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Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) under threat

10 January 2018

Ten Directors-General of public service companies in Europe sign statement in support of Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR).

In a statement, published on 10 January 2018, Directors-General of ten of Europe’s most renowned public service broadcasters warn that proposed cuts of up to 25 percent could have significant and far-reaching consequences for DR’s ability to operate as a public service broadcaster.

In the letter the signatories also point out the important role that public service broadcasters play in a time of “increased polarisation and greater alienation between different groups in society. Against this background the importance of well-functioning, trusted public service broadcasters, side-by-side with high quality commercial media, can hardly be stated too clearly.”

It is also important to put this discussion in a broader European perspective. The signatories write: “free and independent journalism around the world is under greater pressure than it has been for a long time……increasingly authoritarian regimes in some parts of Europe have made public service broadcasters subject to comprehensive changes. For the time being two of the most troublesome cases are Hungary and Poland. It is no coincidence that both countries have plunged down the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index in recent years. ……The choice that Danish politicians must make when it comes to public service broadcasting can be seen in many other countries around Europe: Whether to cut budgets and increase the risk of political control; or to secure long-term funding and build up greater and more effective safeguards for the independence and stability of public service broadcasting. That the latter would promote democracy hardly needs to be pointed out.”

The signatories to the statement are:

Tony Hall, BBC (UK)
Thor Gjermund Eriksen, NRK (Norway)
Magnus Geir Thordarson, RUV (Iceland)
Gilles Marchand, SRG SSR (Switzerland)
Dr. Alexander Wrabetz, ORF (Austria)
Shula Rijxman, NPO (Netherlands)
Hanna Stjärne, SVT (Sweden)
Per Bergkrantz, UR (Sweden)
Cilla Benkö, SR (Sweden)
Tom Buhrow, WDR (Germany)

Source and full text of the statement:,c2428703