Sofie Flensburg

Sofie Flensburg

  • University of Copenhagen
  • Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen
Participant in 2016
Work history November 2015 - October 2018: Ph.D. Fellow at the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen.

March 2014 - October 2015: Research assistant at Center for News Studies, Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University.

2012-2014: Journalistic and editorial employments at various print and digital news media.
Study history November 2016 - now: Ph.D. student at the Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen (project title: Danish Media Policy in the Digital Age, supervisor: Rasmus Helles).

March 2014: MA in Journalism and History, University of Roskilde (master thesis on the history of Danish media subsidies, supervisor: Ida Willig)

• Flensburg, S. (spring 2015): “Dansk mediestøtte 1960-2014: Fra økonomisk kompensation til publicistisk motivation” ("Danish Media Subsidies 1960-2014: From economic compensation to publicistic motivation"), MedieKultur. Journal of media and communication research.

• Ørsten, M., Hartley, J.M. & Flensburg, S. (2015): ”Denmark: Voluntary Accountability Driven by Political Pressure” in The European Handbook of Media Accountability

• Flensburg, S. (2015): “Mediepolitik” (“Media policy”) in Medie- og kommunikationsleksikon (Encyclopedia of media and communication), Forlaget Samfundslitteratur 2015.

• Blach-Ørsten, M., Willig, I., Hartley, J.M & Flensburg, S. (2015): “Journalistiske Kvaliteter” (“Journalistic Qualities”), report, Danish Agency for Culture

• Blach-Ørsten, M., Hartley, J.M, Flensburg, S & Bendix, M. (2015): “Medieetik” (“Media Ethics”), report, Danish Agency for Culture

• Blach-Ørsten, M., Flensburg, S & Hartley, J.M. (2014): “Velkommen til den ny ansvarlighed” (“Here comes the new accountability”), Politiken, section: Debat, p. 7, 25th of June 2014.

Phd Projects


Danish Media Policy in the Digital Age – Institutionalization and Regulation in a Changing Media System

The Internet is rapidly transforming media systems around the world changing market structures and challenging existing institutional frameworks. This new communication infrastructure is not only transforming our every day lives and the business models of legacy media but is also forcing policy-makers to rethink the ways media are regulated and the fundamental principles behind this.

This is very much the case in Denmark – a small media system characterized by an active media policy with strong traditions for public service broadcasting, public subsidies for private media and a general welfare state perspective on communication services (Syvertsen et al. 2014).

My PhD-project analyses the processes connected to the transformation of the media system in Denmark focusing on how the new communication infrastructure challenges existing frameworks and how these are transformed though political negotiations and lobbying. Though this is a primarily empirical question, it also raises more theoretical questions related to the very definition and scope of media policy. In a converging media environment where the borders between private telecommunication and public mass communication are no longer as clear as they used to be, both researchers and policy-makers are forced to redefine the main concepts and frameworks.

The project therefore has three main goals: 1) To develop the theoretical perspective on media policy emphasising the need for a broader and more general definition applicable to past, current and future contexts, 2) to design an analytical model operationalizing the theoretical definition and making it possible to study media policy processes from a systemic perspective, 3) to conduct an analysis of the on-going processes of media policy-making in Denmark.

My point of departure and main research interest is to study the interrelationship between institutional structures and technological development. In this perspective media policy processes take place when a new communication technology is reaching momentum (Hughes 1987) and the institutional structures no longer seem sufficient. Thus, while media policy is understood as initiatives and attempts at regulating the communication infrastructure, the technology is also seen as a regulative force in itself (Katzenbach 2012).

Thus my project aims at developing media policy research through an increased attention to the impact of technology and through exploring how stakeholders and political actors seek to influence the way new communication technologies are institutionalised.

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