Sunday, 27 January 2008

State supported newspapers

Since the 1970's the Swedish state has supported newspspapers in the skids with lavish yearly cash support. What originated as a means of keeping mismanaged and more or less bancrupt local socialdemocratic papers alive, has evolved to a major source of income for two non-socialistic newspapers: The conservative Svenska Dagbladet and the centrist Skånska Dagbladet. Both papers are entitled, and accept, so called "press support" of a yearly 65 and 40 million SEK donation from the government.
In the case of Svenska Dagbladet, a vociferous critic of Big Government and a supporter of free trade and enterprise, the situation is well beyond Hypocrisy. The fact that the paper is owned by the Norwegian very able and very copetitive Shipstedt-group does not make the matter less delicate.
Luckily, the European Union has at long last discovered this blatant form of market manipulation and is demanding changes.
Good.
These days anyone can get a website or a blog to express his or her wiews without support from the State.

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