Sweden: Union welcomes new support package for the media industry

The Swedish government announced on May 8 an expanded aid package for the media to cope with the financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Swedish Union of Journalists, Journalistförbundet, welcomed these substantial support measures for the media sector and workers.

President of the Swedish Journalists Union, Ulrika Hyllert. Photo: Tor Johnsson

On 3 April, the Swedish government announced a media aid package of 200 million SEK (around 18 million €), an amount that the Journalistförbundet claimed to be insufficient to protect the whole media sector.

Following the Swedish union’s action, the Minister of Culture Amanda Lind announced on May 8 further measures to support the media industry and the government-funded cultural institutions

With this new plan, the government will support the media sector  with an additional 500 million SEK (around 47 million € extra) fund.

Ulrika Hyllert, President of Journalistförbundet, said: “This support package doesn't mean the danger is over. But we hope that this, together with the measures already presented, will make media companies more capable of managing the crisis. The hope is that we will not have to see mass layoffs”.

The minister of Culture said that the new measures will cover more media outlets than the firstly announced aid package of April. The details of the new proposal will be presented in the following weeks.

The fact that money is provided is crucial not only for the media's survival but also for citizens' access to quality news. This is positive for democracy

"We at the Journalist Association have worked very hard to convince politicians of the need to save the industry and secure the public’s access to information now and in the long term. It seems that the government has listened”, said Ulrika Hyllert", who also remarked that the support scheme will protect not only the media but the “citizens’ right to access quality information”.

Despite welcoming the new package, the union claimed that there's not enough support for the freelance journalists, who have been greatly hit by the crisis.

The IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We welcome the Swedish government determination to save the media from this crisis and praise the Journalistförbundet for its hard work on protecting the media workers. We call on the government to complete the mission by announcing support measures for freelance journalists".

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

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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