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Opposition criticises DR's programming

Too much fluffy entertainment and not enough public service, parties say

Opposition parties say that food programmes like 'Spise med Price' don't live up to DR's public service requirements (Photo: DR / Mischa Jemer)

January 2, 2014

by JC

Too many cooking shows and American imports. 

That is the opposition parties’ view of the programmes on offer from public broadcaster DR. 

Venstre, Dansk Folkeparti (DF) and Liberal Alliance are now calling on DR to fulfil its public service requirements and cut back on fluffy lifestyle shows. 

“A distortion has occurred,” DF’s Morten Marinus told Berlingske newspaper. “DR has become more entertainment-orientated while at the same time shifting the more public service-orientated programmes on culture, science and the Christian culture heritage onto channels other than its flagship [DR1].”

READ MORE: DR drops exit polls after criticism 

Not fulfilling obligations
The nation’s media laws state that DR needs to ensure the public a broad scope of programming that includes news coverage, information, education, arts, culture and entertainment. 

But lately it is too much of the latter, the opposition parties argue.

“DR1 is becoming a channel that apparently needs to compete with the commercial channels and be filled with entertainment of fluctuating quality,” Marinus said. “I’m not saying that DR shouldn’t provide entertainment, but it has come to be prioritised over DR’s public service requirements.”

Parties threaten to withhold money
The three opposition parties said they are opposed to giving DR any additional money in the coming media agreement that will be negotiated this spring in parliament. The agreement will define distribution of licencing fees and create a new public service agreement for DR.

“We would like to see DR have more of a focus on its public service content, new formats and coverage of the entire country along with a higher priority for drama, documentaries and children’s programming,” Venstre’s media spokesperson, Ellen Trane Nørby, told Berlingske. “For us it is more a discussion on how to use the money rather than a discussion on how much money."

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