NPO wants to impose sanctions on broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland for the third time

The NPO wants to impose a financial sanction on broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland (ON) for the third time. The organization does this on the basis of an investigation by the Ombudsman into the journalistic conduct of the broadcaster. It concluded last November that ON had violated the journalistic code during 22 of the 23 broadcasts of Unheard of News has violated. ON will have two weeks to respond to the proposed sanction before the NPO decides to actually punish ON again.

What is new is that the NPO seems to be anticipating a request for the withdrawal of ON’s recognition as a broadcaster for the first time. The NPO can make this request to State Secretary Gunay Uslu (Media, D66). The NPO will consider this after ON has responded. The broadcaster announces the proposed sanction a first response ‘unjust’ and ‘undemocratic’.

The Ombudsman concluded in November that ON violated the journalistic code with regard to reliability by spreading demonstrably incorrect information. The NPO received 1,852 complaints from the public during the period under investigation. The most controversial in that period was a broadcast in September, which received more than 1,700 complaints. Random internet videos of violence against white people by black people were presented as evidence for ‘anti-white’ racism, with presenter Raisa Blommestijn using the n-word.

ON had been sanctioned twice before. The first time, last July, it was about “systematic violations” of the journalistic code, as a result of which ON received about 93,000 euros less as an annual budget for 2023. In December, ON was fined about 56,000 euros. That sanction was lower, because the NPO believed that the broadcaster should be able to continue to function. The amount of the possible third financial sanction is not known.