Ongehoord Nederland and Omroep Zwart have enough members to qualify for a broadcasting license with the public broadcaster. That says the regulator, the Media Authority.
The aspiring broadcasters had to have at least 50,000 paying members on December 31, 2020, who live in the Netherlands and are 16 years or older. Ongehoord Nederland and Omroep Zwart already concluded in the autumn that they complied with the membership requirement and the regulator has now confirmed this.
Ongehoord Nederland is an initiative of journalist Arnold Karskens, among others. With his broadcaster he wants to make a critical voice about the European Union and immigration, among other things. The broadcaster is also in favor of Zwarte Piet.
Omroep Zwart strives for “a correct reflection of society at the public broadcaster, both in front of and behind the scenes”. One of the initiators is rapper and activist Akwasi. He announced in early February that he is aiming for a behind-the-scenes role after forcing a radio host to delete a recorded interview.
There is still an important hurdle for aspiring broadcasters before they are allowed to make programs. The NPO, the Council for Culture and the Media Authority come separately from each other with an advice to the minister about the broadcasters. In particular, it is examined whether the broadcasters add sufficient content.
The minister will then determine before 1 August of this year which broadcasters can be admitted to the public system. Those broadcasters will then receive a license for the period 2022 to 2026.
At the end of last year, the initiators of Ongehoord Nederland and Omroep Zwart explained what they want to add to the current media offering: