It’s been a turbulent year for the news media industry. Covid-19 was an asymmetrical crisis – a lot of media were devastated by the pandemic, while others had their best years ever (especially due to a boom in reader revenue). 

Few places are as “asymmetrical” as Europe. To lean into the cliché, it’s a continent of great contrasts. Internal discrepancies within Europe often outdoing those between other parts of the planet. 

The Fix picked out 5 important data sets from the latest Reuters Digital News Report that shed a light on the state of the European media landscape in 2021.

Payments are up, but only in a few (northern) places

One of the most positive pieces of news for the media – people are actually ready to pay for news. Well, in some places.  

Norway continues to be the world’s superpower when it comes to paying for media with a whooping 45% (up 3 percentage points vs. 2020). Sweden, at 30% (up 3 ppts, too), comes in second. It is followed by Switzerland (17%, up 4 ppts) and the Netherlands (17%, up 3 ppts). 

Poland fares surprisingly well among the middle-income group, where government bullying of media has rallied support. But many richer economies are worryingly behind. Neither France nor the UK fares particularly, as do the South European economies.

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