Wed - 13.12.2017


Two weeks ago when the SFN blog examined the National Readership Survey (NRS)’s report on print and online news consumption, we suggested that encouraging digital figures for quality titles could be of great interest to advertisers. Looking at the same figures, The Guardian’s Investigations Executive Editor, David Leigh, had an altogether more radical idea: a £2 pound levy on broadband services.

Thanks to the BBC’s free-to-access, taxpayer-funded news website, British news consumers will always have access to reliable, up-to-date news reports. This, Leigh argues, means that the paywall model will “never really work in the UK context.” 

The noted investigative journalist reasons, in an article posted to MediaGuardian, that the simplest and most effective means of solving the financial dilemma faced by British news publishers is a “small levy on UK broadband providers [that] could be distributed to news providers in proportion to their UK online readership.” Brits are not particularly inclined to pay for online news, Leigh continues, but almost 20 million UK households are, and will continue to be, willing to pay for essential broadband subscriptions.


Amy Hadfield


2012-09-24 16:01

A Peneira, a biweekly newspaper published in the Spanish region of Galicia, has shut down its website due to financial problems, reported Tuesday. This is the third Galician-language website to close in less than a month.

The newspaper's owner, Guillermo Rodriguez, said the regional government was responsible for the economic distress of the company, which has not paid its workers in six months and might see its print edition at risk, revealed.

The Galician administration recently reduced the subventions given to media published entirely in Galician from €71,000 to €64,000.

However, in an article published in its editorial blog, A Peneira explained that its revenue has been decreasing since 2009, when the publication only gained €84,000, down from €180,000 collected in 2008.

The publication also noted that the regional government had not bought advertising in the paper for the first four months of 2010, while other official ads had declined by 50 percent.


Clara Mart


2010-08-19 15:46

The Italian Senate yesterday approved a controversial €25 billion austerity programme, which includes cuts to newspapers' funding budgets, The Financial Times reported.

The economic maneuver was sent to the lower house and is expected to be voted before the summer recess on July 29, according to Il Sole 24 Ore. If approved, dailies like Il Manifesto and Carta could shut down as they rely heavily on public funds, Etcetera explained.

Il Manifesto is one of the dailies affected by the budget cuts

Two days ago, journalists from Il Manifesto, supported by the Roman Press Association, protested against the possible budget cuts in front of Congress.

"With [these] cuts, Berlusconi wants to take out a series of right and left wing newspapers," Il Manifesto's editor-in-chief Norma Rangeri said, according to Il Corriere della Sera. The maneuver, she added, would affect 90 publications and 4,500 workers.


Clara Mart


2010-07-16 17:31

Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of marketing group WPP, said governments might need to subsidise newspapers such as the Guardian, if they continue losing money and reach a point that could terminate their businesses, Media Guardian reported.

Sorrell said in an interview with Arabian Business that "governments probably have to decide whether consolidation and media titles going out of business is the right thing from an editorial point of view... The electorate is going to say whether they believe there should be more subsidies for traditional media."

He specified one example of the Guardian, which is currently going through cost-cutting plans to make up for losses. Sorrell said the government may have to consider subsidising the paper or give tax advantages "to people to subsidise it".

"For example, The Guardian newspaper loses money. In the long-term it can't go on losing money. So let us say, hypothetically, that The Guardian could not continue to lose money after a certain period, then you would have to think about whether the government should subsidise it, or whether you give tax advantages to people to subsidise it. There are plenty of ways to skin that particular cow," according to Arabian Business.


Erina Lin


2010-02-02 23:58

Newspapers have not only lost significant advertising revenue in the last couple of years, they have also been losing government support in the form of subsidies in the last forty years, concludes a new study by the University of Southern California.

According to Poynter, a new study of historic subsidies and emerging trends tracks various tax breaks, reductions in postal subsidies first enacted in 1792, and upcoming cutbacks in public notices that government regulations have traditionally forced into American newspapers. The study provides valuable insight, if not clear-cut recommendations for print media to follow, about the thorny issue of government funding for media.

For more on this topic, visit our sister publication,


Leah McBride Mensching


2010-01-29 20:14

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