Changes in subsidies distributed by the Greenland government combined with the lingering effects of the economic downturn are forecasted to spell the end of the printed newspaper.
The editor of Greenland’s Sermitsiaq newspaper Poul Krarup made the prediction to a panel of media representatives and politicians this week, saying that changes in advertising patterns in particular are crippling the country’s papers. Krarup expects the closure of at least one newspaper before the year’s end, as revealed in Siku news.
Following Greenland’s move to self-rule earlier this year, more and more advertisers have turned to Denmark for the use of that country’s newspapers to feature their job advertisements. “Even jobs for teachers are advertised for Denmark instead of Greenland,” Krarup claimed, pointing out that not only companies but government agencies also had adopted the practice.
The decline of printed news is set to be further hastened by the Greenland government’s decision as of 2010 to remove the existing funding to the postal service which assists in the distribution of newspapers. The move was made by the Finance Ministry which claims the cash-strapped nation has more pressing priorities. The editor of AG newspaper, Inga Dora Gudmundsdottir Markussen said the changes made lay-offs at her organisation unavoidable.
In supporting the move, government officials have pointed out that they hope the changes will lead to a more effective distribution system being developed. Currently it can take up to several days for the entire country to receive the weekly editions of AG and Sermitsiaq. Premier Kuupik Kleist hopes that in time the move will strengthen the Greenland press and also insinuated that the quality of reporting could be improved. The Finance Minister Palle Christiansen supported the Premier’s stance and called for the press to produce news that consumers would want to purchase.