Support to media in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus
Media throughout the country have been dramatically affected by the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party therefore propose that media support be strengthened. The Government also announced a proposal on altered advertising regulations for TV broadcasts.
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has had a significant impact on the media throughout the country. Not least media dependant on advertising have lost advertisers and thus a large share of their income. At the same time, there is great demand for news, and the importance of reliable journalism is clear. Having a diversity of media throughout the country is crucial for democracy. The Government is now presenting a number of measures for the media industry.
Permanent reinforcement of media support
The Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party propose a permanent strengthening of media support in the amount of SEK 200 million per year, beginning this year. This is part of the Spring Amending Budget for 2020, which was presented on 15 April.
To deal with the most acute crisis, SEK 150 million has been allocated for new temporary distribution support lasting three months. This support covers all printed newspapers and thus will benefit more media than those currently receiving operating support.
It is proposed that the remaining SEK 50 million go to a doubling of the support for coverage of geographical areas with weak or non-existent journalistic coverage.
Temporary regulatory changes to press subsidies
To help make it easier for the media sector during the acute crisis, the Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party propose two temporary regulatory changes. It will be possible to provide advance payment of press support already decided on for the current year. At the same time, the requirement that 55 per cent of editorial material must be produced in-house will be removed.
Changed rules for TV advertising
To provide television companies with better opportunities for flexibility in their planning for advertising at a time when advertising revenue has rapidly decreased, the Government also announces a coming proposal on changed rules for broadcasting advertising on television. The proposal means that the time allowed for advertising is calculated on the basis of a longer time interval rather than per clock hour, as at present. The legislative amendment is permitted through amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive, and is expected to enter into force later this autumn.