André Schiffrin

is former director of publishing at Pantheon Books and currently director of the not-for-profit publishers The New Press, New York.


Press and publishing concentration in France is extraordinarily high. Allegedly, French ownership sees off foreign competition; in fact, the owning corporations are international. Media monopolization is not only a French issue, however: throughout Europe and the US, profitability has become the bottom line. So why is there barely any protest from within the sector itself?

In a media world with one eye on the bottom line and the other on the official line, it’s getting harder to publish or broadcast anything that doesn’t promise huge sales and attendant profits, and that doesn’t say or show what is approved. But it’s still possible.

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