On Borgen, part 3

More spoilers!

 

Whereas The West Wing and The thick of it showed the pressure on politics from the media, Borgen offers a realistic portrayal of the media itself. The first few episodes go out of their way to highlight the importance of looks for the TV news anchors, especially the female Kristine, in keeping with the excellent handling of gender issues (by which I just mean really that Borgen isn’t sexist. The fact this quality appears noteworthy is obviously a sad indictment of most TV). Indeed, there is even an episode about the treatment of women in the media and public life generally.

One of recurrent themes are the tensions between serious, in-depth, critical, investigative reporting and other concerns such as TV ratings, management, being cut off from access to politicians and inside sources. This is nicely put by Hanne, the older journalist at TV1, accusing her younger colleagues of enthralment to their inside access to events and the glamour of association with politicians, without asking the basic journalistic questions.

Borgen also portrays the way in which that whole world of politics and media becomes self-involved and insular as professional relationships and connections spill out into social life. In the UK, the recent Leveson inquiry showed the extent and results of this in Britain, with Cameron befriending Brooks and so on.

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