The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for matters concerning discretionary subsidies given to newspaper publishing. The granting of subsidies is decided by the Government on the proposal of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
Discretionary subsidies may be granted to newspapers published in national minority languages and to corresponding online publications, as well as to supplements of existing papers in minority languages. Subsidies are also granted to Swedish-language news services.
Applicants must constitute newspapers or online publications within the meaning defined in the Government decree on press subsidies (389/2008). According to the decree, a newspaper is a publication that is issued at least once a week. An online publication means an electronic publication that is delivered through an open information network and to which new content is added at least three times a week.
Other matters relating to the press do not fall within the mandate of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The freedom of the press is regulated by the Act on the Exercise of Freedom of Expression in Mass Media (460/2003). The Act falls under the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice. VAT matters relating to the press, on the other hand, are the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance.
The press committee set by the Ministry of Transport and Communications is a strategic forum for cooperation where questions of both printed and electronic publications are discussed among operators in the sector. The task of the committee is to examine the importance of the Finnish press as a promoter of democracy and freedom of speech and as a diverse developer of the media landscape. The committee also follows the development of newspaper delivery costs and its impact on newspapers' finances.