An election was called 2 days ago in Denmark (there’s a Wikipedia page about it here), and the vote will take place in 18 days, on 15th September.

Yet even as a politics nerd in the UK, you would be forgiven for not knowing it was even happening. There is not a single piece about the election on BBC News Online, The Telegraph or The Independent. The Guardian fares little better, with two (1, 2) obscure auto-feeds and still no proper article.

Even for the dire standards of the UK’s coverage of our European neighbours, this must surely be a new low?

Compare and contrast this with column inches filled with ‘news’ about the candidate to be selected by a party not in power that might not win an election not due for more than a year in some other place the other side of a large ocean…

14 Comments

  1. foreigner in Denmark

    Denmark is a Deep Dark hole. you cant emaging how this country is. we are in a BOX.. I lived here in Denmark now almost 15 years.
    The language is very hard. one of the worlds most difficult languages. and its not like english, that you can be good at without having the british accent or american etc. you have to speak like a dane when you speaking danish, otherwise you aren`t good, and will never be. People are so afraid of other people from the other countries in the world. most danish hate germans and swedish, (their nabour)
    Jobs are moving out of denmak..
    Danish people cant go and marry someone else from other country in the world. like thailand og UK or america.. they wont get there spouse in denmark. they have to pas a difficult test in danish language, and earn points up maybe 180. and thats very hard for normal people. Thats fact.
    if you dont know about this. than you`re either Dansk folkeparti ( danish people party) the most racist parti in the world right now. OR you know nothing about whats going on the world. They dont care where you from. as long you arent danish.

    btw. there are some good danes offcourse, otherwise the country would colapse.

    and in this election. if the good parties dont win. denmark gonna go more deeper in that hole. and i hope for the sake of the danes that they will get other intelligent people to lead them next 4 years. so they can make a come back and be part of the world again.

    Denmark has been one of the best countries in the world for many years ago.

  2. Love the map!

  3. des von bladet

    Is European politics such a minority pursuit that you have to rely on the FT for it?

    Yes.

    (Or rather, no: I don’t live in Britain anymore.)

  4. @des von bladet – yes, I know the FT covered it… But it’s not a mainstream newspaper in the UK the way the others are. Is European politics such a minority pursuit that you have to rely on the FT for it? Hopefully not. About other countries’ coverage – yes, I agree, and I do keep an eye on a few German language papers.

    @Dean – good! 🙂 But then again that’s the purpose of your site!

  5. We certainly covered it last week Jon: http://www.publicserviceeurope.com/article/771/september-elections-called-by-danish-leader. But I agree that the UK coverage generally was woeful – if not, non-existent.

  6. des von bladet

    1) There is exactly one(1) serious newspaper in Britain, and it is the Financial Times. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/67580dfc-cfe3-11e0-a1de-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1WUfTioy2

    2) The German and Austrian press do this sort of thing quite well. (I follow the taz and der Standard via RSS.) As a bonus, their reach extends to Hungary and the Balkans.

  7. Anders from Denmark

    “nothing they say or do in Denmark have any impact on the UK” – we used to rule england for 200 years. 🙂

  8. Good point Jon, Europe has always been a ‘black hole’ in terms of news coverage. I’m never quite sure why considering one has a similar if not greater impact on our country than the other.

  9. Nothing they say or do in Denmark has any impact on the UK on top of that how many people even take a holiday there? admitted a certain few wolly headed tree lovers that like to walk might go there but its hardly the Florida Keys or Tenerife. Why write about what no one has the slightest bit of interest in? & Europe in general, the majority of people dont even want to be in the EU anyway let alone following the proceedings in some numpty election going on in a country that doesn’t even speak English

    • @Joe – Your comment is so wrong at so many levels it’s hard to know where to start to answer it…

      Firstly, ignorance is NOT bliss. I personally have no clue about ballet or astrophysics but I am not going to denigrate people who do value those things, because people who do know more may have understood something I have not.

      And so to Denmark. The country leads the world on being cyclist-friendly and investing in wind power. Both of those are things the UK could learn from. Denmark’s economy is performing better than the UK’s, poverty is lower, and Danes are happier than Brits. How much of that could be applied to the UK I don’t yet know, but at least by informing myself I can come up with some ideas.

      On language – by your logic we would eliminate the vast majority of the world’s countries from our coverage. You don’t have to speak Danish to get your head around Danish politics either – there are sources in English.

      Lastly in the net era it’s easy to cover a lot more online than you can in print, so the lack of coverage on UK news sites is my main gripe.

  10. Well, maybe if one of the parties proposed to ban marmite…

  11. You’re right, of course, that it should be covered (and I didn’t know until I read this, if I don’t know then it’s not getting much coverage at all). And you’re also right that the US gets too much coverage, however…

    The President of the US is the ‘leader of the free world’ and undoubtedly the most powerful elected official anywhere (obviously, checks and balances place limits on that power but the point stands). Whoever gets elected has control of, for example, a massive nuclear arsenal at their disposal.

    Plus, y’know, there is an element of comedy, the front runners are a bunch of crazed lunatics, the only ones not crackers are calling themselves such due to the nature of the race.

    Also? Less money to spend, not an English language election, requires more work to get their head around the basics.

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