Public broadcaster chairwoman under police protection following threats


The chairwoman of public broadcasting association NPO has been receiving threats and is now under police protection, a spokesperson for the organisation has confirmed.

According to radio station BNR, the threats made against Frederieke Leeflang come from sympathisers of fledgling right-wing broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland. The NPO is not commenting on the origin of the threats.

Ongehoord Nederland (Unheard Netherlands) started broadcasting in February. Since then the broadcaster has been repeatedly breaking journalistic guidelines by spreading patently false information without rectifying it, the NPO Ombudsman has said.

Extreme right wing Flemish politician Flip de Winter, for instance, was allowed to talk  about ‘depopulation theory’, unopposed, which also prompted parliamentary questions.

ON stands to lose up to half a million euros of the public money it receives via the NPO in fines for breaking the rules.

ON chairman Arnold Karskens said the fine is ‘a direct threat to the survival of our broadcasting organisation and a direct attack on the freedom of the press’.

The NPO has said ON can still avoid being sanctioned if it changes its working methods. The broadcaster has been given an extra week to present a strategy. The NPO’s final decision will be published in the week of July 4.

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