Promoting cultural diversity through public service media support (Denmark)
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In Denmark, media policy is considered as an integral part of cultural policy. A media policy agreement between the government and the Parliament, usually spanning four years, forms the legislative basis in the area of radio, television, printed and internet based media.
A cornerstone of the Danish media policy is the notion of public service. Therefore, public service media helps to ensure pluralism through multiple platforms, both at the national and regional levels, and to address a balanced range of programmes and services for all groups in society.
Aimed at strengthening the Danish democracy, media policy lays the foundation for a diverse media landscape fostering access to a diversity of cultural expressions. In this regard, a Public Service Pool was established to meet the needs of institutions not covered by license fees, offering them the opportunity to apply for programs and productions’ funding, as long as public service objectives (originality, significance and quality) are met.
Further, the challenges brought by digital technologies have been addressed. The transformations through which cultural content is created, produced, distributed and consumed in the digital age implies written internet-based news media to be granted the same level of support than traditional media. With the revised Media Support Act, entered into force in 2014, internet media is now considered eligible for secured funding arrangements. Based on selected criteria, media support is granted for the production of editorial content and for the establishment of new media. Protection from arbitrary interference is also guaranteed by an independent board.
The establishment of a comprehensive legislative base to support media freedom and diversity and to address the need of all groups in society illustrates Denmark’s commitment to implement Goal 1 of the Convention supporting sustainable systems of governance for culture as well as SDG 16 by ensuring public access to information and the protection of fundamental freedoms (Target 16.7).