Radio Netherlands Worldwide is asking for help to save its services.
According to the newsletter of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union, the Dutch cabinet recently decided that Radio Netherlands Worldwide's annual budget would be reduced by 70 percent, to about $19.7 million, starting in 2013.
The government wants RNW to focus on bringing independent information to people in countries without press freedom, ABU reported, and to scrap its other functions of providing information for Dutch people living abroad and presenting a realistic image of the Netherlands to other countries. ABU said it’s unclear how much of the rest of RNW’s content can be continued.
RNW broadcasts in 10 languages via radio, partner stations, websites and mobile. ABU quoted RNW saying that the plan to cut the budget that much is “inconceivable” and noted that RNW had launched an effort to save its services.
It quoted General Director Jan Hoek saying the “radical reduction” could “leave a global audience of millions out in the cold, and will cost 250 jobs.”