Their convictions: digital is not responsible for the current crisis, it has accentuated it; on paper or on screen, journalism needs above all to accomplish a Copernican revolution; it is possible to re-found a post-Internet press designed for readers, not advertisers. Let's start from the obvious, and roll out the reasoning.
The magazine XXI, created in 2008 by Laurent Beccaria (owner of Les Arènes publishing house) and Patrick de Saint-Exupéry (former major reporter for Le Figaro), calls itself "L'information grand format", without any advertising. Its ambition: "to offer the best of journalism, the best of publishing". Sold quarterly exclusively in bookshops for 15 €.
Their Manifesto is a call to get out of the screen/paper dialectic, an analysis of the lack of a business model for the press in the digital world and the dependence of titles on advertising and marketing, a reflection on the possible redesign of a post-Internet press.
But it is also, and above all, a severe refocusing on the profession of journalist; starting again from Théophraste Renaudot in the 17th century, through Victor Hugo or Emile de Girardin, the great pillars of journalism take shape again: freedom, independence and quality and finally, the link with the readers.
"What the media needs right now is flesh. For the media to come back to life, they have no choice but to become living beings again." explains the Japanese philosopher Uchida Tatsuru.
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For Patrick de Saint-Exupéry, co-signatory of Manifesto XXI: "The words of Sabine Torres, head of the Dijonscope website, reproduced in Libération on 18 January 2013 are marvellous, they go straight to the heart of the matter: 'We are like a couple, readers and journalists. It's the man who has cheated on his wife for years and who is trying to regain her confidence: inevitably, he's going to row. "The journalism-reader couple has broken up. Journalists are trying to restore balance in this extremely fragile couple. » (Source France Inter 20 January 2013)
The philosopher Jacques Ellul was right: "What threatens us is not an excess of information, but an excess of insignificance. Journalism that enriches, gives food for thought, connects the reader to others and to the world is useful".