valley Cultural trek and tour,Dhulekhel Namoduddha, Nagarkot trek, Bungmati Tour, Chiwan Chepang Hill Trek, Bandipur Tour,Pokhara Valley trekking tour,Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek, Annpurna Ghandruk Trek, Kanchanjanga north to south Pass,Langtang Ganja La Pass, depending small group travelers to joining group travelers on your desired budget to standard budget.
Nepal Base Camp Treks offers you very popular non tourist destinations as remote regions of manaslu Tsum Valley Trek, Nar-Phu Valley Trek, Tamang Heritage Trail, Ghale Gaun Trek, Kanchanjanga Base Camp Trek, Rolwaling Camping Trek, Upper Mustang Cultural Trek, Lower Dolpo and Upper Dolpo Trek on very reasonable social trek in non touristic destination to better understand your holidays with our professional team
Our team in Nepal Base Camp Treks is very profession of peak climbing experiences of most popular Island Peak, Lobuje Peak, Mera Peak, Phakchhermo Peak in Everest Region and Pisang Peak, Kanguru Peak, Chulu Peak in Annapurna Circuit Region and Tent Peak in Annapurna Base Camp.
We guaranteed you best services and trouble less during your lifetime holidays journey with our professional mountain local team and wish you have a nice journey and see you soon in Nepal here to dream your adventure awaits you, as I remain
Yours sincerely
Sappa Lama (Sagar) and team