Why DR? A Discourse Theoretical Analysis of DR’s Communication Regarding its raison D’être

Bjarke Levin Madsen & Emil Rønne Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine DR's communication regarding its rasion d’être since the monopoly breach on the Danish radio and television market in 1988 and up until today. In addition to DR's own communication in this regard, the paper analyses the current political debate about DR’s future in connection with a new media policy agreement in Denmark. The political debate is examined in order to find out how DR’s own communication positions itself in relation to the expectations that are being conveyed from political hand to organisation’s work.
Based on the analysis in the first section, the paper shows that there have been a number of changes in relation to what is central in DR's communication regarding its rasion d’être. The paper shows that DR's communication in the 80's focused on quality. This focus changed in the late 90's, and “Danishness” became the new guiding principle for the organisation's self-identifying communication. The analysis shows that this principle is reinforced over the years and up until today, as DR - in its current organisational communication - focuses on the organisation's important responsibility with regards to the delivery of Danish content. In addition to the communication’s change of focus over the years, the paper also illustrates that DR's communication is evolving from focusing on DR's own positivity towards focusing more on the negative aspects provided by the global media industry.
The second section of the paper looks at the current political communication among the parties in the Danish Parliament, and shows a polarisation, when it comes to political expectations for DR. On the one hand, the opposition parties (Enhedslisten, SF, Alternativet, De Radikale Venstre and Socialdemokratiet) articulate DR as an organisation that holds an important role as a guarantor of coherence in an otherwise globalised media world. On the other hand, the Government (including Venstre, Liberal Alliance and Det Konservative Folkeparti) and Dansk Folkeparti’s assessment is that DR has grown too big and thus would prefer a smaller DR focusing on the creation of quality content.
Based on the analysis of DR's communication regarding its rasion d’être as well as the analysis of the political expectations for DR, the paper offers two concrete recommendations directed at DR. These recommendations focus on how DR - in the future - can adapt its communication to match the organisation's own beliefs, while at the same time meeting political expectations.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2018
Number of pages107
SupervisorsEmil Husted