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Young people would bail on DR if they could

With young adults saying they would abandon the state broadcaster, political consensus is growing to give them a price break


DR general director Maria Rørbye Ronn said that they have not made a good case with young people (Photo: Scanpix)

January 8, 2014
19:33

by Ray Weaver


More and more Danish young people in the 18-35 age group would opt out of using the services of public broadcaster DR if it meant they could avoid paying the annual 2,436 kroner licensing fee.

According to a Gallup poll conducted by Berlingske newspaper, 45 percent of young people would be willing to kick DR to the curb and keep the cash.

The head of Liberal Alliance Youth, Rasmus Brygger said the time has come to bury the fee.

“The entire concept of public broadcasting has changed,” Brygger told Berligske. “The fees come from a time when not everyone had access to information. These days anyone can get what they need online.”

DR's general director, Maria Rørbye Ronn, said that the numbers were troubling, but pointed out that the study showed that 96 percent of residents use DR every week.

“We have not made a strong enough case with young people about the value of public television,” Ronn told Berlingske. “That trend is being repeated throughout Europe.”

Learning to love DR
A number of political leaders – including Mogens Jensen, the media spokeperson for ruling coalition party Socialdemokraterne - have said the younger demographic should get a price break on the fee.

“We think that young people and students should get the same break as retirees,” Jensen told Berlingske. He said that the idea should be looked at during the upcoming round of licence negotiations scheduled for this spring. “It will help young people learn to love DR.”

READ MORE: Facebook page dedicated to abolishing TV licence forced off internet

Radikale media spokesperson Zenia Stampe disagreed strongly with Jensen.

“It is easy for him to say that young people should get a discount, but he doesn’t offer a clue as to how he would finance it,” Stampe told Berlingske. “Should the wealthy pay more or should DR get less funding?”

Venstre, Dansk Folkeparti and SF have all expressed their support for giving young people a break on the licensing fee.

“If the government presents the idea at upcoming media negotiations, we would be in favour or it,” SF spokesperson Ellen Trane Nørby told Berlingske. “It would probably mean the the fee would have to be reduced across the board or that some would have to pay more.”



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