Impacted by the Covid-19 crisis
The search for information about the Covid-19 pandemic has driven an increase in the consumption of online news. But the lockdown in the spring of 2020 and the closure of shops accelerated the decline in advertising revenue, creating financial tension in some media outlets. The shortfall was partly offset by exceptional state aid. Prime Minister Xavier Bettel’s government is also poised to fulfil two legislative promises that should reinforce media pluralism. One is to calculate state aid to media outlets on the basis of the number of journalists they employ rather than the number of pages they print (which favoured print media at the expense of online media). The other is to turn state-owned Radio 100.7, which specialises in social and cultural content, into an independent, general-content radio station. The Belgian publisher Mediahuis bought Luxembourg’s main publishing house, the Saint-Paul group, and its flagship daily, the Luxemburger Wort. Saint-Paul fired 20% of its personnel, more than 70 employees, while another daily, the Lëtzebuerger Journal, scrapped its print edition. During the first few weeks of the pandemic, journalists often struggled to get state statistical agencies to provide relevant figures and information about the spread of the virus and how it was being managed politically. Relative transparency was gradually established although a lack of resources resulted in frequent bottlenecks in the flow of information. It was only by chance that some of the expert reports used by the government were published. Luxembourg’s media are limited structurally by the country’s small size and the fact that their interests often conflict with those of decision-makers and businessmen.
17 in 2020
15.46 in 2020