Green Light for Danish ‘Media Plurality’ Plan

     (CN) – Denmark’s pan to buy “written media plurality” – at a cost of $70 million a year over five years – won approval from the European Commission on Wednesday.
     Regulators said the still mostly confidential plan will support media pluralism in Denmark and disseminate high-quality social and political news without distorting the market or hampering competition.
     Danish officials plan to spend the $70 million annually from 2014 through 2019 with an emphasis on the creation of content, according to a commission statement. Media outlets will choose the appropriate distribution channel for the new content, either print or online.
     No outlet may receive more than 35 percent of its editorial costs from the government, and the maximum annual payout is capped at just over $3 million per news agency.
     The commission touted the measure as a way to both advance EU objectives of fair and balanced media and level the playing field between media conglomerates and smaller, Internet-based news upstarts.
     “Media pluralism and high quality news contents are essential to a democratic society,” Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement. “The Danish scheme is an excellent example of how these fundamental values can be safeguarded in a way that fully takes into account the increasing importance of digital access to information.”
     The Danish government said it will reassess and revise the program as needed after three years.

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