Private media want monthly €1 million campaigns to replace lost revenue

Estonian newspapers.
Estonian newspapers. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

The Estonian Media Enterprises Association proposed to the Prime Minister and head of the emergency situation Jüri Ratas the state should organize extensive social campaigns in all private media channels worth €1 million a month for until the end of the year.

Head of the Media Enterprises Association Merle Viirmaa-Treifeldt sent a letter to Ratas where she made two proposals. Firstly, she asked the state to organize extensive social campaigns in all private media channels.

"We are proposing that the campaigns should be worth €1 million a month meaning €8 million until the end of the year," Viirmaa said in the letter.

In her vision, the state should divide the resources between different ministries and the Media Enterprises Association would be responsible for the campaigns.

"With that, we will ensure the resources are divided equally between all private media channels and no commissions would be added to intermediaries. For media companies, that would mean a 20-30 percent relief from lost advertising revenue."

The second proposal suggests that the European Commission should legitimize the possibility to bring the turnover tax to 0 percent for media producers.

"We are asking to consider this possibility for Estonia. This would give considerable financial relief for the media companies: according to our calculations, it would be about €4,6 million per year."

Viirma-Treifeldt adds that according to optimistic media managers, media enterprises are will lose about €30-40 million in advertising revenue this year which is about a third of Estonian advertising revenue altogether.

"At the same time, journalists need to continue working to a greater extent than usual. Losing the revenue means redundancy of the employees or in the worst case, closing editions. Without dramatizing: an important base of democracy is in danger," Viire-Treifeldt summarized.

Several media companies in Estonia have already cut publications or salaries to help them survive the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus which was slashed advertising revenue.

The state rejected a previous proposal put forward by the association to subsidize the media industry for its lost revenue.


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Editor: Roberta Vaino

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