Luxembourg: New aid scheme with subsidies for newsrooms' journalists approved

The Luxembourg Parliament approved on 8 July a new aid scheme that aims at fostering media pluralism and offers support to digital and emerging media, including subsidies to accredited journalists working in their newsroom. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes the reform and encourages other governments to follow its example.

The Chamber of Deputies of Luxembourg. Credits: LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP

The new plan provides for an annual grant of 30,000 euros per professional journalist working in the newsroom and an annual budget of 200,000 euros will be made available to support innovation.

The bill reforms a regime established in the 1970s, under which aid was calculated according to the number of printed pages. This meant that digital media were heavily discriminated against in recent years. With the new press aid scheme, the annual financial support is calculated according to the number of accredited journalists, a change benefiting both online and print media, but also media start-ups, and quality rather than quantity.

In addition, under the old regime, only media publishing in French, German and Luxembourgish were eligible for the support system. Now, any media in a language that concerns at least 15% of the country's population is eligible, which notably includes media publishing in English.

IFJ's affiliate, the Luxembourg Association of Journalists (ALJP), welcomed the adoption of the law but also expressed reservations about several flaws, especially the definition of "journalist". The union also regrets that it was not consulted during the debates surrounding the law.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "We welcome the progressive reform of the Luxembourg press support scheme, which represents a real step forward for media pluralism and the emergence of digital newsrooms. However, we regret that the government didn't consult the ALJP, particularly on the bill's restrictive definition of journalists.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

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