Minister Viitanen: Harpf's proposal on media state aid to be brought up in the spending limits discussion
Ms Pia Viitanen, Minister of Housing and Communications, takes a positive view of Administrator Tuomas Harpf's proposal on direct state aid for media. The minister feels that such aid would be justified during the current transition period. - I will take Harpf's proposals further to the next government discussion on spending limits, Viitanen promises. The Finnish media do not benefit from state aid on the same scale as their counterparts in other Nordic countries. While the aid amounts in Sweden, Norway and Denmark are around EUR 50 million, annual state aid for media in Finland amounts to one per cent of this figure, or EUR 500,000, the minister points out. Viitanen thus has concerns over ensuring a high-quality and versatile media offer and preserving jobs in this sector. - Media that produce domestic content is a key guarantee for freedom of speech and an effective democracy. Freedom of speech becomes a dead letter if the media for exercising it are not there. This is about mental security of supply.
- I am worried over jobs. We hear news of redundancies far too often. Replacing Finnish quality journalism by foreign online content will not bring us a single job or one Euro of tax revenue, Viitanen notes.
Mr Antton Rönnholm, Special Adviser to Minister Viitanen, tel. +358 295 34 2676