Declaration by the Committee of Ministers on the financial sustainability of quality journalism in the digital age

In a Declaration adopted today, the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers encourages states to put in place a regulatory and policy framework that facilitates the operation of quality journalism, while not constraining media outlets’ editorial and operational independence. Recommended measures include a beneficial tax regime, financial support schemes and the possibility of media outlets to operate as not-for-profit organisations and receive donations from philanthropic programmes.

See in particular point 12:
12. States’ support and commitment to providing a pluralist media ecosystem in accordance with their positive obligations under Article 10 of the Convention should take into account all sectors and types of media, bearing in mind their different purposes, functions, affordances and geographical reach. Support mechanisms should include measures for ensuring the basic financial sustainability of this ecosystem. Public service media, as an essential feature of pluralistic communication and provider of varied and high-quality content, should remain accessible to everyone online as well as offline and should enjoy sustainable public
financing, in accordance with a number of Council of Europe instruments, the latest being Recommendation CM/Rec(2018)1 of the Committee of Ministers to member States on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership. In addition, there is a need to develop and strengthen public policy measures at European, as well as at local levels to ensure that community media, as well as other types of media serving local and rural communities, have financial and legal resources and space to operate on all distribution platforms.
then further:
“…encourages member States to include in their media regulatory and policy frameworks a variety of measures which may include, but are not limited to the
following:
a) A beneficial tax regime for the production and distribution of journalistic content;
b) Financial support schemes for media sectors besides public service media, in particular for regional, local, hyperlocal and not-for-profit community media, with accompanying safeguards for their independent administration and oversight and for equitable and non-discriminatory distribution of such support in line with the principles of transparency and accountability and with the standards of the Council of Europe
….”