- Category: News
- Created on Friday, 29 June 2012 10:31
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
The government slashed RNW’s funding by 70 per cent in its autumn budget and gave it a new brief to promote free speech around the world.
That meant the closure of services in languages such as English, Portuguese and Bahasa Indonesian. The Spanish desk is being scaled down and will focus on countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and Mexico.
The South Asian desk, which has covered conflict-torn areas such as Kashmir and Sri Lanka for decades, is also being wound up.
The highest-profile casualty was the Dutch service, broadcast from Hilversum for 65 years and known to generations of holidaymakers as the “camping radio”.
The English website is also being scaled back, with news articles and the daily review of the Dutch newspapers falling away.
On the last day of English-language broadcasting, dozens of listeners contacted the station to express their regrets.
John Mayson, from the US, wrote: “RNW has been a wonderful Dutch ambassador to the world and it's troubling the Dutch government has seen fit to cancel all English programming. Your programming is the best in the world.”
Alex May, in the UK, said: “You have been a valuable link to Dutch culture and journalism for the outside world and it is tragic that your government has taken the funding decision it has.”
And an anonymous listener from Australia added: “For any traveler who has loved visiting The Netherlands, RNW has been a wonderful way to stay connected with Dutch news as well as the Dutch view of the world after returning home. So sorry to have to say farewell.”