Post a Comment Print Share on Facebook
Featured economía WELTnext LauterbachJörn Brasilien NicolaiBirger

How the CDU wants to save the printed newspaper

The printed newspaper is a discontinued model, in the long term.

- 51 reads.

How the CDU wants to save the printed newspaper

The printed newspaper is a discontinued model, in the long term. Nevertheless, and that is also true in 2023, subscriptions to the print editions of newspapers and magazines are important for many people. They might even consume news and information digitally, but they prefer printed media. Because of the self-contained nature of the product, because of the feel, because of the deceleration.

This is all known and researched so far. However, it is questionable whether the production and delivery of printed media to people will still be economically viable in the future. Since the introduction of the minimum wage, publishers' associations in particular have been complaining about the difficulties their members are having, and the costs have gotten out of control. Added to this are the increased prices for energy and paper.

On the one hand, this shows how urgently necessary it is to prioritize digital sales channels. On the other hand, this does not solve the problem of delivering the print editions to households at a reasonable price in a transitional period that can easily last more than ten years (newspapers will digitize faster than magazines). At the same time, the circulation of printed media is falling – and the downward spiral in circulation is being accelerated by the increased price pressure.

What to do? Oliver Schenk, Media Minister of Saxony, and Nathanael Liminski, Media Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, have joined forces. They are calling for "immediate action" to support newspapers and advertising papers, including magazines. The aim is to "continue to guarantee the nationwide supply of periodical press products".

The ministers see this supply as threatened - as a negative example they cite so-called "newspaper deserts" in the USA, in which no local or regional newspapers are published anymore. The consequences, believe Schenk and Liminski, are a “declining in political citizen participation, a decline in public control of administrations and companies, the radicalization of public discourse through the formation of filter bubbles and the associated manipulation of political decision-making.” The decline in trust of citizens in democracy is not an Eastern phenomenon, but affects all federal states.

Now one might ask whether it is really necessary to turn this big wheel, given that there is no lack of digital sources of information. On the other hand, it is said that many readers, see above, want to stay with printed newspapers, even if they are offered discounted digital subscriptions, and secondly, many smaller towns have no alternative sources of information apart from the regional newspapers, which, however, are no longer as deep into the start local reporting. Most recently, the Aschendorff publishing house from Münsterland announced that it would stop printing its advertising papers in May. The delivery of daily newspapers is also at risk in sparsely populated regions.

The idea of ​​providing financial support for the delivery of printed periodical media is not new, it is at least three years old - so it came about in Angela Merkel's CDU-led coalition. In this respect, it is quite strange (but understandable) when two CDU media ministers criticize that the implementation of the project is taking too long. Initially, however, the subsidy of 220 million euros was intended to promote digital transformation - but the proposal from the Federal Ministry of Economics, which was led by Peter Altmaier at the time, failed.

Purely digital media had complained about the planned subsidy, saying they were not included in this transformation funding. At the same time, doubts arose as to whether the funding could be reconciled with the requirement that the press should remain remote from the state - after all, a transformation of the media always also includes editorial and content-related aspects. As a result, the project was redesignated as a pure delivery promotion for printed media. But this project also failed, and a corresponding law was not even put to the vote in the Bundestag.

A subsidy for delivery is also provided for in the coalition agreement of the new federal government - but so far nothing has happened, according to Oliver Schenk and Nathanael Liminski. Responsibility for the project has not been clarified - responsibility could also be transferred to Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth - nor have funds been set aside in the budget. There is also talk of an ominous study on the "necessity and possibility of federal funding for the press industry", which was commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs at the end of 2021, but has not yet been published for unexplained reasons.

Three points are important in the implementation, said the media ministers: compliance with the requirement to be remote from the state, the time limit for funding and the fewest possible bureaucratic hurdles when limiting funding to the delivery of periodic titles. The situation is "pointed to the hilt," said Oliver Schenk - and his counterpart Nathanael Liminski added with a gloomy undertone: "If you don't do anything now, you have to accept the consequences."

Your Name
Post a Comment
Characters Left:
Your comment has been forwarded to the administrator for approval.×
Warning! Will constitute a criminal offense, illegal, threatening, offensive, insulting and swearing, derogatory, defamatory, vulgar, pornographic, indecent, personality rights, damaging or similar nature in the nature of all kinds of financial content, legal, criminal and administrative responsibility for the content of the sender member / members are belong.