Gov't calls for public discussion over STT
13 Jul 2018, 00:19
The government on Thursday opened the future financing of the national news agency, STT for public debate.
The ministry of communication is preparing the relevant administrative decrees for the state aid. The ministry said it hopes to listen to media organizations and others by mid-August with a view to a more permanent solution.
In the call for media statements expressing their opinions, the government said the effort is to strengthen "a national news agency", without directly mentioning the name of STT. So far, STT has been considered the only national news agency in Finland.
The financial difficulties of the privately owned news agency culminated this year and the parliament approved a one-and-half-million-euro public aid for the agency in late June.
In a recent development, the leading Finnish private media house Sanoma increased its ownership of STT into three quarters from a third in early July. Some previous owners sold their shares and pulled out.
STT has been losing customers in recent years as newspapers are developing their own news-gathering organizations. In late 2017, STT closed its Swedish language service FNB as the Swedish language news papers in Finland had opened a news production unit of their own.