Dutch media isn't left-wing, news monitor finds

18th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

18 April 2006, AMSTERDAM — Cold statistics counter the opinion held by a large section of the Dutch public that the national media is left-wing, according to the new Media Monitor report.

18 April 2006

AMSTERDAM — Cold statistics counter the opinion held by a large section of the Dutch public that the national media is left-wing, according to the new Media Monitor report.

The study looked at the number of words and images five national newspapers devoted to the coalition government, the government parties and the opposition parties last year. Researcher Otto Scholten concluded that the reporting was "dominated" by the centre-right and right-wing parties.

The statement that the media is left-wing is like a "giant with feet of clay," Scholten said on Tuesday during the presentation of the findings. The media monitor is an initiative by the Persinstituut (Press Institute), a foundation that wants to focus the debate about the media on facts rather than impressions and presumptions.

Scholten examined the papers 'De Telegraaf', 'AD', 'de Volkskrant', 'Trouw' and the 'NRC Handelsblad'.  His findings also contradict the left-wing charge that 'De Telegraaf, the largest selling daily in the Netherlands, is a right-wing paper. In fact, the paper gave more space to the opposition in 2005.

The charge against it has its origins in De Telegraaf's less-than-heroic history when it published pro-German papers in World War II. This earned it a 12-year ban after Liberation but this punishment was lifted in 1949 and the daily has flourished since then.

Scholten did find columns and commentary pieces in the newspapers were "quite negative" about the centre-right coalition, but only "lightly negative" about the left-wing opposition. He said one explanation could be journalists concentrating on those in power. Another could be that the majority of journalists do in fact have left-wing sympathises.

He said this issue could be answered if the Labour Party (PvdA) gains power in next year's general election.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news
 

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