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Second quarterly edition 2000
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  Welcome to Nordic Media

The quarterly editions of Nordic Media, from 1994 onwards, are available on the net. Nordic Media is a summary of the contents of Medier i Norden: Resymé (Scandinavian languages news bulletin).

Nordic Media may be quoted, provided the source is clearly stated.

  Editor                                                      Publisher
Terje Flisen (TF)                                        Secretary General Søren Christensen
Postboks 1726 Vika                                  Nordic Council of Ministers,
0121 Oslo, Norge                                      Store Strandstræde 18
Tel. + 47 22 20 80 61                                 DK-1255 København K., Denmark

Nordic Media (previously Nordic Media News) ISSN 1396-934X – electronic edition.



19 June 2000: Swedish TV production companies win market share in Denmark

"The Swedes are making strong headway in Danish TV production", according to Politiken.

"While the Øresund Bridge has been under construction, three well-capitalised Swedish companies in particular have won many big orders from the four Danish TV stations. The Swedish companies are causing overcrowding in an industry that is already hard pressed", explains Media Reer Preben Sepstrup to Politiken.

The companies are Strix Television, a subsidiary of the Swedish media corporation Kinnevik, the Bonnier Group’s Wegelius TV and Jarowskij, which is privately owned. "The crisis in the production industry was further exacerbated last week when Danish broadcaster DR reported that it would not be buying many programmes from independent producers next year.

“The station is being criticised for getting production companies to send in a profusion of their best programme ideas in response to what is now being called ‘a sham invitation'. TV 2 is also being accused of not buying enough from the independent companies", writes Politiken.

Source: Politiken

18 May 2000: What does the Minister of Culture understand the term "public service" to mean?

"To me, public service is the set of values that regulates a coherent TV and radio system with a view to serving the public at large", said Minister of Culture Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen in a speech at the Journalists’ Club on 18 May. The topic was "What do you understand by the term ‘Public Service’?"

The culture minister continued: "From my point of view, in terms of cultural policy, this set of values currently has nine objectives worth aiming for:

1. to serve as a point of reference for the entire population - all of us - and as a social integration factor;
2. to etablish a forum for public debate;
3. to broadcast unbiased, independent news and information;
4. to broadcast a wide variety of programmes in Danish and other languages;
5. to develop programming of interest to the general public as well as to minorities;
6. to ensure innovative proprietary production;
7. to increase people’s choices by offering programmes not normally available in the commercial media;
8. to safeguard a platform for the freedom of speech and the development of democracy and Danish culture;
9. to ensure high-quality television for children, the disabled, immigrants and other minority groups.

“In other words, we are talking about keeping us united as a people and giving us some common insight", observed the Minister of Culture.

Source: The Ministry of Culture

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19 May 2000: Greenland’s IT Council favours "Act now!"

"It is obvious that we should be exploiting the possibilities inherent in information technology. IT can help us link the country together, allowing us to meet on the Net as well as to engage in human resources development. We can bring the world closer to us, at the same time as we can increase our visibility out in the world", remarks Ivalo Egede, head of Greenland’s IT Council, during an interview for an article.

Egede continues: "Appointed by the National Committee in January 1999, Greenland’s IT Council has investigated how we can take advantage of the opportunities entailed by IT.

We have tried to involve as many people as possible in the process, and since there are many people with lots of good ideas, it should be possible to get the IT development ball rolling here on Greenland. Now that we have set out a national IT strategy, it must be followed up. We need to act here and now!"

Source: Greenland’s IT Council

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6 June 2000: More straightforward advertising and sponsoring rules for broadcasting

"The Ministry of Culture has proposed amendments to the broadcasting regulations governing advertising on text TV, sponsoring in broadcasting and the distribution of air time for local radio", states a press release issued by the Ministry of Culture.

"It has been proposed that the NRK AS' text TV sites that carry programming schedules should not carry advertisements. Text TV targetted at children should not carry advertisements either, a rule which would apply to all broadcasters.

NRK should be allowed to receive subsidies to broadcast sporting events. NRK should also be allowed to receive subsidies for productions from events wholly or partially produced by NRK.

