New Report: Minorities are Still Underrepresented in Danish Media

Associate Professor Hanne Jørndrup at Roskilde University is behind a new report that maps the use of sources with other ethnic backgrounds in Danish newspapers and news broadcasts.

Statistically, minorities are underrepresented in the news picture. This is shown by the new report Dem, vi (stadig) taler om – Etniske minoriteter i danske nyhedsmedier (English: Those we (still) talk about – ethnic minorities in Danish news media) by associate professor of journalism Hanne Jørndrup at the Center for News Research at Roskilde University.

She has analyzed articles and news broadcasts from seven weeks early in the year in 2021 and correspondingly seven weeks from August onwards to get a representative picture of the news coverage.

The survey has been conducted three times on data from 2011, 2016 and now 2021 – and counts sources in domestic news in seven newspapers and two TV stations’ news broadcasts for 14 days spread over the year. The news is coded for the number of sources distributed by ethnic origin and gender, as well as what topics and source types are available.

“With this third study of minority sources in the news picture, we can see the development over a decade. And unfortunately, there still seems to be a consistent opt-out of sources with a minority background, and when they are finally used, it is unfortunately most often in stories where they appear as precisely minority citizens who stand in opposition to the rest of the majority population. They are almost never included as sources in stories about, for example, childcare, the school area or finances and taxes, ”says Hanne Jørndrup.

The reports show that the proportion of sources with an ethnic background other than Danish has decreased over the three times the survey has been conducted, while the proportion of the population with an ethnic background other than Danish has increased.

As something new in this year’s survey, the ethnic origins of journalists have also been looked at, and here journalists with a minority background have been found behind 11 of the survey’s 1244 articles – that is less than 1 per cent. of the articles.

The report has been made in collaboration with the association Ansvarlig Presse and with financial support from the Danish Journalists’ Association and the Aarhus Stiftstidendes Fond.

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’Dem, vi (stadig) taler om’

The report ’Dem, vi (stadig) taler om’ is written by Hanne Jørndrup at the Centre for News Research at Roskilde University.

Link to the report below.

Click here to access the full report arrow_forward
  • She has reviewed 1,244 articles or news items in which 3,084 sources have contributed.

  • Danes with other ethnic backgrounds make up 3.5% of the sources. In 2021, 14%. of Denmark’s population according to Statistics Denmark’s other ethnic background.

  • The analyzed content is distributed on Jyllands-Posten, Berlingske Politiken, B.T., Ekstra Bladet, Fyens Stiftstidende, Nordjyske – as well as in news broadcasts from DR and Danish TV2.

Photo by Zulfikar Fahmy at the University of Bergen.