Newspapers to get €500,000 fund as Ukraine war pushes up price of paper

Prime Minister Robert Abela says €500,000 fund necessary to sustain key role of press as instrument of democracy

The Maltese government has announced a €500,000 fund that will support the work of printed newspapers, to cushion the impact of a hike in printing and paper prices due to the war in Ukraine.

In a statement, the government said Maltese printed journalism had been “impacted by the current extraordinary circumstances, in addition to the major challenges already being experienced by this sector.”

Prime Minister Robert Abela led a meeting together with finance minister Clyde Caruana and minister for arts Owen Bonnici, with the Institute of Maltese Journalists at Auberge de Castille and a committee of newspaper publishers.

“The role of the newspaper as an integral part of contemporary media, and its key role as a strong instrument of democracy, were also discussed. In view of this crucial role, government will be stepping in and assisting the sector accordingly,” Abela said.

“The government will be providing financial assistance to newspaper publishers, as they currently face significant challenges due to the substantial increase in the price of paper.”

Maltese newspaper publishers employ around 66 journalists full-time together with several part-timers, and issue 14 different newspapers between them, published daily, weekly, and on Sundays.