Economy & Politics

Aid to the dust-free press

Xavier Bettel unveiled in the House on Tuesday the main trends of the new reform of media support. From now on, the number of professional journalists will be a determining factor.

Eddy RENAULD

Eddy RENAULD

Xavier Bettel unveiled in the House on Tuesday the main trends of the new reform of media support. From now on, the number of professional journalists will be a determining factor.

While press support is currently determined by the number of pages published, conditions will change in the future. From now on, the number of professional journalists will be a decisive criterion. It is true that the legislation on media support dates from 1976, so it does not take into account new media and the emergence of the Internet.

While a transitional mechanism for the development of the online press was put in place in 2017, new rules should emerge soon. Bill 7631 therefore provides for adapting the legislative framework to these various subsidies.


The TNS Ilres and Kantar TNS institutes revealed the media audience figures on Tuesday. The “Luxemburger Wort” confirms its position as the most widely read newspaper in the Grand Duchy.


Concretely, the eligible publisher who meets the criteria will be able to benefit from a maximum aid of 200,000 euros, as well as 30,000 euros per professional journalist. Prime Minister and Media Minister Xavier Bettel (DP) explained himself to the deputies.

Among the criteria used are the dissemination of general information, a daily, weekly, monthly or online publication or even have an editorial staff of professional journalists of at least 5 people employed on an indefinite basis.

The fact of having recourse to one or more languages ​​used by at least 15% of the population, according to official statistics, is among the conditions. Currently, publications must be in one of the country’s three official languages.

A budget up to two million euros

The project also provides for aid to start-up media (100,000 euros) and to citizen publishers such as community radio stations (maximum annual aid of 100,000 euros) under certain conditions. “With the exception of two cases, publishers receive more than is currently the case,” said Xavier Bettel. It should also be noted that a compensation scheme plans to allocate over 5 years the difference between the total amount allocated in 2019 and the amount to be allocated according to the new rules.

Currently, press assistance amounts to eight million euros per year. This amount should soon reach ten million euros. The media minister stressed that the authorities were in discussion with the Press Council about the terms of this aid.


Gert Ysebaert, CEO von Mediahuis

In a first interview, Gert Ysebaert, CEO of Mediahuis, discusses his projects for the Saint-Paul Luxembourg group, but also the reasons why the takeover was formalized in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic and his vision of the media industry .


Finally, a bill (7651) concerning electronic media and their content is also on the table. These broadcasters must also respect fundamental principles such as the protection of minors, the fight against discrimination or the fight against incitement to hatred.

A new European directive notably provides for stricter rules. These new obligations will have to be transposed into national law. As a reminder, this reform comes against the backdrop of a press crisis due to the economic impacts of the covid-19 epidemic.


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