VPRO director asks for new govt to invest more in media

Tuesday 10 January 2017 | 16:45 CET | News

The new Dutch government must invest in media and into strong presence of serious online media organisations through policy, subsidies and profit making Dutch ventures, VPRO director Lennart van der Meulen said during his New Year’s speech. "It is really high time for a new approach," Van der Meulen said.

The director noted the reduced budget for good productions due to cutbacks from the current and previous governments. Van der Meulen believes cable companies, ISPs, telecom firms and online media companies need to put a much larger share of their income into programmes and content that can earn money. "The Netherlands is a colony for cable companies such as Ziggo and KPN, social media firms such as Facebook, YouTube and Google, commercial broadcasters such as RTL and SBS, and video companies such as Netflix. They earn billions in subscriptions and advertising, often without even paying taxes. Without a programme offering, distributors and online media have no media rights, but there is also hardly any investment in programmes," the director said.

Van der Meulen continued: "I think politicians should stop trying to save money with public broadcasting and just invest more money into independent local, regional and national public media. The new government should also give public service broadcasters a clear mandate to go online. We need to be where our audience is, on Facebook and Snapchat, with our own YouTube channels, even on Twitter if it helps.”

The Dutch will be electing their new government cabinet in the spring.

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