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Budget initiative for journalism throughout the country
To improve the conditions for news coverage and local journalism throughout the country, the Government proposes that media subsidies are increased by a total of SEK 140 million, including previously announced increases. Moreover, an increase of SEK 30 million is proposed for the current year.
A range of strong and independent media throughout the country is a prerequisite for a functioning democracy. Everyone, regardless of where in the country they live, must have access to comprehensive and high-quality news and media provision.
The media landscape has fundamentally changed in a short period of time. Media developments and changing media habits have led to tough financial pressures on local newspaper journalism in particular. The newspaper industry is grappling with falling circulations and advertising revenues. A closely related problem concerns ‘blind spots’ – geographical areas with non-existent or weak journalistic coverage. Studies show that 75 of the country’s municipalities lack a regularly staffed editorial office.
Since 1 February 2019, there has been a special subsidy for journalistic coverage in blind spots within the framework of the media subsidy. When the media subsidy as a whole is strengthened, the possibility of increased subsidies for the coverage of blind spots is also increased.
Strong independent media with comprehensive news coverage and investigative journalism are of crucial importance for an open and democratic society. Therefore the best possible conditions for diverse independent journalism are needed throughout the country.
“The existence of comprehensive news coverage throughout the country is crucial for democracy. Local newspapers are essential for maintaining the democratic ecosystem throughout the country. We are now taking a concrete and clear measure, in accordance with the January Agreement, to safeguard independent journalism throughout the country by strengthening the media subsidy,” says Minister for Culture and Democracy Amanda Lind.