null COVID-19 support to help the media

COVID-19 support to help the media

Press release 01.10.2020 13.39 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (Photo: Ministy of Transport and Communications)

The Government has issued a decree on government grant for promoting journalistic content.

The purpose of the grant is to support the content production media that has been affected by the COVID 19 epidemic.  The aim is to increase versatile journalistic content and its supply as well as to promote and develop journalism at local, regional and national levels.

“The coronavirus crisis has had a major impact on our entire society.  The media revenue has decreased at the same time as the need for fact-based journalism has increased.  Society should provide support to journalistic work amidst this serious situation,” says Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.

Government grant may be awarded to media companies operating in Finland whose advertising sales and turnover have significantly decreased due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The grant may be awarded for the payroll costs of persons engaged in journalistic work and for freelancers’ fees used for the acquisition of journalistic content. The requirements for awarding government grant are specified in the decree.

The grant is awarded by the Transport and Communications Agency Traficom.

During the consultation period, it was proposed that an independent media support board be appointed for awarding the aid. The proposal has been abandoned as the aid will be distributed to all companies meeting the criteria and there is no discretion involved. The criteria are, in particular, economic. No content assessment is carried out in the process.

Working group representing stakeholders in the sector assists in the preparation

A working group by the Ministry of Transport and Communications has assisted in the further preparation of the temporary government grant to support journalism. The members of the working group represent the media sector and experts in the field. In the autumn, the group will submit its proposal on permanent media support.

EUR 7.5 million reserved for the support of journalism

In its fourth supplementary budget for 2020, the Government proposed that EUR 5 million be allocated to support the media in financial difficulties due to the coronavirus. In June 2020, Parliament adopted the fourth supplementary budget.

The proposal of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for the seventh supplementary budget for 2020 includes EUR 2.5 million for the same purpose. If Parliament approves the budget proposal, the amount of aid will rise to EUR 7.5 million.

The decree will enter into force on 5 October 2020 and remain valid until 30 June 2021.

Inquiries:

Requests to interview Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka: Matti Sadeniemi, Special Adviser, tel. +358 40 586 7234

Sini Wirén, Director of Unit, tel. +358 40 507 0916

Emil Asp, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 40 509 9757