Filloux: ‘No hope’ that public subsidies can reverse declining print readership

August 29, 2011
Category: Uncategorized

Monday Note
Frédéric Filloux looks at a study that analyzes public subsidies of various forms of media and concludes that there’s no correlation between public spending and print readership. Finland is a big spender, per capita, and print media there has a high penetration: 79 percent of the population. But Germany spends just 11 percent of that and achieves a 72 percent penetration. Moreover, print media in the U.S. have almost twice the penetration of their counterparts in Italy, although the U.S. spends just 16 percent more on a per-capita basis. Filloux says Finland’s high readership is due to its editorial product, not subsidies. “There are no Keynesian mechanisms in evidence when it comes to correlating public spending with print media penetration,” he writes. Moreover, the study “kills long lasting prejudices such as European media being massively state-funded, or an American public sector unsupportive of the media industry.” He goes on to list four guidelines for public subsidies, including “no life-support funding.” || Related: FCC media report shows how interest in government subsidies for local journalism fizzled