USC Annenberg Online Journalism ReviewUSC

Online News in Europe
Intro: The View From Europe
Great Britain
The Netherlands
Additional Resources

The online news landscape in Denmark is fairly modest. Major players include Politiken, a leading national newspaper;  TV2, the nation's most visited news site, which is half commercial, half government-financed; and DR, the Web site of the Danish Broadcasting Corp.

Newspapers here simply haven't grasped the Web at all -- yet.

Jeppe Kruse, who publishes e.magazine, an online news magazine on Internet issues, doesn't pull any punches: "My opinion is that not very much has happened here. If you look at the three major Danish broadsheets, Politiken, Berlingske Tidende and Jyllands-Posten, you'll notice designs that are substandard and confusing. What's more, their archives aren't accessible because they are either open only to subscribers or because they're so poorly programmed. One exception, however, is Information, with a simple design and an archive that works.

"On the content front, and for journalists in particular, the story gets worse," Kruse adds. "The prize-winning Web site of the Danish broadcast corporation (DR) is regarded as the best news site, but journalists there mainly rearrange the broadcast news into themes. In the typical newspaper corporation (like Politiken), there are maybe two journalists working online, while there are more than 100 working on the print edition. Whereas journalists at the DR at least get to explore the possibilities of the medium, in other places we're still only copying and pasting away or rewriting stories from the wires."

Kruse points to a handful of successful niche publications: B?rsen, a daily financial tabloid, has had success selling subscriptions to its web site "mainly because of the way it indexes and serves news and facts to people who really need them without delay." Another subscription site, dk-nyt, publishes only regional news from Denmark -- no national or international news. IDG's ComputerWorld Online is also doing well.

"So, the state of online news in Denmark?" Kruse asks. "Poor, definitely, and maybe turning to the worse after the recent debate over whether newspapers can decide who can link to their stories. Newspapers here simply haven't grasped the Web at all -- yet. Only those which cover more narrow fields of interest are doing OK. What sometimes strikes me as strange is that 1,000 journalists are debating issues like this on a mailing list, and most of them agree that staff layoffs and closings of online editions are bad things. Most of them want to play around with the medium -- they just never have the opportunity."

Noteworthy sites


story continued icon

On to France...