Netherlands Government and Media
Government Type: Parliamentary Democracy
Leader: Prime Minister Mark Rutte (2010, Third Rutte Government October 2017)
Political Party: The People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD)
Political Position: Center-Right
World Press Freedom Rank: Netherlands 5/180 (2020)
According to Reporters Without Borders “By international standards, the Dutch media remain stoutly independent.” However, extremist populist politicians have attacked the legitimacy of established media”; resulting in “online attacks, including death threats, against journalists and their families.”
Government Influence on Media: The Government does not subsidize most of the media in the Netherlands with the exception of national public broadcasting organizations that are unique to the Netherlands. For more on the role of public broadcasters please see here. In general, the Government has minimal direct control over the media outlets since most of them are privately owned and financed through advertising revenue, resulting in a corporate monopoly with “80 percent of the total circulation of 3m newspapers owned by two Belgian publishers – De Persgroep and Mediahuis.” There are three types of government funds available for the Media. These are the CoBo Fund, the Journalism Promotion Fund, and the Media Fund. Although media in the Netherlands remains one of the freest in the world, media independence is being threatened by increased violence against journalists resulting in government intervention to protect them.