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Here is how to find reliable news in the Netherlands
Last updated: 4/22/2024, 6:40 AM

In the Netherlands you can find reliable information because there is freedom of the press. And because the press is part of Dutch democracy. But there is also a lot of fake news. In this article you read about how reliable the Dutch press is. And how to find reliable news yourself.

In the Netherlands, journalists must tell the truth

In the Netherlands, news media adhere to the

Dutch Journalism Code
. This is an agreement stating that journalists must tell the truth.

When they publish something, they have to show both sides of the story. They must distinguish between facts and opinions. And they should let people know where they got their information and use multiple sources to support something.

The Dutch government is not allowed to determine what journalists say or write

In the Netherlands, you can say and write whatever you want. This is called freedom of speech. Journalists can also choose for themselves what they write or publish about. This is freedom of the press. Like freedom of speech, freedom of the press is stated in the

Dutch Constitution

This constitution ensures that journalists can work independently. This means that journalists are allowed to make their own decisions about what they make news about and how they tell about information. Journalists are allowed to seek out and publicise information about the government, businesses and the judiciary, for example. And they are allowed to do this without being influenced by political or commercial interests.

In the Netherlands, you have public and commercial television and radio stations:

Dutch Public Broadcasting (NPO)
Commercial television channels

Freedom of the press does not mean journalists can lie or discriminate

Freedom of the press and freedom of speech does not mean that you are free to lie, discriminate, incite people to violence or treat others badly. Because if you were to do that, you endanger other people's freedom.

The right to freedom of expression is as important as other fundamental rights, for example, the right not to be discriminated against. It is sometimes difficult to know where to draw the line between freedom of speech, freedom of the press and other fundamental rights.

The press is an important part of Dutch democracy

In the Netherlands, the press has an important role in democracy and government control. Journalists gather information and share it with the public. They investigate and report on government events, policies and decisions. Journalists also monitor others with power, such as large corporations or the courts.

As journalists monitor the government and other people in power, everyone in Dutch society can get information about it. For example, about how the government does its work. Based on that information, Dutch people can determine their vote during elections, protest or make decisions about their own lives.

For example, the press helps protect important values of democracy, such as freedom and openness. And the press often ensures that the government has to explain why and how it regulates certain things in the Netherlands.

Different media can provide information in different ways

Even though journalists must tell the truth, newspapers or newsrooms may have different political or social preferences. Journalists' profession is to seek out information and inform people factually. They also have to separate opinions from facts. But sometimes journalists also express their opinions. Or they follow the opinion of the newspaper they are writing for, which causes the facts to be exposed or written down differently.

Misleading and inaccurate information is also spread in the Netherlands

There are also news sources and journalists in the Netherlands that are less or not reliable. Especially on the Internet and social media, people spread fake news. That is information that is not true. The purpose of that news is not to spread honest information, but to spread a certain opinion or make money. It can be a news item on the Internet, a video on social media or a picture in a WhatsApp group.

This is how you get the most reliable information in the Netherlands yourself

There are a few things you can do to find reliable information:

  • You can follow different newspapers, magazines or newsreels. Then you can compare information. That way you get a fuller picture of an event.

  • Are you reading an article in the newspaper? Then you can see what sources the newspaper cites. Then you know where the information comes from.

  • Do you read news through social media? Then always check journalistic sources to make sure what you read is accurate. For example, look up which newspaper the news comes from.

  • Be critical of sensational headlines and unconfirmed rumors. Sometimes the headline of an article says something completely different from the content of the article. Therefore, don't just read the headline.

This is where you follow Dutch news as you learn the Dutch language

Are you still learning Dutch, but would like to follow Dutch news? Then follow the news here:

'NOS Jeugdjournaal'
You can watch the 'NOS Jeugdjournaal' on television and online. You can listen to the news at B1 level Dutch.
'NOS News of the Week'
The 'NOS News of the Week' is a weekly newscast in easy language. A new episode can be seen every Wednesday at 17:00 on YouTube.
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