Todays Date
January 19, 2021

Infusion for the deceased

Budget aid for paper importers, owners of printing houses and distribution companies is clearly a defective situation. The smell of a printing color has long been not appealing even to the greatest nostalgic

Written by: Zoran Ivanov


It is unusual and more than strange to spend money on something that is past, unyieldingly dead. That investment is museum and it is no good. For proclaimed purposes it is an investment missed in advance.

The latest government measure of financial assistance to print media, daily newspapers, for covering a good portion of the costs of their owners for the paper, printing and distribution is not only uneconomic and controversial, but at the very least it is favoring.

It is quite clear that Macedonia is finished with the print media. Time has run over them. They will live as much as they can and with the help of paid government announcements, tender announcements and various other state contents. Here, even that is precisely as a government financial injection for their some kind of endurance.

Nobody buys newspapers anymore. Here and there some pensioner, some state institutions and a circulation or two by a company friendly to the owner of the newspaper. Today, that is the whole readership of the daily press. In the meantime, without waiting for the paper, the printing house and the distribution, consumers are already reading the journalistic contents that in their editions the editors offer for tomorrow on their websites.

On our continent, subsidies for print media are deflating. It is true that in some economically developed countries they are still helped by budgetary funds. And it is true that every budget year, through fierce debates about this money, it is claimed that it has been thrown in the wind. And it is true that the motive for such monetary supplements is justified by the governments by keeping alive not journalism as a sensitive sphere in their democratic societies, but rather its large printing and paper industries. And, at any rate, under the pressure of the new time, all-dynamic, dominant and more comprehensive technological, informational and social tsunami, and there, in those few countries, the government money will soon stop for printing daily newspapers.

Budget aid for paper importers, printing houses owners and distribution firms is a visibly defective situation. Only they will benefits from it. Journalists and journalism nothing at all. The orientation of contemporary readership is already directed towards the market of established electronic editions. The percentage range between newspapers and portals has long been incomparably predominant in favor of the latter. In the last ten years, the twist is at the expense of electronics as printing and the Internet as distribution compensation. This is well known in the daily newspapers, which now rejoice at the selective gift from the state. By the way, their electronic editions are a tiny one million times more read than their printed newspapers. The smell of a printing color has long been not appealing even to the greatest nostalgics.

The explanations that covering paper, print and distribution costs will strengthen media professionalism and stabilize journalistic pay are not even stories for young children. In his flash analysis, this statement is very presumably detected by the famous journalist and publicist, doyen Vele Mitanoski. He recalls that our experience and our reality are in favor of the conclusion that the government’s approach to subsidizing daily newspapers is wrong. For him, the argument for invoking experiences from the countries of developed democracies is insufficient and unconvincing, and estimates that subsidizing newspapers means restoring the situation from fifteen years ago.

Regarding this government decision, journalist associations and usually also very active leaders of the union guild and the ethical council seem to have swallowed a table tennis ball. It is highly anticipated that the silence will soon face questions from its membership for their role in the government forcing unequal treatment of media selectivity. Unlike their management, echoes in public about this government move, without exception, are negative.

The government is risking for several daily newspapers, for which the returns are their biggest circulation, to infuriate a bunch of already professionally proven and affirmed electronic media. Undoubtedly, they want a dose of budget oxygen for their online news releases. Such an orientation to equity and healthy professional competition would certainly include online newspapers that the government now wants to pay for their paper, printing and distribution. It is exactly their websites, and not their atrophied and futureless printed editions, that are the real information authorities available to everyone at any moment from any point on the planet.

The media print story continues via the Internet. This revolutionary technological mass benefit would be a motive for the state. Subsidizing the present instead of paying for the past. Reallocating the money for paper, printing and distribution to electronic newspapers and helping journalism professionals there. They are both media and journalistic present and future.

The idea of donating budgetary funds for daily newspapers is irrational and wasteful spending. This is an inexplicable state investment in the past. With this cabinet’s protectionist move, the money would be wasted, and there would be no effect on public interest. Additionally, the government does not need a new affair like the one that has not yet been cooled down with the money for innovation.

And because of that, it would not be all the same for it because of the reactions caused by its infusion to the deceased.

Or it would be. It is possible, it is power.


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