How to fund public broadcasting
Bonnier goes Dutch

The price of a free(sheet) future

The price tag for the Danish freesheet war is approaching 1bn DKK, according to Danish trade journal Journalisten. They have calculated that so far the Icelandic attempt to prove that the future is free has cost the newspaper companies involved 815m DKK, with the now closed Dato taking 196m DKK in losses, Icelandic Nyhedavisen 309m DKK and JP/Politiken's 24timer 310m DKK.

But a row over Journalisten's methods has erupted in the comment field of the said article. The article only mentions in the last sentence that these calculations are based on statistical material from polling companies rather than actual figures from the media companies, and it also asserts that the money could have been better spent to educate 20.000+ university students.

Both aspects are rubbished by Nyhedsavisen journalists in the comment field: 'These numbers are mere speculations,' writes Lars Fogt, who adds that journalists are known to be crap with numbers and refers to a Danish editor who banned his hacks from writing about economy because, in his opinion, they were clueless.

Christina Agger ridicules the assertion that the newspaper companies involved would have spent their money on universities if they hadn't decided to try their luck on the freesheet market, and is at loss over why her own trade journal seems to be of the opinion that it's better for society if she and her colleagues were on the dole rather than supporting themselves by working for these 'bad' freesheets.

Marvellous. The comments, both from Journalisten and Nyhedsavisen's staff, adds a whole new dimension to the article, and I must admit I find them almost more interesting than the article itself.


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