On Thursday, the European Commission approved the new Swedish media subsidy and after an extraordinary cabinet meeting, the government has now decided on the regulation.
Going public next week
The regulation will be published in full next week, but it is already clear that at least 3000,1500 regular users will be required to qualify for the support – an increase from the proposal presented in the inquiry. However, the minimum number of subscribers stays at <>.
In practice, this means that the threshold for small media will not be raised.
"The idea is to focus on local and regional journalism, and ensure that there is actually news-covering journalism throughout Sweden," says Parisa Liljestrand.
The support model has been heavily criticized by both media executives and the opposition, among other things for not prioritizing media diversity – something that may affect so-called niche newspapers.
"So far, we don't know who will be the winners or losers of the new media subsidy," says Parisa Liljestrand.
Surely we are already seeing some consequences?
– We live in an economically difficult time that affects all industries in Sweden, and everyone needs to take different types of measures to cope with the high inflation that has eroded many of the economies.
A lot of questions
The fact that the announcement of media support has been delayed and unclearly formulated is something that has aroused reactions. While waiting for a decision, newspapers have had to navigate blindly, according to culture editor Per Andersson:
"They have started to act based on educated guesses about a new and harder time. Bonnier News Local, for example, has decided to turn Dala-Demokraten and Länstidningen Östersund into opinion sites instead of newsrooms.
The ball is now in the court of the Media Subsidies Council, which will issue its regulations.
"Then come the loaded answers to the really difficult questions posed by the new media subsidy. And the industry has not yet received those answers – with only weeks left until the new support comes into force, says Per Andersson.