Denmark is home to some of the most trusted media in the world, and it’s not just the newspaper headlines.
A report released this week by Danish think tank Aalborg University claims that it is also toxic to the minds of its readers.
It cites a survey conducted by the newspaper Aftenposten in 2016 as evidence of the negative impact that media can have on a country’s image.
The report found that more than 70 percent of the country’s population, and 60 percent of its politicians, were affected by the negative perception of the Danish media.
But that doesn’t mean the media can’t be harmful to people.
It can make people think the Danish government is doing too little, too often, too quickly.
“When you talk to people in Denmark, and then when you talk with them about how the media affects their lives, you can understand why they’re worried,” said Aalberg.
“You know, there are stories about what’s going on in Denmark right now that they’re afraid to talk about because it can create this sense of mistrust.”
But what does it mean to be affected by media?
Danish sociologist Lars Boileau, who was part of the Aalberts survey, thinks it’s best to look at how media affects people.
“We see people as people.
And that’s the most interesting thing about our country, is how it’s shaped by how it is perceived by its people,” he said.
“It’s the way we’re perceived, the way that people are judged, that’s what we’re interested in.”
It’s not a perfect comparison, of course.
It’s important to look beyond the headlines, said Boileaus.
“I think it’s a little bit like how people judge the size of the elephant in the room.
You have the elephant, and the public doesn’t see it,” he added.
But there is a lesson to be learned from this study, he said, and that is to not be afraid to ask questions.
“Because the media is not really the best medium for asking that question,” he explained.
“If you ask about the way you’re perceived by the media, or the way other people are perceived, you may find that people will be more open to your concerns.”
The report also says that journalists need to be more aware of how media works, and how to get the message across.
“This is one of the first times I’ve been asked about this, and I was shocked,” said Boilleau.
“But then I think I need to explain how I got to that point, and what I did to get there.”
For Boileaux, there is also a need to get out of the media bubble.
“What we need to do is understand the media more,” he continued.
“The media is an ecosystem.
And it’s the media that creates that environment.
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So when you have a good understanding of what the media’s role is, then you can better understand the need to change,” he concluded.
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