Additional support to the media in response to the COVID-19 virus
To ensure the public’s access to information and mitigate the negative economic impact on news media as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government, in cooperation with the Centre Party and the Liberal Party, will provide an additional SEK 500 million in support to general news media in 2020.
The spread of the COVID-19 virus has had a significant impact on the media and journalism throughout the country. In a short period of time, media that are dependent on advertising have lost a large share of their income as a result of a rapid and severe weakening of the advertising market during the crisis. At the same time, there is great demand for news, journalism and reliable information. News media play a crucial role in the functioning of society, not least during a crisis. Having journalism in place throughout the country is also vital for democracy. Therefore, the Government, together with the Centre Party and the Liberal Party, is proposing additional measures to support the news media during the COVID-19 crisis.
The proposal provides an additional SEK 500 million in temporary media support for 2020 in the form of new support to general news media. Unlike the temporary distribution support to the media presented earlier in response to the COVID-19 crisis, this is a broader initiative that can help more news media than printed media alone.
The aim of the support is to strengthen the economic conditions for editorial activities and partly compensate for lost advertising revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic and thus ensure the public’s access to news. This support is expected to be in place by the summer and the initiative will be in effect during 2020. The detailed design of the support will be adapted to other crisis measures and carried out in accordance with relevant state aid rules.
The Government, the Centre Party and the Liberal Party have already presented SEK 200 million extra in media support and brought forward payment of support already decided on in response to the impact of the COVID-19 virus on the media in Sweden.