Many thanks to Jonathan Marks, who shares this article from the populist Dutch daily newspaper De Telegraaf on Saturday.
If you can’t read Dutch, here’s a link to the article via Google Translate.
I believe RNW has struggled with identity and purpose since abandoning all radio broadcasting and most programming in 2012. I’m still confused as to why they dropped The State We’re In; an award-winning program which had a loyal listenership and could have stood on its own.
RNW’s final broadcast schedule (Source: Jonathan Marks)
A few days ago, former RNW employee, Jonathan Marks, was sorting out some papers in his office when something “spooky” happened:
“one sheet [of paper] fell out of a pile and onto the floor. It was the page of the last day of transmission from Radio Netherlands, English department.”
“What was weird was that this happened exactly one year ago to the day they pulled the switch. It was 2253 local time on a Friday when Jonathan Groubert, above, made the last announcement from Continuity Studio 4.”
Jonathan’s full post on his blog, Critical Distance, has some fantastic photos, notes, an interview and recording from the final moments of RNW’s final shortwave broadcast. Click here to read his post.
Jonathan’s post reminded me that one year ago, I was on a six week vacation with my family in the Canadian Maritimes. I listened to and recorded all of the final RNW shortwave broadcasts in an off-grid cabin on the eastern coast of lovely Prince Edward Island. An SWLing memory I will never forget. You can listen to these field recordings and read my post, “RNW says farewell in style” via this link.
(Source: NRC Handelsblad, with translation by Andy Sennitt.)
Radio Netherlands Worldwide and the Broadcasting Music Centre must find a new home for their archives by 1 July. RNW is still looking for a home for its extensive music collection, paper archives and recordings of many broadcasts in languages such as Indonesian, Arabic and Sranan Tongo since 1947. The Broadcasting Music Centre has from 1 August no place for five kilometres of sheet music, sometimes handwritten.
Media Historian Huub Wijfjes finds it astonishing. “We have institutions like Sound and Vision and the Eye Film Institute that were established to ensure that we don’t make the mistakes of the sixties and seventies when everything was discarded. Now the same thing is likely to happen again. For me, my sources will be lost. ”
Sound and Vision seems a logical place, but there is a problem. Collection Curator Hans van der Windt explains: “Access to large archives costs money that we don’t have. For example, we need to have the copyright to the material in order to make it available for research, but most organizations don’t want to give up the copyright.”
Many thanks to Andy Sennit for apprising us of this and for translating the original item from the NRC Handelsblad. I do sincerely hope that an educational institution or benefactor steps up to the plate to help RNW find a proper home for these significant and invaluable archives.
Outgoing Radio Netherlands CEO, Jan Hoek (Photo: RNW)
(Source: de Volkskrant, translated by Andy Sennitt)
The severance payment for the outgoing CEO of Radio Netherlands Worldwide is excessive. This is what Sander Dekker, deputy minister responsible for the media, wrote on Thursday in a letter to the Lower House of the Dutch parliament.
RNW Director-General Jan Hoek was originally set to receive a fee of 1.1 million euros. Following an urgent request by Mr Dekker and his predecessor, the RNW Supervisory Board agreed with the Director-General to reduce the severance pay to 800,000 euros. Despite the reduction in the amount, according to Mr Dekker it is still “too high and therefore inappropriate and undesirable.”
The Deputy Minister willl investigate the legal issues, but sees no possibility of preventing payment of the severance premium. Mr Dekker says that taking the matter to court offers no solution, because according to the agreement signed in 2001 Mr Hoek is formally entitled to receive his full severance payment.
A new law regulating the salaries of public officials goes into effect on 1 January. This will prevent excessive payments in the future. Under the new rules, a severance payment will be restricted to a maximum of 75,000 euros. But agreements already signed are not covered by the new law.
In a previous post, I mentioned a short audio piece–a tribute to Radio Netherlands Worldwide–I recorded for the NRC DX Audio service. Here is a SoundCloud copy of the clip: