Where does the media get money from?

Austria, France, Sweden Where newspapers get money from the state


In 2004 a new press promotion law was introduced in Austria. It includes a Sales promotion for daily and weekly newspapers, for which delivery to the subscribers is subsidized. Further funds are available for the Promotion of regional diversity at the daily newspapers ready. In addition, there are a number of measures under the heading “Quality promotion and safeguarding the future of the press”. Publishers of daily and weekly newspapers can, for example Subsidies for the training of young journalists receive. The costs for foreign correspondents employed by the newspapers can also be covered on a pro-rata basis.

In 2019, around two million euros went to regional and national daily newspapers to promote sales. In 2020 this amount was increased to around 5.25 million euros due to the corona pandemic, and another ten million euros are to flow to the daily press as "special funding" due to the corona crisis. In 2020, as in the previous year, a good 3.2 million euros and 1.6 million euros respectively are earmarked for safeguarding diversity and for “quality promotion and safeguarding the future”. Overall, Austria lets the total press funding this year almost 25 million euros costs (2019: 8.89 million euros). This also includes funding for weekly newspapers, the Austrian press council, journalistic clubs and other institutions.

The Austrian is responsible for allocating the funds to the press Broadcasting and Telecom Regulierungs-GmbH (rtr), a subdivision of the media regulatory authority KommAustria. Since it was established in the 1970s, Austrian press funding has been accused of being rewarded with “court reporting” by the incumbent government. This accusation was being raised again now. Because, according to media reports, they received tabloids loyal to the government like that Kronen Newspaper or the free newspaper that was only founded in 2006 Austria With 2.7 million euros or a good 1.8 million euros, donations from the Corona special fund are significantly more generous than quality newspapers like the one default or the Salzburg newswho had to be content with 500,000 euros each.


Press funding in France began as early as the 19th century. Today there are many regulations that help publishers save on taxes and social security contributions. So applies to newspapers greatly reduced VAT rate (2.1 instead of the usual 20 percent). In addition, the publishers can take advantage of the salaries and fees for their journalists 30 percent flat-rate advertising costs assert. This means that taxes and duties are only due for 70 percent of earnings. The employer's share of social benefits for journalistic staff is also reduced by 20 percent.

According to a study by the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) from December 2019, it does one indirect subsidy of currently around 135 million euros per year out. In addition, there is another 110 million euros in direct press funding every year. Among other things, this is intended to ensure media diversity at national and regional level. The condition for inclusion in the funding program is that predominantly political and socially relevant reporting takes place in the supported newspapers. In addition, the sponsored newspapers are only allowed to make a small proportion of their income with advertisements and advertising. In the case of national newspapers, a maximum of 25 percent is permitted, in the case of regional titles even only five percent. The General Directorate for Media (DGMIC, Direction générale des médias et des industries culturelles) in the French Ministry of Culture.

This 110 million euros also includes grants for sales promotion per copy delivered as well as money for the modernization of technology or printing plants. The well-known French newspapers, for example, became concrete in 2017 Liberation with 5.9 million euros, Le Figaro with 5.7 million euros and Le Monde supported with 5.1 million euros. The highest funding per single copy sold received the L’Humanité at 46 cents per newspaper. Which newspaper gets how much. According to the BMAS study, it depends on individual decisions, the coming of which is described by experts as "not very transparent".


In Sweden, direct promotion of the press began in response to a major newspaper death in the 1960s. The aim of press funding is to this day to prevent or at least weaken too much concentration in the newspaper market and, above all, regional monopoly positions of individual titles and to maintain diversity. This is why so-called “second newspapers” are supported in particular. These are titles that compete with a stronger market leader in an area and would probably have to give up without government help.

In 2018 this was Total funding of almost 48 million euros. The lion's share of it is paid for so-called company subsidies, so they are general operating costs including the work of the editorial offices meant. To a lesser extent, the Distribution of newspapers supports and EDevelopment subsidies for innovation projects granted. Since 1996, online newspapers can also apply for business subsidies. Currently it is Swedish model heavily criticized: It is even counterproductive because the necessary adjustments to the subsidized newspapers have not been carried out for too long. A third of all funding also goes to relatively high-circulation papers, while less and less is left for smaller media.

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