The grants would be awarded through the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom). The first supplementary budget proposal for 2023 includes a total of 7 million euros in reserve for such grants.
“Responsible, versatile and independent media is the cornerstone of a democratic society. The media industry has been adapting to technological changes and competition with international giants for years. I am happy that the new media support can help media operators to adapt to the new operating conditions, says the Minister of Transport and Communications. Timo Magpie.
The goal of discretionary state grants would be to support comprehensive and socially important communication and versatile and versatile news activities. The grants would focus on editorial work and could be awarded to media outlets covering local, regional or national news topics. The aim is to prevent the creation of news waste with the support of comprehensive communication.
Grants could be awarded to news media operating in Finland or the Åland Islands, which have a chief editor and produce their own editorial material. The media must cover a wide range of topics and serve a diverse audience. There would be no media-specific restrictions on eligibility, and the grant could thus be awarded to print media, television and radio operators, and online publications.
There are currently no extensive general support programs for media or journalistic content in Finland. The now proposed discretionary state subsidies would apply to a wide range of media industry operators and media. The grant format being prepared would be based on media grants paid during the COVID-19 crisis.
The need for support reflects the upheaval in the media industry
The Parliament’s plenary session on January 24th approved the Government’s proposal on amending the Postal Act and the state’s discretionary distribution of newspapers. The proposal changes the five-day collection and delivery of general postal services to a three-day collection and delivery system. Temporary, discretionary state grants will be introduced for newspaper distribution, the purpose of which is to ensure the distribution of five-day newspapers in sparsely populated areas. When approving the proposal, the Parliament set a condition for media support, which aims to secure the position of local newspapers as a significant media.
The need for support reflects the continuous upheaval in the media industry. Transferring the traditional media revenue model based on sales and subscriptions to the digital environment has been problematic. Multinational technology companies also challenge traditional media players for advertising revenue and compete for the same readership. The development of the operating environment has led to restructuring of the industry and new investment needs.
The regulation is supposed to enter into force in April.
Source: Ministry of Transport and Communications
Source: The Nordic Page