Score:89.48 // Status: Free

3 – Denmark

In Denmark, a country with just 5.8 million inhabitants, there are eight newspapers (Politiken, Berlingske, Morgenavisen Jyllands Posten, etc.), five radio stations and two national television channels, as well as eight regional channels. Online-only media has also grown in recent years.

In general, although Danes are suspicious of social media and the local press, they are very loyal to the national media. This is especially true for public media outlets (Denmarks Radio, TV2), which are heavily followed by younger generations during the pandemic.

In general, politicians and public institutions respect the freedom of the press, although this was undermined by a major case in late 2021: police and defence intelligence agencies intimidated journalists and threatened the confidentiality of their sources. Without providing specific information or reasons for their decision, the agencies warned the media against publishing classified information related to national security under penalty of imprisonment.

The legislative framework regarding the protection of freedom of the press and journalists has changed little and continues to have a solid foundation. The freedom of information law, adopted in 2014, is, however, the target of criticism from the media itself, who consider it an obstacle to the right to inform, as it allows institutions to be more restrictive in retaining information from public interest.

The subsidy system allocates the majority of funding to public broadcasters, whose amounts are distributed according to a principle of independence. Radio and TV broadcasters are subject to the media regulator who, although appointed by the government, represents the different views of a panel of experts. As in other parts of the world, technology giants like Google and Facebook hold a large share of the advertising market, which is undermining the business model of Danish private media.

In general, journalists enjoy a high level of acceptance in Danish society. However, the sometimes-heated public debate on immigration has generated a certain scepticism towards the press, which can occasionally turn into hostility in certain neighbourhoods of large cities.

Finally, some revelations about sexism in the Danish media provoked a heated controversy and shocked both media directors and the public. A documentary about current practices within the TV2 channel encouraged the media to take action to better protect women journalists.

In general, Danish journalists work freely and do not face significant threats.