New broadcaster licenses go to right-wing companies

5th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

The new public channel will appeal to the younger generation with its combination of internet, radio and TV, says Dutch Cultural Minister Ronald Plasterk.

The Hague – The public broadcasting media scene is set for new changes as two new companies backed up by right-wing organisations have been awarded licences.

The long-awaited shake up was announced Wednesday by Dutch Cultural Minister Ronald Plasterk following the recommendations of Netherlands Public Broadcasting (NPO) and other advisory boards.

A current programme, Llink, who promotes a ‘fair and sustainable world’, will lose its licence because its programming is not different enough from other companies.

The two new companies are PowNed, a brainchild of GeenStijl, and WNL that is backed by right-wing De Telegraaf.

GeenStijl is a sensation-seeking website that is notorious for its provocative language, merciless right-wing political commentary, and eccentric text-message spelling.

WNL, or Waking Netherlands as it was originally called, claims to represent the “standards and values of the large group of Dutch people who make up ‘the backbone of Dutch society’.”

Plasterk said he expected PowNed to be successful in appealing to younger generation with its combination of internet, radio and TV, while WNL has taken enough distance from its parent newspaper to guarantee it would be sufficiently independent.

The culture minister said that Llink, a ‘green’ organisation focusing on topics such as the environment and development co-operation, had not succeeded in reaching a broad enough public. Llink has been criticised for failing to come up with original, quality programming.

Mixed reactions
"Finally, something different" said one De Telegraaf reader, while another said that much of the current programming is, "far too left-wing".

However, the decision is not welcomed by all.

"Right-wingers take over in Hilversum" headlines de Volkskrant, which asks: "Does this mean that the right-wing conservative message will dominate the new TV season?”

The new broadcasting organisations will have an average of two hours TV and nine hours radio time a week. Their licences are up for renewal in five years’ time.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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