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Switzerland Approved Emergency Aid for Coronavirus-Stricken Media Outlets

Αssociated press

People enjoy the sunny weather at the Seealpsee on Sunday, 17 May 2020 in Wasserauen, Switzerland. (Gian Ehrenzeller/Keystone via AP)

BERN — Switzerland has approved emergency aid for media outlets suffering a decrease in ad revenues because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government approved a 57.5 million Swiss francs ($59.5 million) package proposed by lawmakers for “the special significance that the media have for democracy.”

Radio and TV stations will receive 30 million francs, while newspaper deliveries will be subsidized for six months with 17.5 million francs. Publishers who take relief must pledge not to pay dividends to shareholders in 2020.

The government says it will set aside 10 million francs to pay electronic media subscription fees for Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA for six months.