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Access and history: The digitisation of the Danish broadcasting archives and its cultural heritage

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Like many other major European media corporations, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) has begun the digitisation of its audio-visual archives. This transformation from analogue to digital archives raises a number of questions regarding the archive-specific character, history and content of the broadcast material. Furthermore, the digitisation process renders visible a number of problems. This includes possible access for researchers, general availability of the content and permission to present archival material in the public domain, problems all related to intellectual property rights. The article will present the historical broadcast archive from a cultural historical and media policy perspective, suggesting that the cultural heritage of state-owned audio-visual archives remains a contested area due not only to the existing copyright laws but to aspects of historical contextualisation as well. The article presents this perspective through a case study consisting of 48 radio programmes all related to the clearing of the children’s playground Byggeren in Copenhagen in May 1980. The case study underlines the complicated institutional and cultural political implications in which the historic audio-visual source material is situated.
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Keywords: Berne Convention; Danish Broadcasting Corporation; broadcasting archives; cultural heritage; cultural policy; digitisation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Southern Denmark

Publication date: 2012-09-01

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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