Dutch fiscal austerity plan targets Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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The Dutch government announced plans to scale back the activities of Radio Netherlands Worldwide, the pubcaster that produces and distributes programs for international audiences. Under a proposal announced last week, the world news service would no longer concern itself with providing information for Dutch people living abroad, or portraying a “realistic image of the Netherlands” through its broadcasts in other countries, according to report published on RNW’s website. It is to become an arm of the Foreign Ministry and focus its service on countries where free speech is suppressed or threatened. The cuts, proposed as part of an austerity plan to reduce government spending, would take effect in January. RNW launched an online petition campaign to challenge the proposal, which is to be taken up by the Dutch Parliament on June 27.