Radio Netherlands without radio

Radio Netherlands without radio? Dutch international broadcaster enters “period of drastic change.”

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 23 Mar 2012, : “As the clocks in Europe go forward to summertime, Radio Netherlands Worldwide is entering a period of drastic change which will see the closure of many services and the relaunch of the organisation with a much smaller staff. RNW will in future be specialising in producing material for audiences in countries with limited press freedom. RNW will no longer be broadcasting to Dutch expatriates. The Dutch radio service will hold a 24-hour marathon broadcast on 10/11 May to mark the end of its 65 years of service. Other services will be affected too – plans are still to be finalised, but Radio Netherlands Worldwide will cease to operate in a number of languages and other services, including this website, will be adapted to meet the new focus of promoting free speech. All these changes have been forced on RNW by the Dutch government’s decision to slash our budget by 70 percent with effect from 1 January 2013. The budget will come from the Foreign Ministry rather than the Ministry of Education and Culture as at present. The editorial independence of RNW will remain sacrosanct. More information about the changes will be published as soon as these are official.”

Foreign Confidential, 24 May 2012: “The Netherlands, ironically, is believed to have started the international broadcasting business, with regular transmissions starting in 1927 from shortwave stations to the Dutch East Indies–now Indonesia. Following the Nazi occupation during the Second World War, the Dutch government in exile was granted air-time on BBC transmitters. The Radio Oranje program was a daily commentary. … One of the chief commentators on Radio Oranje, Henk van den Broek, was given the task of re-starting public broadcasting once the country was liberated. He began Radio Herrijzend Nederland, which eventually became RNW, in 1946, modeling it after the BBC. RNW’s English-language shortwave broadcasts to North America were discontinued in 2008 after a survey found that more listeners to the network were using the podcasting service instead of shortwave radios.”

Radio Netherlands Worldwide, 14 Mar 2012: “The television archives of Radio Netherlands Worldwide contain hundreds of hours of footage. Among them is a programme made to mark the 50th anniversary of the Happy Station, the show of ‘smiles across the miles’. The marathon broadcast on 19 November 19 1978 was hosted by Tom Meyer. Happy Station was the world’s longest-running international radio programme. It premiered in 1928 on the Philips Radio station PCJJ. From 1946, it was broadcast by Radio Netherlands Worldwide. RNW cancelled the Happy Station show in 1995.”

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