Test of world press with new Charlie Hebdo cover

The first issue of Charlie Hebdo to be published since the attack on its offices hits the stands today in France and across the world. This issue of the magazine will remain on sale for 2 weeks. The cover depicting the Prophet Muhammad divided opinion across world media.

The average circulation of the magazine is 60 thousand, however, 3 million copies of the current issue have been printed; and translated into six languages including English, Arabic and Turkish, the magazine has been published in 20 countries.

Gérard Biard, the new editor-in-chief of the magazine, told journalists, ‘It was tough, the front page was complicated to put together, because it had to express something new, it had to say something relating to the event that we had to deal with’.

The income from the sales will be given to the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks that took place in France last week.

The new cover of the magazine shows the Prophet Muhammad holding a sign that says, ‘Je suis Charlie’ under the headline ‘All is forgiven’ – and it has divided opinion across media abroad as well.

In the US, newspapers such as Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Los Angeles Times did not publish either the new cover of Charlie Hebdo, or the old cartoons featuring the Prophet Muhammad ‘in order not to offend Muslim readers’. Among the 534 daily newspapers published in the US, only the New York Times carried the new Charlie Hebdo cover.

While in the UK, the Times featured the cover; the Daily Telegraph included a part of the cover without the depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. The Independent published the entire cover on its web site. The Guardian published the cover by adding a warning stating ‘this article contains the image of the magazine cover, which some may find offensive’.

In Tunisia, Zied Krichen, editor-in-chief of the Maghreb newspaper, told Libération in France, ‘It can’t even be mentioned, no newspaper will be publishing Charlie Hebdo’s cover’.

Four pages of the magazine were included in translation in today’s Cumhuriyet newspaper. The editor-in-chief previously declared that an editorial decision had been taken not to include the cover of the magazine in the newspaper.



News Press