Press support is a government subsidy available for newspapers in some countries. The support can either be direct, in terms of money to the newspaper, or indirect, such as lowered or eliminated sales tax. The justification for press support is typically to maintain some level of diversity in the media market.
Press support by country
Press support is a Norwegian state subsidy available for newspapers. The subsidy is twofold; the first part is a direct subsidy of the second- largest, by circulation, newspapers in each city. The other subsidy is that newspaper are subject to no sales tax (as are books).
The direct subsidy is managed by the Norwegian Media Authority, and was NOK 303 million in 2006, paid to 138 newspapers. It was introduced in 1965, because of the fear of a massive newspaper death like Sweden and Denmark had seen, mainly the second largest newspapers in each city. Also, at the time, most newspapers were not political neutral, with many papers being controlled by either conservative forces, the labour movement or political parties. Support is given to all newspapers that are do not have the largest circulation in the city of publishing. There are limitations on the newspapers who can receive support, including that the support will cease if they pay a dividend to their owners. Other support is given to media research, follow-up studies, sami newspapers, immigrant publications and distribution support for Finnmark.
The press support has been partially successful, with a number of second-largest newspapers surviving, like Bergensavisen (Bergen), Rogalands Avis (Stavanger) and Dagsavisen (Oslo). Other secondary newspapers have been closed, like Trondheims-Pressen. The largest receivers are often national newspapers, targeting special (often political) sectors, like Klassekampen (Socialist), Nationen (Agrarian) and Vårt Land (Christian). Most of the large, business and tabloid newspapers, like Dagbladet or Dagens Næringsliv, do not receive support, since they pay dividend to their owners.
|1||Dagsavisen||40 992 576||39 851 052|
|2||Bergensavisen||32 256 115||27 596 098|
|3||Vårt Land||31 683 024||31 238 520|
|4||Nationen||23 094 731||23 122 393|
|5||Klassekampen||14 513 041||13 068 764|
|6||Rogalands Avis||13 280 816||13 096 528|
By far the greatest level of support to newspapers arises out of their exemption from sales tax and exceeds NOK 1 billion. This exemption was instituted to foster a variety of perspectives from newspapers; to stimulate public debate and consciousness, democracy, freedom of speech and to enable the media to act as society's watch-dog.
|1||VG||0||215 000 000||215 000 000|
|2||Aftenposten||0||126 000 000||126 000 000|
|3||Dagbladet||0||121 000 000||121 000 000|
|4||Dagens Næringsliv||0||43 000 000||43 000 000|
|5||Dagsavisen||29 000 000||14 000 000||43 000 000|
|6||Bergens Tidende||0||42 000 000||42 000 000|
|7||Adresseavisen||0||37 000 000||37 000 000|
|8||Bergensavisen||20 000 000||14 000 000||34 000 000|
|9||Vårt Land||18 000 000||12 000 000||30 000 000|
|10||Stavanger Aftenblad||0||29 000 000||29 000 000|
|Sum||67 000 000||653 000 000||720 000 000|
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