Five future scenarios from the Danish Public Service Committee
On November 7, the Danish Public Service Committee published its report on public service in the new media reality. In it, they propose five future media scenarios that include both a disappearance of public service funding and a strengthening of the largest public service institution in Denmark, DR.
Danish politicians assigned the Committee with the task of drafting different possible scenarios for how public service could and should look on all platforms, such that it would continue to contribute to the democratic debate and to our common frame of reference.
The Committee has chosen to solve its main task by drafting five basic scenarios and illuminating their respective strengths and weaknesses.
The intention is to offer decision-makers a foundation for making informed choices: For example, if you strengthen the market and weaken public service, what is gained and what is lost? Or what happens if you completely remove public service institutions and instead make it possible for all media institutions to apply for public service funds?
- Scenario 1: "Public service left to the market" - All public service funding ceases. The publicly owned public service institutions are closed or sold.
- Scenario 2A: "Public service remains - but institutions perish" - Foundation model - public financing of individual programmes, series and Internet services.
- Scenario 2B: "Public service remains - but institutions perish" - Concession model - laying out entire channels and platforms to the market.
- Scenario 3: "Public service concentrated in DR" - by reducing the number of public service institutions, more space is given to commercial media companies.
- Scenario 4: "Public service limited" - Public service media address only the content that the commercial media sector is unlikely to provide.
- Scenario 5: "Public service strengthened in Danish" - Public service media place more emphasis on Danish content.
The Committee’s Chairman, Connie Hedegaard, says: "We haven’t been asked to make recommendations. And the scenarios can be combined in many ways. But our hope is that the nuances of this difficult debate can receive more space, and that policy-makers have gotten a qualified foundation for making some informed choices."
The Public Service Committee's report – in Danish (PDF)
The annex to the Public Services Committee's report – in Danish (PDF)
The report by RiSj, "Analysis of the Relationship Between and Impact of Public Service Media and Private Media" - in English, summary in Danish (PDF)
About the report: The Public Service Committee was established at the beginning of 2015 to follow up the Danish Media Agreement for 2015-2018. The Committee has had the task of drawing up a basis for reflection on the public service media's role in the coming years. As part of its work, the Committee has received input from many different stakeholders. In addition, the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism (RiSj) at the University of Oxford was commissioned by the Committee to conduct a meta-analysis of relevant studies on the interaction between public service and private media with regard to these media institutions’ overall contribution to society awareness, development and cohesion. Read more about the Public Service Committee's work on its website.
BY: MOGENS VESTERGAARD KJELDSEN