There is hardly any threshold for acceptance of new and existing broadcasters into the public broadcasting system. There are serious objections to the access of broadcasters Ongehoord Nederland and Zwart, but the acceptance test is so flawed that not all of these objections can be taken into account.
This is evidenced by the internal documents of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the supervisory authority of the Information Authority and the Council of Culture, which were obtained on the basis of the Government Information (Public Access) Act (Wob).
Read also the research story: New broadcasters readily admitted their request, as a result of a “stupidity test”
Every five years, the Minister asks the Dutch Public Broadcasting Corporation (NPO), the Culture Council and the Media Authority Regulator: Who are broadcasters eligible for a five-year broadcasting licence? The three parties verify that broadcasters fulfill the requirements of the Media Law. For example, new broadcasters must attract at least 50,000 paying members, represent “traffic” and be “value-added”.
In practice, concepts from the law are not elaborated and evaluation frameworks are missing or missing. Consultants considering the broadcasters’ requests backstage speak of a “foolish test”. According to the Culture Council, the test cannot be taken critically enough. Rather, the broadcasters’ plans are said to have been “often very positive”.
This spring, the two new broadcasters, Ongehoord Nederland and broadcaster Zwart, received three positive recommendations. Now the advisers seemed to have serious objections, but in the end they did not weigh them all. For example, there are doubts about the added value of both broadcasters and ON! Concerns about the spread of misinformation. ENTER ON! The culture board is called a danger.
Outgoing Minister Slope (Media, ChristenUnie) decided this summer that broadcasters would receive a five-year broadcast license effective January 2022. “It is complicated to reject these broadcasters because there are positive opinions from three advisors.”
C8-9 rejection of these broadcasters is complicated
A version of this article also appeared on NRC on the morning of October 4, 2021
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