Subsidizing Media Innovation

Aske Kammer, Emil Hobel

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When the Danish Parliament revised the media-subsidy framework in 2013/2014, one of the new initiatives was the introduction of a pool of funding earmarked to establishing and developing new news media – the so-called “innovation fund”. So, as the news industry struggles to keep journalism a viable and economically sustainable activity, the institutionalization of financial support for media innovation constitute one way for policy makers to bring (parts of) the journalistic environment up-to-date with the digital age, thereby improving the conditions for an informed citizenry in the future (Kammer, forthcoming/2016). Theoretically, the paper draws upon the normative foundation of the social-democratic welfare state (found in the Scandinavian countries; cf. Esping-Andersen, 1990) to provide a framework for measuring the ambition, implementation, and impact of the innovation fund. So, this paper scrutinizes the practical administration of the innovation fund in the first two years of its existence, analyzing all applications for innovation subsidies in 2014 and 2015 as well as all acceptance and rejection letters. With this empirical material and a combination of quantitative and qualitative analytical approaches (inspired by the methodology of "qualitative media analysis", cf. Altheide & Schneider, 2013), the paper analyzes to what extent the administration reflects a support of the welfare framework the subsidy scheme exists within. It asks (1) which types of news-media innovation gets subsidized, (2) what characterizes the successful applicants’ approaches to innovation, and (3) which patterns exist in this connection, and it measures each of these three dimensions against the welfare framework that the national context provides. References: Altheide, D. L., & Schneider, C. J. (2013). Qualitative Media Analysis (2nd Ed.). Los Angeles: Sage. Esping-Andersen, G. (1990). The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism. Cambridge: Polity Press. Kammer, A. (forthcoming/2016). Market Structure and Innovation Policies in Denmark. In H. v. Kranenburg (Ed.), Innovation Policies in the European News and Media Industry: A Comparative Study. Berlin: Springer.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventEuropean Communication Conference: Mediated (Dis)Continuity: Contesting Pasts, Presents and Futures - Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 9 Nov 201612 Nov 2016
Conference number: 6


ConferenceEuropean Communication Conference
LocationPrague Congress Centre
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address

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