Rosenthal: RNW has a future

25th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal says the future mission of Radio Netherlands Worldwide - proclaiming freedom of speech in countries where freedom of expression is under pressure – is “extremely important”.

In an interview on Friday, the minister said that the earmarked budget of 14 million euros should be adequate for that task. Nearly half the amount – six million euros – will come from the development cooperation budget.

Minister Rosenthal also said there was no need for concern regarding RNW’s editorial independence. He pointed out that he had always put great emphasis on the importance of free and independent media, and it would be very strange “if RNW were now to be placed under a ministry’s tutelage.”

The minister said he was confident that RNW in its new form had a future. Last week, the cabinet decided that RNW must scrap its other two core tasks: informing Dutch people abroad and providing a realistic image of the Netherlands. However, at the time it was not yet clear how radical the cuts to the RNW budget would be. Only on Friday was the announcement made that the organisation would have a 14-million-euro budget for its new mission.

RNW itself says the cabinet’s plans are not realistic. The organisation spoke of an ‘unprecedented decimation’ which would see about 250 people lose their jobs.   gsh

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide  

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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