The new Media Agreement for 2011-2014 focuses on quality and diversity, with more focus on Danish art and culture.
A report on future media support in Denmark focuses on technology, consumer markets and increased internationalization.
4.2.6 Media pluralism and content diversity
The most important Danish radio and TV stations are:
After years of economic turbulence, particularly caused by the building of a new radio, television and a concert house, Danmarks Radio (DR) revealed a new strategy for 2011-2014. The strategy is called "Sharper DR" and is intended to place focus on content again – after years of budget deficits related to the cost of the new DR building and the concert house. According to the new strategy, DR will be known for quality content of relevance and importance. In short, the emphasis is now on a more "classical" notion of public service content. In addition, DR has identified five main areas of interest:
The Media Agreement 2011-2014 and the Media Support Project
The Media Agreement, for 2011-2014, focuses on quality and diversity (see chapter 4.2.1 for insights into how the agreement affects arts policy). There are no plans to extend DR's supply of TV and radio channels, but rather to increase the quality of available channels. Included in these objectives is more focus on Danish art and culture and to play more Danish music on the radio channels.
TV2 was erected as a direct competition to DR's monopoly on public service TV and, according to the Media agreement, DR's FM radio channel P2 will be closed down in early 2011 and a new channel erected in direct competition to the remaining three FM radio stations within the realm of DR. This closure was implemented in 2011 and a new one established, called Radio 24/syv. Approximately 100 million DKK of public license fees will be allocated to stations annually.
Other agendas in the new Media Agreement include:
For more detailed account, see "Mediepolitisk aftale 2011-2014", URL: http://kulturministeriet.dk/da/Kulturpolitik/Medier/Medieaftalen/
The overall aim of the agreement is to ensure the license finances Denmark's Radio (DR) (see chapter 4.2.6) while providing more room for commercial players in the Danish media landscape.
At that time the opposition in the Danish parliament, consisting of the Danish Social Democrats, Socialist People's Party, the Danish Social-Liberal Party and the Red-Green Alliance could not vote for the proposal because it was believed that privatisation of the media would reduce the DR's ability to meet public service obligations on a high quality level. The opposition did not believe that there would be more quality, diversity and critical media publicity by simply privatising and increasing competition in the public service by a redistribution of the license by, among other things, inviting tenders for a private FM channel. Moreover, the opposition influenced the former Minister of Culture to open up support for web media. The discussion inspired the former Minister of Culture, Per Stig Møller, to set up a committee to prepare a foundation for the government's position on public media support.
The committee was supposed to develop potential models for future media support in Denmark and was assigned to complete its work no later than 1 October 2011. The result is a report called Democracy Support – Tomorrow's Public Media Support. The key parameters in the report are technology, consumer market developments and increased internationalisation – pointing specifically to:
The report furthermore addresses the consequences of maintaining a status quo where certain IP based media and journals are not currently eligible for subsidisation. This is despite the fact that in many cases these platforms play a crucial role in an enlightened democracy. These kinds of considerations correspond with the overall aims of the report, which are to be seen in the title as well, i.e. looking primarily upon the democratic role of media. This is further emphasised in the concrete purpose of the report:
Indeed, powerful media are seen as essential in supporting democratic values and society through independent production and dissemination of news, as well as information that encourages information seeking and participation in public debates. It is therefore the Committee's conclusion that media support should primarily been seen as support to democracy. Finally, the committee puts forward three potential models to achieve these objectives: