Wednesday, January 19

La Disparition, a new letter-writing medium sent directly to its subscribers

In the age of internet and instantaneity, two journalists in their thirties are making the crazy bet of launching an epistolary media, La Disparition, which will arrive directly in the box to letJEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK

In the age of social networks, the internet and instantaneity, two thirty-something journalists are making the crazy bet of launching an epistolary media, La Disparition, which will arrive directly in the mailbox of its subscribers in mid- January.

“The idea of ​​La Disparition was born during the first confinement, when we realized that things set in stone could disappear overnight”, tells AFP François de Monès, co-founder of the new media with Annabelle Perrin.

Whether it is about public services, biodiversity, neighborhoods, jobs or illnesses, “we discovered that there were many disappearances that had to be told” but no question of doing so on a website : “It would be quite contradictory, the paperweight itself being endangered”, he admits.

It is then that the format of the letter becomes essential. “Almost no one writes letters to each other today. The letterbox is for invoices and advertisements,” laments the co-founder. “So we wanted to bring it back to life because it’s more personal, more intimate and it creates more links between the readership and the media,” he said.

For 11 euros per month without obligation, the subscriber of La Disparition will therefore receive every two weeks at home a letter of 7 to 12 pages in which the author (poet, journalist, playwright or novelist) stages himself in an adventure. which tells of a disappearance.

The first letter, written by journalist Quentin Müller, will talk about the disappearance of a tree on an island off Yemen.

This all-paper format can be particularly popular in times of health crisis, analyzes the journalist. “When all of social life was stunted, the letter imposed itself as a pretty pretty, literary and even romantic way out,” says François de Monès.

“It is true that with the Covid, there is a lassitude towards digital. People have consumed a lot and there is almost a paradigm of eye fatigue”, analyzes the media historian Fabrice d’Almeida, noting that the new letter-writing medium is akin to the very old journalistic tradition of “couriers”.

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