COVID-19: What financial support have the media and journalists received in Europe?


Six months after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has published a database mapping the financial support media outlets and journalists received in Europe.

The health crisis showed that there is a vital need for trustworthy and reliable information. In fact, media outlets and journalists faced a double challenge.

On one hand, all media taken together experienced a sharp increase in consumption. Reporters and media workers were in the front line – they were our ears and eyes when most citizens were required to stay at home.

On the other hand, European media have faced huge fall in revenues which has aggravated an already downward trend, in particular for newspapers, periodicals and radio broadcasting. It meant falling wages for journalists, in particular freelancers. The reality on the field also revealed difficult access to information, physical attacks and even detention for many journalists. In total, Mapping Media Freedom registered 37 alerts related to the pandemic, in 13 European countries.

From March to June 2020, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) repeatedly called on national governments and EU institutions to support journalists in an independent way with emergency reliefs and recovery plans, as democracy as a whole was at stake.

The EU budget and the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027 is still under discussion but many governments have taken urgent measures to contain the social and economic crisis of the media sector. What are they? Did all journalists receive similar support regardless of their employment status? Will the media sector be sustained on the long-term towards a healthier, more pluralistic and viable ecosystem?

With the help of its affiliates in 44 European countries, the EFJ has mapped the different emergency packages, direct financial support and long-term measures, if any,  in the database below.

If you have news about the latest financial support for media in your country, please contact camille@europeanjournalists.org. The table will be regularly updated (last update: October 2020)

COVID-19 support measures

© European Federation of Journalists