Danish press subsidies change threatens Metro

In Denmark heated discussion started about the subsidies that newspapers receive – mostly for distributing the papers. Some years ago also free dailies (notably Metro and its second Danish free daily 24Timer) started successfully to apply for subsidies.

In 2010 Metro had a EBIT result of €749,000 – but because the company received €5 million in government distribution subsidies, this could turn into a loss without subsidies. Actually, the total results of Metro International could be seriously affected by a change of policy.

Also in 2011 MetroXpress and 24timer – both majority owned by Metro International – received DKK 19 million (€ 2.5 million) state support. The  yearly national Danish newspaper support (€45 million) is mainly aimed at subsidizing distribution. Also newspapers like Børsen, BT, Berlingske Tidende, Jyllands Posten, Information and Politiken receive distribution subsidies.

A Danish commission recommended that the rules for media subsidies should be changed (link to Danish report). Original content produced and the number of journalists newspapers employ would be the new standard. Free newspapers would probably not quality under the proposed rules.

It’s widely expected in Denmark that the government will follow at least some recommendations of the commission (source for much of the information on the new rules: Aske Kammer’s Blog).

Supporting original content seems fair, but stimulating (young) readers to read is also valuable. Punishing free dailies for doing that seems not that fair.

2 Responses to “Danish press subsidies change threatens Metro”

  1. Tom Says:

    Heel erg bedankt voor de informatie, u heeft een enorm sterke blog. Ik ben student Journalistiek en ik moest een dossier maken over het medialandschap in Denemarken, ik heb veel gehad aan deze en andere informatie.

  2. Newspaper Innovation » Blog Archive » Danish Press Subsidies 2012 Says:

    [...] on in Denmark about the press subsidies in general and in particular those for free papers (see previous post). Without the subsidy not only Metro Denmark would lose money, but the whole company would [...]