New Directions for Public Broadcasting in Flanders and the Netherlands
(Huub Wijfjes) The Low Countries - 2007, № 15, pp. 227-238
Is public broadcasting an outdated concept? Looking at the discussions which have been taking place on this theme in the Netherlands and Belgium over the past fifteen years one would not immediately give an affirmative answer. In general one could say that there is still strong support for public broadcasting in both countries. Taking into consideration the enormous commercial pressures on the media market, the market shares of public broadcasting are still relatively high in both countries. And in the Netherlands still more than three million people belong to a broadcasting association. But if you look at the discussions in politics, newspapers and periodicals on the renewal of finance for public broadcasting (which has been put into effect in Flanders in 2006 and is due in the Netherlands in 2008) then at times the end seems near. One even hears arguments for public broadcasting to be abolished, on the grounds that such an institution cannot hold its own or maintain its distinctive character in the constantly shifting media landscape.
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