Peter van Geel, Chairman of the National Public Broadcasting Advisory Board | news item

news item | 2022-09-09 | 15:15

An independent advisory board will set standards for how broadcasters can enter and exit the public system. The Minister of State for Oslo (Culture and Media) announced this temporary board in June 2022 and has now asked Peter van Geel for the position of Chairman of the Board. The advisory board will present its proposal in July 2023.

We have a unique broadcasting system in the Netherlands. This is due to the so-called “external pluralism”, which means that public broadcasting is made up of different broadcasters, each rooted in the community in its own way. In order to keep the public broadcast meaningful and recognizable, a different method is needed to assess whether the broadcaster can join the system, in which case the broadcaster can leave. The advisory board will advise on this.

In doing so, the committee considers how national broadcasters assess the overall goals of public broadcasting, such as maintaining social belonging, quality, and pluralism (that different beliefs and opinions are reflected in the media).

Planned advisory board members

Peter van Geel is the intended president. He served as Minister of State for Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment from 2002 to 2007. Other candidates are:

  • Irene Kostera-Meijer, Professor of Journalism at the Free University;
  • Yuri Albrecht, General Manager and Artistic Director of the De Pale Cultural Center in Amsterdam;
  • Marilyn Slot, film producer and entrepreneur;
  • Inam Ahmed Ali, Business Director at Rabobank and Representative for UN Women Netherlands 2022.

Widely supported advice

The Secretary of State for Oslo asked the Advisory Council to involve all relevant parties in its mission: not only stakeholders such as the Culture Council, a non-profit organization, the Media and Broadcasters Authority, but also, for example, makers, creative professionals and the business community. And also to include insights from science and beyond. The advisory board must also take into account the wishes and needs of (potential) media users, including youth.

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The need for new standards

The current admission criteria for new broadcasters is less in line with today’s world. Aspiring broadcasters now have to prove their social affiliation primarily through membership numbers and must represent a social movement. But membership numbers have been declining for years. It is also complicated to test whether a broadcaster represents a social movement. Broadcasters join, but one never leaves the system. This makes it difficult to test whether the public broadcaster represents Dutch society. It can also lead to a system that is increasingly difficult to manage.

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