The Swedish government has announced a fresh wave of financial support to help the culture and media sectors weather the storm of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to a 50 percent drop in advertising revenue for some of the country’s local and national newspapers.
Ulrika Hyllert, chairperson of the Swedish Union of Journalists, told Swedish Radio that the money could ensure some outlets survive the crisis.
The general public’s interest in Covid-19 has meant record reading figures for Sweden’s local and national newspapers. But the industry is struggling for survival with advertising revenues down as much as 50 percent.
“It’s very hard times for newspapers today, we are seeing ad losses of between 30-50 percent while at the same time, interest for news media is at its highest ever,” Jan Hager, the acting CEO of TU, The Swedish Media Publishers’ Association tells Radio Sweden.
Local free newspapers rely completely on advertising, which often comes from local businesses. Nacka/Värmdö Posten (NVP), is one of those affected:
“We have less advertising and we have more to write about than ever. We are trying to hang in there but you can see how the paper gets thinner and thinner,” NVP editor Hanna Bäckman tells Radio Sweden.