One in four Danes does not actively seek news

NEWS | 28 November 2016

A new report reveals Danish citizens’ sources of knowledge and news. Among other things, it shows that TV remains the main provider of news, that nearly one in four Danes does not actively seek news, and that there is a relationship between higher news consumption and having discussed politics in one’s family while growing up.

The number of media and news sources in society has increased substantially. How do citizens choose their media mix and why, and what does this mean for Danish knowledge about societal conditions? These questions are dealt with in a new study by the Danish Agency for Culture and Palaces.

Six types of news consumers
The survey identifies six types of news consumers – the superficial, the well-informed, the interested, the dutiful (each group representing about a fifth of the population); and the uninvolved and the socially correct (each representing around 10 per cent) – and shows that these six segments have very different motives for their engagement in news and ways of consuming it.

The results show that knowledge about news and the current conditions in society is linked to the consumption of news and current affairs.

For example, the interested – who find it important to keep abreast of society debate, actively seek news, and would pay for quality news online – score the highest on the study’s knowledge test. For the uninvolved, who score the lowest on the knowledge test, news is more pastime and entertainment, and they do not actively seek news in their everyday life.

Generation divides in news consumption
The report confirms different media consumption patterns between generations. Young people seek out and use news across different platforms, while older people use traditional media, which they also consider to be more reliable than online media. Age also affects the prioritization of news: the older you are, the more important news is to you.

Looking at the whole population, TV remains by far the main provider of news and current affairs, even though the young are much more oriented towards digital and social platforms.

While nearly one in four Danes does not actively seek news and current affairs material, for the majority of Danes news and current affairs constitute an important part of their daily media consumption.

The report also identifies a relationship between higher news consumption and having discussed politics around the dinner table while growing up.


Find the report with annexes, questionnaire and data (in Danish)
Download the report directly (PDF in Danish)


About the study: The study, part of the Agency for Culture and Palaces’ reporting on media development in Denmark, was performed by Mindshare . The study is based on an initial qualitative study of 13 in-depth interviews and a quantitative web-based survey in a citizens' panel, consisting of a representative sample of the Danish population aged 15 and over. A total of 7,514 interviews were conducted in the quantitative study. Read more about Danish media consumption in the reports on media development in Denmark (English summaries).