[TV station] Ongehoord Nederland is getting more and more into a corner. The NPO [broadcasting overseer fascists] asked the State Secretary for Media Gunay Uslu today to withdraw the provisional recognition of the broadcaster.
Now Pointer [a Dutch investigative journalism (joke) platform of KRO-NCRV], comes with the results of a months-long data research into Ongehoord Nederland. Conclusion: the broadcaster not only violates the journalistic code, but also “systematically spreads conspiracy theories and misinformation.”
Pointer collected data, studied the broadcasts of Ongehoord Nieuws and spoke with former employees. Pointer’s findings: politicians who speak in Ongehoord Nieuws are almost all (88.8 percent) of a radical right-wing nature. “We conducted data research into the eighty episodes of the first year of Ongehoord Nieuws. Conspiracy theories are discussed in sixty of these, according to our analysis. For example, the term ‘population’ is discussed in seventeen separate broadcasts. “Guests can speak freely about this and are not questioned critically by the presenters,” said a Pointer spokesperson.
According to the program, themes such as corona (76 episodes), the war in Ukraine (76), immigration (71), sexual identity and woke (69), climate (61) and the EU (58) are regularly discussed. “And misinformation is very regularly shared about these topics, according to our research.”
Pointer also researched which politicians get the word out the most in Ongehoord Nieuws. “The choice for guests can rightly be called one-sided. Of the total of 12.5 hours that politicians are in the picture, 53 percent is reserved for Forum for Democracy politicians. Together with PVV, BVNL and JA21, the radical right-wing parties even appear on almost 90 percent of the broadcasting time for political parties.”
Pointer also investigated the role of ON founder Arnold Karskens, who, in addition to being chairman, is also editor-in-chief and commentator of Ongehoord Nieuws. “No proper separation between the journalistic task of the broadcaster and the interests of the association,” Thomas Bruning of the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) told Pointer. Former employee Shashi Roopram also speaks: “Arnold determines everything.” In the program Ongehoord Nieuws, Karskens gets the most airtime, about 108 minutes in total for FvD leader Thierry Baudet (almost 80 minutes) and BVNL’er Wybren van Haga (almost 78 minutes).
No place in public broadcasting
In September 2022, WNL, Omroep MAX and KRO-NCRV stated that they no longer wanted to collaborate journalistically with Ongehoord Nederland. Shortly afterwards, the other member broadcasters followed and ceased the journalistic consultation with ON!. KRO-NCRV director Peter Kuipers previously stated that ON! sees no place in the public order. Broadcaster MAX informs Pointer via Jan Slagter that the judgment lies with the NPO and State Secretary, but that ON! must endorse and comply with the journalistic code. “Everyone makes mistakes, especially in the beginning, but now the time has come for them to show that they no longer give a stage to fake news and conspiracy theories.”
Pointer lets VPRO and Human speak through directors Roel Burgman and Willemien van Aalst. They previously stated to Pointer that ‘action towards ON! necessary and must be pursued with urgency. They pleaded for the withdrawal of ON!’s license: ,,For open, blatant racism and incitement to violence or hatred against groups or individuals, there is by definition no place within public broadcasting. The conclusion that Ongehoord Nederland repeatedly violates the journalistic code of conduct they subscribe to can be clearly drawn from the verdicts of the Ombudsman and this investigation by Pointer.”
Pointer approached Arnold Karskens with a number of questions, but the foreman of ON! did not argue with an editor of the program. “The reason is that we have no confidence in your data research and you have already drawn the conclusions about our program in advance.”
(ON! Or Ongehoord Nederland according to Wikipedia: Ongehoord Nederland (ON or ON!) is a Dutch broadcasting association. The broadcaster says it wants to give a voice to people who do not feel represented in mainstream politics and media.)