Awaiting media subsidy reform
There was unprecedented unrest within state-owned Radio 100.7 in 2019, with some of its journalists accusing the government of meddling in the way it is run. The announcement in the summer of 2019 of a redundancy plan for non-journalistic employees of the Bertelsmann-owned digital media group RTL led to questions being raised about whether its headquarters would remain in Luxembourg.
The government has announced that a proposed reform of state-funding for the media will be presented some time in 2020. Media pluralism in Luxembourg is guaranteed by a generous system of state subsidies but print media are currently the main beneficiaries and, until now, online news providers have received little funding. The different media sectors have negotiated a more equitable funding proposal under which the total sum provided by the state would increase, and the allocation to each media outlet would be based above all on the number of journalists it employs. The government’s bill has yet to be submitted to parliament and, in the meantime, media owners are putting any new initiatives on hold pending certain clarifications and the bill’s approval, especially as they see no prospect of an increase in advertising revenue. Media associations and the Press Council monitor editorial content and look for any sign of editorial decisions being influenced by vested business interests, a constant concern in such a small market.
17 in 2019
15.66 in 2019