Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Charlie Hebdo special may be available at Halifax newsstand, but under the counter

Michele Gerard, co-owner of Atlantic News 
One of Canada's premier independent magazine stores, Atlantic News in Halifax, has decided to make copies of the special edition of Charlie Hebdo magazine available to its customers; but they'll have to ask for it because it will be kept out of sight. 

The weekly magazine, which normally has a print run of 60,000 is now printing 5 million to meet worldwide demand in the wake of the killing of 12 people at the magazine's headquarters in Paris last week. Yet even then, demand will probably outstrip supply. The special edition just released has a cover cartoon of the prophet Muhammad, replicating one of the images that are deeply offensive to Muslims. 
“We are one of the few remaining newsstands in Atlantic Canada and we are proud to supply our community with an extensive variety of titles, including Charlie Hebdo. The next issue should (be) arriving next week and as we have always done with other covers that customers may find offensive, we will be sensitive and not be displaying the title.”
Michelle Gerard told the Halifax Chronicle Herald that she tries to respect the diversity of the store's customers and their interests and she knows that they can access the cartoon images online. Her original idea was to bring in just a few copies for her local customers who were interested. Now, she has asked for 50, though she's not at all sure her distributor can provide them. Her store handles some 5,000 publications and is probably they only place in Nova Scotia any copies will be available at all. 
“I’m conflicted. I come back to tolerance and respect,” she said. “This magazine has offended other people. I’m terribly torn. I don’t know how to put it. It’s gone from being an interest and curiosity to feeling like one of, I don’t know, a keepsake.”
 [ photo: Ryan Taplin, Herald staff]


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