Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Updates for Finland added 17 April (article originally published 9 April). Recent measures, until 08.05.2020, are added below the article.
The Corona pandemic is hitting the Nordic media industry, which is losing billions in advertising revenue. Politicians are now embarking on measures to get the media through the crisis. In Denmark and Sweden, special crisis packages have been launched.
Support measures are being implemented in all Nordic countries to rescue companies threatened by the Covid-19 crisis.
In Denmark and Sweden, the governments have also launched targeted support packages for the media industry. In addition, granted media support is paid in advance in Denmark, Sweden and Norway. In Finland an investigation into extra state support for journalism has been launched.
In Denmark, the new support will compensate the media for lost advertising revenue during the period 9 March–8 June 2020. The aid package, estimated to comprise DKK 180 million, is aimed at printed and digital news media, periodicals and magazines, and commercial radio. The media is compensated with 60 per cent of lost revenue if the ads dropped by 30–50 per cent, and by 80 per cent if they lost 50–100 per cent in advertising revenue.
In addition, granted production support for printed media is paid out earlier than planned, and requirements for self-produced content for non-commercial local radio and TV stations are reduced.
Read the news from the Ministry of Culture (in Danish):
- 01.04.2020 Hjælp på vej till danske medier [Help on the way to Danish media]
- 01.04.2020 Aftale om kompensationsordning (PDF, 266 KB) [Agreement on compensation scheme]
- 31.03.2020 Hurtig udbetaling af 368,1 mio. kr. fra mediestøtten skal sikre mediernes likviditet [Quick payment of DKK 368.1 DKK million from the media support shall ensure the liquidity of the media]
In Sweden, the government proposes a permanent increase of media support by SEK 200 million per year. 150 million of this year's money will be a temporary distribution support for printed newspapers, while the remaining SEK 50 million will double the support for coverage of "white spots", or areas that lack or have weak journalistic coverage.
In addition, newspapers that have been granted press support can receive the money earlier than planned. The government also removes the requirement for 55 per cent self-produced editorial material, which is otherwise required to receive support
The proposal was presented on 3 April and is included in the Government's spring amending budget for 2020, which will be submitted to Parliament on 15 April.
Read the government press release (in Swedish):
- 03.04.2020 Stöd till medierna med anledning av coronavirusets spridning [Media support due to the spread of the coronavirus]
In Norway, the Norwegian Media Authority accelerates the payment of media support to news media, Sami newspapers and local radio and TV stations. The state budget for 2020 already contained a supplement of NOK 40 million, of which NOK 30 million was earmarked for the smallest local media, a pot from which payments are now being accelerated.
Read more (in Norwegian):
- Government 06.04.2020 Sviktende inntekter i kulturlivet, idretten og frivillig sektor på grunn av koronavirus. Hvilke tiltak finnes og hvor kan du henvende deg? [Failure in revenues in the cultural, sports and voluntary sectors due to coronavirus. What measures are there and where can you go?]
- The Norwegian Media Authority 27.03.2020 Vi må ta vare på mediene [We must take care of the media]
- The Norwegian Media Authority 25.03.2020 Medietilsynet fremskynder ny utbetaling: Mer støtte til små lokale medier [Media Authority accelerates new payment: More support for small local media]
In Finland, the Finnish Media Federation, Medialiitto, requests temporary support to help the media survive the crisis, preferably in the form of abolished media VAT*. The Union of Journalists in Finland, Journalistiliitto, describes the situation as alarming and calls for support for content production.
On 16 April, the Ministry of Transport and Communications reported having launched an investigation into extra state support for journalism. The report, the results of which will be presented in week 18, will address the need for rapid support, how it will be targeted and on which criteria. Also possible needs for new forms of support will be investigated.
Read more (in Finnish):
- Finnish Media Federation 26.03.2020: Medialiitto ehdottaa tilapäistä mediatukea koronakriisin vaikutusten lievittämiseksi [The Media Association proposes temporary media support to mitigate the effects of the corona crisis]
- Union of Journalists 07.04.2020: Journalistiliitto: Tiedonsaanti turvattava pikavauhdilla – Suomi ei saa pudota Pohjoismaiden kelkasta [Journalists' Union: Access to information must be secured at a fast pace – Finland must not fall off the Nordic sled]
- Ministry of Transport and Communications 16.04.2020:
Minister Harakka commissions a study on support for journalism
Ministeri Harakka selvityttää journalismin tukea
- Helsingin Sanomat 16.04.2020: Journalismi on saamassa valtiolta tukea koronaepidemian takia – Elina Grundström tekemään selvitystä
*For information on current media VAT in Finland, see Nordicom's article: Media VAT in the Nordic countries – similarities and differences
FURTHER UPDATES (Latest update 08.05.2020)
On 28 April, the report on the support for journalism was presented, proposing swift support for media hit by the Corona pandemic:
Ministry of Transport and Communications 28.04.2020: Minister Harakka: Functionality of the media must be ensured
Nordicom 05.05.2020: Finnish report suggests Covid-19 support
On 6 May, the government proposed extra support to the media:
The Ministry of Culture 06.05.2020: Ny kompensasjonsordning for mediene
On 23 april the government announced that the newspaper industry will get rid of the costs for waste paper collection:
The Ministry of the Environment 23.04.2020: Lösning tas fram för att tidningsbranschen ska slippa finansiera returpappersinsamlingen
On 8 May the government decided on another SEK 500 million in support to general news media in 2020:
The Ministry of Culture 08.05.2020: Ytterligare stöd till medierna med anledning av det nya coronaviruset