Sunday 26 January 2020

New tv station for the ‘unheard’ gathers enough supporters for airtime

Photo: Depositphotos.com

A new television station, backed by Dutch far right parties PVV and FvD, has gathered the necessary 50,000 paying members to be given its own airtime from next year.

Ongehoord Nederland (The Netherlands’ unheard) will be entitled to three hours of television time plus radio airtime. It’s aim, according to the website, is to ‘give a voice to those who are not being heard’.

The broadcaster has been launched by ‘people’s’ journalist and former war reporter Arnold Karskens and former VVD parliamentarian Ybeltje Berckmoes, plus a sprinkling of other names.

Programming, according to the website, will focus on ‘respect and attention for Dutch culture, its history, norms and values and its – until recently, taken for granted – freedom.’

The Netherlands already has two fringe right-wing public broadcasters – Powned launched by shock blog GeenStijl and WNL which was launched by the Telegraaf. Right-wing chat show Jensen was pulled by commercial broadcaster RTL because of disappointing figures earlier this year.

The Dutch Publieke Omroep (NPO), or public broadcasting system, is funded partly by advertising and partly by the treasury.

There are currently eight main Dutch public broadcasting companies operating under the NPO banner: AVROTROS, BNNVARA, EO, KRO-NCRV, MAX, Powned, VPRO and WNL, plus the news arm NOS and a number of specialist companies.

Together, they provide programming for three national television and five radio stations as well as digital channels.

The broadcasters all have a specific religious, political or social slant and their airtime is allocated according to how many members they have.

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