Malheur at Mediapark – Wynia Week

Media journalist Mark Koster looked at public radio’s Animal Farm at the invitation of Wynia Week. About elbow and hypocrisy in Hilversum.

Top-2000 statistics often provide a more accurate insight into the state of the country than the opinionated guests at the talk show tables. Zeeland singer-songwriter Danny Vera is the county hero. He is the originator of the new Common Sense Bible Belt. From Zeeland to Drenthe, he is the most popular Top 2000 streaming artist. It’s also #1 in Grolloo, home of the Dutch blues and home of the country’s most outspoken TV guru.

It would have been a fascinating element, a mystifying element as well. How can such a subdued and sensitive song of out-of-town blues, Vinexwijk and the Canal Belt be appreciated?

Talk shows see farmers as corrupt

But the talk shows weren’t about the Danny Vera effect. The farmers there were just farmers: uncultured losers who plowed the roads with tractors and voted for Caroline van der Plas. The fact that there are apparently also moderate blues fans living in the county who have nothing to do with yelling, appearing reckless, and may have developed a green conscience, just doesn’t fit the talk show mould. It would have been an ideal item for public broadcasting.

Other examples? Orc had long been the moral dividing line between racists and anti-racists, until the village quietly decided to accept the soot sweepers. Then the NPO can’t do anything with it anymore. Progress does not come on horseback, but on foot.

average prevails

The year 2022 was the year of polarization and terrorizing humble minds. You cannot separate one from the other. Public broadcasting, which pretends to open doors for viewers, has rarely been closed, as it has in 2022. In this retrospective, I try to show how we can fall into that resonance so well. The main reason: a radio system that raises contradictions.

Public broadcasting has been around for more than a century and has fallen off the pedestal. The Netherlands was a river delta on the sea, a country below sea level in which Catholics, Protestants, Socialists, Liberals and Atheists, despite their differences, lived together. If there was a threat of flooding, we put a finger in the dam at Boulder’s pragmatic Hansje Brinkers.

We resolved disagreements for a long time by giving everyone a plot of land, a church, a school and broadcasting. Yes, at the expense of the state. Things went well for a long time, until the pillars collapsed. However, female anchors continued to exist. These became empty shells, with middle managers becoming the boss. Chefs who argued with other owners about time slots and airtime while retailers debate the final building permit on a vacant lot.

German sociologist Max Weber described the emergence of this profession in his voluminous book Wirtschaft and Gesellschaft ‘ (1921).

A human species driven by “objective” criteria, which are essentially subjective. Weber distinguished between “acting rationally”, acting because you think others want you to, “discretionary acting rationally” – acting on principle or belief – “acting emotionally”, showing commitment through feelings, or doing your work simply out of feeling Assignment: traditional work.

Weber’s autopsy of bureaucrats hasn’t gained traction in a century, and it’s certainly not in the media park. In Hilversum, thirteen broadcasters with similar bureaucratic machines are vying with each other for a stash of cash close to €900m. It’s “Animal Farm” in Mediapark.

Expand the kiosk

Thirteen little pigs are trying to push each other out of the tub, at the same time yelling holy cries about their right to exist. And the farmer who is allowed to feed the TV cattle (France Klein) seems happy every day with the hungry pigs, like Mr. Frederick, the owner of the Bronkenburg pig farm does just that in Orwell’s novel.

Yet it is brewing in the stable. An expert in divide-and-conquer tactics, Farmer Klein can no longer satisfy all the flock eating in the barn.

A stable full of pigs continues to expand, causing crowding in the trough. In 2022, two broadcasters – Ongehoord Nederland and Omroep Zwart – join the system. Despite their pettiness about identity, they, too, preyed on the manger. Especially ON, who is a very angry pig, caused irritation. She acted like a jerk, but did what she promised to do: spread a controversial conservative antidote into the fold. The other pigs tried to drive the newcomer away, but in vain: ON was also entitled to a bowl of food.

Appearance prevails

This brings us to the second point: hypocrisy. The broadcasting bureaucracy rests on so-called objective criteria to promote equality and pluralism. But anyone with 50,000 Facebook members all together can start a broadcaster. This is of course not a successful attempt at polyphony, but a form of indulgence so as not to dare choose quality.

Cultivator Klein, who is in charge of food distribution, has long lost his way and is completely corrupt. He sometimes gets extra feed from the butchers if he gives certain pigs more food. They are getting fatter and sluggish and are so fattened that they are tasteless for slaughter. In order not to pull you too much into this obsessive ideal, I will make it concrete.

How Rijxman woke up said goodbye

Nepotism in Hilversum, unionization between producers and broadcasters, and an unhealthy position of power for bureaucrats led to excesses in 2022. The former head of public radio, Shula Rijsman, appears to maintain close ties with the highest-ranking civil servant who had to pay her $900 million. In the source of the money, she begged, among other things, for more money for her country’s Eurovision Song Contest, a project through which she is mainly she can shine.

Rijxman can no longer be serviced by then, it will even be fired. Nevertheless, I was able to work for another three months on a precious parting gift. This became a project that was to result in a “Festival of Diversity” based on the Eurovision Festival. No one was waiting for him, but no one could stop him. Disappointed, the party organizer left halfway through Rijxman’s confused hobby. But this did not bother anyone either.

Meanwhile, Farmer Klein pushed the trays of feed into the stable. His favorite pig, Paul Di Leo, got a time slot for it Star ranking, without showing any radio interest. Another friend, Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, could act like a bully, but Klein didn’t feel the need to intervene. The prize pig attracted so many visitors to the farm that it was pardoned for biting other pigs.

Meanwhile, dirt was growing in the stable. You’d expect Klein to hand the farm over to a new generation (y/y) that wouldn’t be guided by the survival instincts of a dinosaur brain.

The NPO looked at cross-border behavior between commercials…

The youth did something despite the opposition. in silence. It went almost unnoticed, but the public service announcer’s most revealing program this year wasn’t on TV, but on the Internet. So in Another Farm: Tim Hoffman’s BOOS aired about trespassing behavior elsewhere in the Mediapark: with commercials. BOOS has been treated like an unruly stepson for a long time in NPO.

One critic of BOOS was NPO director Suzanne Kunzeler, who didn’t have an eye for teen digital tinkering, because Uncle France didn’t have the budget for it. Kunzeler is now the head of BNN/VARA and stands against the farmer gentleman Klein, who quits temporarily due to the DWDD riots (because transnational behavior in Mediapark also appeared in the NPO itself). It is not possible that she wants to take over the farm.

Conclusion: the system is corrupt, based on hypocrisy and does not provide the best quality. Is there a way out? Yeah. But this requires a radical intervention. Broadcasters must dare to raise themselves. Market discipline, which leads to creative destruction in business, has not yet reached the public broadcasting service.

If they cannot do it themselves, the legislature may have to lend them a hand. Public broadcasting privileges expire in 2027. If the House of Representatives has the guts, it will put an end to this perverted form of baptism. We hope that the civil servant mentality, which rewards mediocrity, cowardice, and dishonesty, will be replaced by a new belief in meritocracy. Naïve perhaps, but Quality does not discriminate between race, age, or gender.

Admittedly, newcomers have to work harder. But if they float to the surface, they have achieved it on their own and therefore have more power. If we can get rid of the huge stables, shouldn’t it be possible with a farm full of grunts?

Mark Koster The second part of this diptych is published on Wednesday December 28th in Wynia Week: “Malheur at de commercialen”. Koster has been and continues to be featured in a series of magazines, websites, and broadcasters. In 2020, he published “De Mol” – a media biography of the De Mol family.

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