Subsidies for Local Journalism

The availability of independent news coverage throughout the country via a diverse range of news media is an important pillar of democracy. Subsidies for local journalism are part of media subsidies. These are sometimes known as “blank spots” subsidies, because their purpose is to subsidise journalistic coverage initiatives in low-coverage areas, whereas areas with no coverage at all are known as blank spots.

Subsidies are available to general news media planning to start, expand or maintain journalistic coverage in low-coverage areas.

There are two forms of financial support that news media may apply for – press subsidies and media subsidies. These financial subsidies exist to promote a diverse of news media at both the national and local level, as well as to reinforce the presence of news media even in low-coverage areas of the country. The Media Subsidies Council decides which news media are to receive subsidies.

Two types of subsidies for the media

The two types of subsidies, press subsidies and media subsidies, are only available to general news media, but they are targeted at different types of news media in the sector. Press subsidies are entitlement subsidies, which means that if the newspaper meets all the criteria it will always receive subsidies, while media subsidies are granted on a means-tested basis. The requirements media outlets are to meet in order to receive subsidies are regulated in the Press Subsidies Ordinance and the Media Subsidies Ordinance.

Press Subsidies

Aimed at both printed and digital newspapers with paying subscribers. This could be your national or local morning paper, for example. There are two forms of subsidies within press subsidies – distribution subsidies and operational subsidies. To be eligible for press subsidies, the newspaper need to meet a number of criteria. One of the basic requirements for press subsidies is that the newspaper is regularly published, at least once a week, and has at least 1,500 paying subscribers.

Media Subsidies

Aimed at all general news media whose main purpose is to convey news. The content can be text, audio or moving images delivered via web-based media, printed newspapers, radio or television. Paid and free media are both eligible. Media subsidies may therefore be given to news media regardless of the form of publication or distribution. There are three forms of subsidies within the media subsidies – Subsidies for Local Journalism, Innovation and Development Subsidies and Editorial Subsidies.

This is what you can apply for

We can provide subsidies for journalistic coverage initiatives that involve a news medium starting, expanding or maintaining journalistic coverage of an area that has little or no coverage.

Subsidies for local journalism are granted annually and can amount to a maximum of SEK 2 million per area. These subsidies may be shared between up to three stakeholders in the same area if it promotes journalistic coverage of that area. In some cases, subsidies may be granted over a number of years, up to a maximum of three years.

Collaborations

Subsidies for local journalism can be applied for in cooperation between several general news media. The partners may apply for subsidies individually or jointly, or designate one applicant to be responsible for the initiative.

Criteria for receiving local subsidies

The newspaper must meet a number of criteria in order to receive subsidies for local journalism. These are:

  • The medium must be a general news medium
  • The medium must meet the basic requirements for a news medium
  • The medium must promote the accessibility of editorial content for people with disabilities
  • The medium must submit a technical report or a media subsidy certificate