This refers to programmes to be broadcast in several countries or which are of social interest or cultural importance, including events related to key national events. NRK should also receive production subsidies for making educational programmes geared to audiences other than children or young people", according to the press release.

Source: Ministry of Culture

25 May 2000: Newspaper Committee Study submitted

“The newspaper industry has faced such radical challenges in recent years that it has been necessary to re-examine press policy objectives and the means available to achieve them”, commented Minister of Culture Ellen Horn when she accepted the Newspaper Committee’s unanimous recommendation from committee chair Hallvard Bakke.

"I don’t want to anticipate the results of the efforts currently being made, but the government attaches high priority to ensuring that the press can work under parameters that allow them to fulfil an important social responsibility”, reassured the Minister of Culture in a press release issued by the Ministry of Culture.

"The resources available to reach this goal will be subject to continuous review, and I hope and believe that the Newspaper Committee’s recommendation will pave the way for further efforts. The study will be sent out for comment as soon as possible", added Ms. Horn.

"An MNOK 100 increase in direct press subsidies and a no to VAT on newspapers are the most important proposals in the recommendation made by the government-appointed Newspaper Committee", according to a press release issued by the Newspaper Committee.

Source: Ministry of Culture/Newspaper Committee

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16 June 2000: Radio and TV Act reviewed

"The government has decided to have independent reviewers examine certain provisions in the Radio and TV Act (1996:844) and the TV Licence Act (1989:41). The project is scheduled for completion by the end of May 2001", states a press release from the Ministry of Culture.

The review will focus on the following questions:

· The safeguarding of children
· TV licence liability
· Commissioned broadcasts
· Public service announcements
· The scheduling of commercial messages
· Measures related to the omission of certain information
· Rules governing advertisements and commercial messages
· Jurisdiction
· Applicability of terms and conditions to certain broadcasts
· The European Convention on Transfrontier Television

Source: Ministry of Culture

8 June 2000: Public service radio and TV - an indispensable force in Sweden’s media landscape

The Public Service Radio and TV Committee, as represented by Anders Ljunggren, has submitted its final report entitled “Public Service Radio and TV - a draft” (SOU 2000:55).

A press release from the Ministry of Culture reports: "’Perhaps the most important conclusion to be drawn is that the importance of public service companies is increasing in the face of the changing media situation we see today’, says Anders Ljunggren.

Public service programming is largely fixed. Among the positions taken in the study, the following are worthy of mention:

· Public service enterprises are becoming increasingly important because they contribute to the diversity needed to prevent local and regional media monopolies;
· The tax rules should be amended to prevent them from adversely affecting the conditions for making reasonable decisions based on good journalism and sound finances. Accordingly, six per cent VAT should be added to the TV licence fees;
· The broadcasting licensing fee office should be abolished and TV license subscriptions should go directly to the program companies;
· I propose several measures for increasing accessibility to program in minority languages and for the disabled;
· The current provisions applying to the organisation of news on Sweden’s national public broadcasting channels (Sveriges Television) can be abolished;
· I recommend the assumptions that apply to the coherent organisation of public service activities be examined to help determine what must be done to find the best strategy for dealing with the new media situation", reports the press release.

Source: Ministry of Culture

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8 June 2000: Nordic ministers of culture to discuss the public service question in the autumn

At a meeting in Copenhagen on 7 June, the Nordic ministers of culture decided to postpone their discussions on the challenges facing Nordic public service activities until autumn.

The Nordic Council of Minister’s secretariat submitted to the ministers, hosted by Denmark’s Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, a preliminary report on public service, i.e. a collection of facts, which had been commissioned by the ministers at their meeting in February.

The report will be published after being submitted to the Nordic Council and the Nordic Committee, supplemented by a description of the rules that apply on Åland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

A new report will be completed in the autumn, containing a description of the challenges facing public service activities in the Nordic countries. The report is intended to give the Nordic countries an opportunity to establish common descriptions and definitions of problems for use in any future discussions and co-operation on the public service issue.

Source: Nordic Council of Ministers

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