A group of Dutch public broadcasting employees has launched a campaign against cuts in public broadcasting. The new government wants to cut the annual budget by 200 million euros by 2015. “That’s a quarter of the budget of public broadcasting. It really touches the core of broadcasting,” said reporter Sander ‘t Sas, one of the initiators of the group “Concerned Broadcasting Employees”.
A petition has been launched on the Internet, and a mass meeting has also been planned for next week to consider possible further action.
The platform “Concerned Broadcasting Employees” was founded in September 2003 because of plans by former Deputy Minister Medy van der Laan who wanted reforms and cutbacks in public broadcasting. Following a change of government in 2006, those plans were scrapped. But the platform has now been revived.
“We as broadcasting employees said then that any cuts must not be at the cost of the programmes. And now we understand that cuts must be made, but they must be proportional. Elsewhere, planned cuts are seven to eight percent, but in broadcasting one quarter,” said Mr ‘t Sas.
The protests are supported by the Dutch Association of Journalists (of which Mr ‘t Sas is chairman of the broadcasting section) and the union FNV Kiem which represents other employees and freelancers in the media sector.
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