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If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? - A study of the democratic obligations of DR


  • Cathrine Zeemann Theilgaard

Summary, in English

This thesis investigates the Danish public service station DR and the national structure of the media. As the democratic process has increasingly moved from the national level to the EU and as Danes rely on television as the main source of information on European political matters, it is only reasonable to expect the national public service station, DR, to fulfil that role, nonetheless previous studies on the subject has shown a lack of EU coverage in the press, by both newspapers and television. This thesis follows the foundation laid by the previous research to analyse why the national public service channel DR is reluctant to follow its obligation to enable the citizens to act in a democratic society. The study analyses the public service contract of DR and the power structure surrounding it by way of a content analysis and a critical discourse analysis, and the analysis is supported by the theories of public sphere, banal nationalism and the principal-agent model. The analysis shows a remarkably focus on the national aspect of the public service contract, and a complex structure of personal and political interest from the actors surrounding the contract. The main conclusion is that it is essentially a demanding battle for a more thorough EU-coverage as the national interests are deeply rooted in DR.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Social Sciences
  • Cultural Sciences


  • Danmarks Radio
  • Denmark
  • the European Union
  • media
  • banal nationalism
  • public service
  • public sphere
  • media and democracy.


  • Anamaria Dutceac Segesten (Biträdande Lektor)