Dutch frees included in press fund

The Dutch Press Fund (Stimuleringsfonds voor de Pers) will include free dailies in their support policy. News media can apply for funds for special projects or research. Until now only paid publications could apply.

Next year the Fund will have €1m for support, from 2010 on this will be €2.3m a year. Minister Plasterk, responsible for media, will not take any general measures, like lowering taxes, which was asked for by publishers and the journalists union NVJ.

The minister is worried about commercial influences on the media, and will talk with the press how to deal with this on a voluntary basis. (VillaMedia)

In terms of commercial influences and independent reporting, however, free newspapers have a rather ’soft’ policy. Metro will have its ‘Blunt day’ this Monday (see previous post), the result of a marketing-deal with Warner Music, who pays for the one-day editor in chief.

Dutch free daily Spits has its TV-critic sponsored. Jan Dijkgraaf, former editor in chief of Metro, is now employed by Spits to write about TV while he is also available for marketing purposes.

What this means can be seen here: Dijkgraaf with thumbs-up dressed up with a Logitech t-shirt (click on pic for bigger Dijkgraaf).

2 Responses to “Dutch frees included in press fund”

  1. Sakari Pitkanen Says:

    Dear Piet and blog readers.
    Just a correction.
    1. Metro does not have a “soft” policy on commercial influences.
    2. Warner did not pay Metro anything and Metro did not pay Warner.
    3. Yes, there was a huge marketing campaign for James Blunt being guest editor in Metro, from both Metro and Warner. Of course as the event was unique.
    And I might also add that the event was a huge and global success for both Metro and Blunt.

    Sakari Pitkanen
    Global Editor In chief
    Metro International

  2. Piet Bakker Says:

    Dear Sakari,

    The ’soft policy’ is my interpretation of course, and having a guest editor because of a ‘marketing deal’ smells of mutual commercial interest.

    In the current circumstances newspapers have to think of new ways to make money and free newspapers have been much more innovative than paid papers. I actually am very much in favor if all that.

    But still there is the fundamental question of independent reporting. It is a line easily crossed and the Blunt-deal was a good starting point for discussion in my view.