In the Netherlands, we must be vigilant against the violation of press freedom, said Shula Rijxman, Chairman of the Board of NPO. In her New Year’s speech, she expressed concerns about the recent attacks on journalism. “We live in a democracy and we have journalism to give us the facts. Sometimes maybe a little colorful or sometimes a little frozen in a way, but at least we have choices. The moment you start threatening journalists and their work is impossible. you live in a dictatorship and no longer in a democracy. “
“It is a very dangerous development that the facts are denied, the science is questioned and there are strong doubts about the work of journalists. The moment when journalism can no longer do its job and cannot report what is happening, “then there will be no more facts on the table. And if there are no more facts, then there is enough room for fake news, ”says Rijxman News and Co.
Fight the lies
With the facts as an antidote, the NPO must fight lies, conspiracy theories and polarization, says Rijxman. She calls journalism an essential foundation of democracy, which operates under journalistic codes such as independence and transparency.
New candidate broadcasters must also “unequivocally” endorse these standards and values. Rijxman calls on newcomers to actually add something to the broadcasting system, otherwise the NPO risks becoming unmanageable. She suggested that in this case “close the backdoor” of the system, without explaining what she meant by that.
Currently, there are eleven broadcasters. Thirteen new initiatives, including Ongehoord Nederland, Omroep Zwart and Omroep Groen, hope to be admitted until the order of distribution.
Science, Eurovision Song Contest and young talents
The nonprofit is financially healthy, according to Rijxman. This makes it possible to invest in more culture, region and information on radio, television and online. Work is also underway on new drama series, documentaries, investigative journalism and a special science journal. The NPO Start streaming platform is being improved.
Rijxman is looking forward to Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam this year anyway takes place. “It is a single European party that connects us all, especially in difficult circumstances.”
In the meantime, there is still room for the development of young talent. “It’s not uncommon for them to become audience favorites, like Klokhuis presenter Sosha Duysker.” She won last month the Philip Bloemendal Prize for journalistic presentation talent.
Rijxman is not happy with the recent cut in entertainment programming, under pressure from Media Minister Slob. These types of programs could reach hard-to-reach groups. Entertainment makes the NPO a “national show,” according to the chairman of the board.
In view of the legislative elections in March, Rijxman calls on politicians to give the NPO the space necessary to “maintain the important and liaison role of society”. “Millions of Dutch people enjoy programs like News time, Who is the mole, he News OUR Radio 1 in Nails with heads“, says Rijxman.
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