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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 December 2005, 14:44 GMT
The press in Denmark
Danish press profile graphic
Denmark's 5.4m citizens are served by more than 30 daily newspapers. Seven of these have national distribution, the rest are regionally based.

Denmark's newspaper consumption, at 311 copies per 1,000 population, is the same as Germany, but much fewer than its Nordic neighbours of Norway, Sweden and Finland.

There are also about 140 free local papers in Denmark. Two major free titles for commuters have been launched in recent years - Urban distributes 227,000 copies and metroXpress publishes 241,000 in Copenhagen, Denmark's second city, Aarhus, and elsewhere.

These titles are felt to be the main threat to the country's two tabloids, which rely on casual sales rather than subscriptions.

Denmark has seen a steady decline in the number of newspapers since World War II. Most of the titles which disappeared were competing regional titles, leaving just one regional daily in many areas. The major national dailies have competed intensely for readers since the mid-1990s.

Information became the first Danish broadsheet to switch to compact format on 30 November 2004.

Two newspaper proprietors own "the big five". Copenhagen-based media group Berlingske Oficin group owns Berlingske Tidende and B.T., while JP/Politikens Hus A/S, based in Viby, just outside Aarhus, owns Jyllands-Posten, Politiken and Ekstra Bladet.

All of "the big five" have Sunday editions.

Main papers


Based: Viby
Founded: 1871
Circulation: 158,000 (2004)
Owner: JP/Politikens Hus A/S

Denmark's biggest-selling paper, the broadsheet Jyllands-Posten, is based in Jutland rather than Copenhagen. The paper supported the Conservative Party at the start of the 20th century but now describes itself as "liberal and independent". Jyllands-Posten was the first Danish daily to introduce colour photographs in 1954 and the first to launch on the internet in 1995. The paper attracted international attention in September 2005 when it published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, provoking terrorist threats and protests by Muslim diplomats. The Organisation of the Islamic Conference also complained about the matter to the UN.


Based: Copenhagen
Founded: 1884
Circulation: 134,000 (2004)
Owner: JP/Politikens Hus A/S

Based in central Copenhagen, Politiken is a long-established broadsheet "independent of political parties, organisations, economic interests and individuals' influence". It is generally regarded as a counterbalance to the more conservative Jyllands-Posten, both in political terms and through the fact that it concentrates on the Copenhagen area while Jyllands-Posten gives greater prominence to events in western Denmark. Faced with falling advertising revenue, Politiken and Jyllands-Posten merged their production and distribution systems at the beginning of 2003, but have maintained their separate editorial positions.

Berlingske Tidende

Based: Copenhagen
Founded: 1749
Circulation: 129,000 (2004)
Owner: Berlingske Oficin

One of the world's oldest newspapers, the Berlingske Tidende broadsheet's "basic view" is conservative, but it is not linked to any political party. It supported Danish participation in the Iraq War. Its basic values include "credibility and citizenship". The paper's owners, Berlingske Oficin, also have substantial interests in Danish regional newspapers and publish the free sheet Urban.

Ekstra Bladet

Based: Copenhagen
Founded: 1904
Circulation: 110,000 (2004)
Owner: JP/Politikens Hus A/S

First published in 1904 by the older Politiken newspaper as an "extra paper" on developments in the Russian-Japanese War, Ekstra Bladet was established as an independent title the same year. Published as a broadsheet up to 1961, it now has a classic tabloid format, with plenty of sex, crime and sport. While not tied to any political party, editors of both Ekstra Bladet and Politiken undertake to run the titles as "independent, radical-social liberal newspapers".


Based: Copenhagen
Founded: 1916
Circulation: 100,000 (2004)
Owner: Berlingske Oficin
Denmark's second biggest-selling tabloid, B.T. was originally modelled on an Austro-Hungarian title, "Az Est", but was redesigned along the lines of Germany's "Bild" in 1990. Describing itself as "colourful and entertaining", B.T. has a classic tabloid format and says its mission is to "set the popular agenda".

Kristeligt Dagblad

Based: Copenhagen
Founded: 1896
Circulation: 25,000 (2004)
Owner: A/S Kristeligt Dagblad

A "small paper about life's big questions", broadsheet Kristeligt Dagblad is Denmark's only paper with special sections devoted to church and faith. Aiming to "publish a daily newspaper managed and written in a Christian spirit", the title is politically independent.


Based: Copenhagen
Founded: 1943 (underground during occupation), legally in 1945
Circulation: 21,000 (2004)
Owner: Information A/S

Denmark's youngest major title, Information started life as an illegal news agency during Nazi occupation in 1943, becoming a legitimate daily when armed men occupied the premises of a Nazi paper after the country was liberated in May 1945. Politically independent, Information strongly opposed Danish participation in the war in Iraq and is generally seen as left-leaning. Formerly published in broadsheet format, Information became a compact title on 30 November 2004, but still favours lengthy analytical articles.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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05 Feb 04 |  Country profiles
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24 Jan 04 |  Country profiles
Country profile: Denmark
15 Feb 04 |  Country profiles


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