Netherlands Culture

Netherlands Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Netherlands

According to ESTATELEARNING.COM, Netherlands is a country located in Europe. At the beginning of the 17th century, the first news magazines were published in the Netherlands. The oldest, yet forthcoming, is Haarlem’s Dagblad (founded in 1656). The first daily newspapers Algemeen Handelsblad (founded 1828) and Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant (founded 1844) have since 1970 been merged into NRC Handelsblad. At the end of the 19th century, several movement- and party-owned newspapers were started, but also the first mass-market newspaper, De Telegraaf (founded in 1893). During the Second World War, an underground press developed with communist De Waarheid (closed in 1991), socialist Het Parool and Protestant Trouw as the most famous newspapers. Sunday edition does not occur. The daily edition of the daily press, which amounts to 4.5 million copies. (1998; 290 newspaper six per 1,000 residents), is concentrated to about ten publishers. The largest are PCM Uitgevers (about 30% of the total edition) with the morning newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (edition: about 400,000 copies) and the afternoon newspaper NRC Handelsblad (270,000 copies) in Rotterdam and in Amsterdam the morning newspapers De Volkskrant (350,000 copies) and Trouw (120,000 copies) and the afternoon newspaper Het Parool (95,000 copies). PCM Uitgevers came about through a merger in 1996 between Perscombinatie in Amsterdam and Elsevier publisher NDU in Rotterdam. The second largest is the De Telegraaf Group in Amsterdam, with just over 20% of the total edition and the country’s largest newspaper, De Telegraaf (800,000 copies). In third place (12%) comes VNU with newspapers in Maastricht, Nijmegen and Roosendaal. A general government support for newspapers was introduced in 1967, when advertising was introduced on TV. The aid was distributed in periods, sometimes only to loss-making newspapers, and ended in 1996.

Dutch radio and TV have gradually become more open. When private radio was established in the 1920s, community-based religious and political organizations demanded and were given total responsibility for the business. Advertising was not allowed. During the 1950s, television was organized in the same way. In the mid-1960s, the system was loosened up. A second TV channel was introduced and limited TV advertising was accepted, new organizations were also given broadcast time and the state foundation Nederlandse Omroep Stichting(NOS, founded in 1969) was given responsibility for mainly news broadcasts. Competition from neighboring country and satellite channels led to the introduction of a third channel in 1988. After the start of the same year, the TV advertising rules were made easier by Luxembourg-based RTL-4, which broadcasts in Dutch and is the largest channel in terms of publicity. In 1993, RTL-5 was launched, including that of Luxembourg and advertising financed. Almost 80% of households are connected to cable TV. The Netherlands currently has five national, 13 regional and 330 local private radio stations. There are 980 radio and 538 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).

Book and publishing system

The Dutch book market consists of a large number of publishers; In 2013 they were close to 1,500, of which about 100 account for almost 95% of the number of titles. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the trend of mergers and acquisitions has been clear, mainly with the aim of cutting costs and coordinating marketing.

There are over 1,000 bookstores in the country, of which three out of four belong to one of the major chains. The largest of the chains are Bruna with about 375 outlets.

Book prices are fixed by law and are determined by the publisher or distributor, which means that the traders compete with the supply and availability. However, a discount of no more than 10% may be given to a private customer. The fixed price does not apply to e-books, which take up an increasingly large part of the market.

Two of Europe’s largest publishing groups originate in the Netherlands, the international groups Reed Elsevier and Wolters Kluwer. Other major publishing houses include VBK, Weekbladpers Groep and Lannoo Groep. The Weekbladpers Groep includes the quality publisher De Bezige Bij, which publishes internationally renowned authors such as Marcel Möring, Erwin Mortier and Cees Nooteboom.

The first letterpress in the present Netherlands was Jacob van der Meer, active in Delft, who in 1477 in the Dutch published the Old Testament except the Psalter, and Gerhard Leeu (died 1493). The same year, he published the first on the Dutch printed book, “The Epistle and the Gospel van den gheheelen jaere”. From 1580 to 1712, 14 members of the Elzevier family appear as a book printer and publisher. A leading map printer was Willem Janszoon Blaeu, whose main product is “Zeespiegel van de Oostersche, Noordsche and Westersche Schipvaart” (1627).


According to APARENTINGBLOG, Dutch culture is world famous especially for its painters. Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt and Jan Vermeer are some well-known names from the 16th and 16th centuries. In recent centuries, names like Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondriaan and Karel Appel and Constant Nieuwenhuys within the avant-garde group Cobra have become known.

Older Dutch art is found mainly at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Modern Dutch art can be seen at the Stedelijk Museum, also in Amsterdam.

Among the big names in Dutch literature are the 16th century writer and the humanist Erasmus of Rotterdam, as well as the founder of international law Hugo de Groot (Grotius) and the philosopher Baruch Spinoza, both active in the 1600s. They wrote all their works in Latin.

The Dutch language began in the 11th century to be used in knight novels, animal poetry and plays, and in the 17th century it gained its place in literature through, among others, Joost van der Vondel. A well-known author from the 19th century is Multatuli (pseudonym of Eduard Douwes Dekker) whose novel Max Havelaar is critical of colonialism.

During the early 1900s, Simon Vestdijk and Hella Haase were noticed. Recent writers include the challenging Jan Wolkers, Harry Mulisch (who among other things wrote The Discovery of Heaven), Adrien van der Heijden, Anja Meulenbelt, Cees Nooteboom and the popular Maarten ‘t Hart. The leading children’s book authors include Annie M Schmidt and Margriet Heymans and in 2012 Guus Kuijer was awarded the Swedish Alma Award for Astrid Lindgren’s memory.

Dutch film has mainly made itself known for its documentaries, but several feature films have also attracted attention. In the late 1990s, two Dutch films won Oscar for Best Foreign Film: Antonia’s World by Marleen Gorris in 1996 and the Character by Mike van Diem in 1998. In 2006, Paul Verhoeven, who has long worked in Hollywood, made his first Dutch film in many years, Zwartboek (The black book). The film had a major impact both at home and internationally.



Wilders accuses Rutte of discrimination

November 30

Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders appeals to prosecutors with a complaint against Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who he believes has discriminated against the Dutch people. Examples of this are, according to Wilders, that foreign investors do not have to pay any tax on investments and that asylum seekers receive free medical care.


Rutte’s new four-party government takes office

October 26th

After 225 days of negotiations, the VVD, D66, CDA and CU embark on a government cooperation. This is the third time Mark Rutte has become Prime Minister. But the coalition is fragile, partly because the parties are far apart in some issues, and partly because it only has a mandate overweight in parliament.

Negotiations on government clear

October 9

After a full 208 days, the party leaders of the VVD, D66 as well as the Christian Democratic-oriented CDA and the Christian Union finally announce that they have agreed to form a joint government. However, the four parties have no satisfactory majority in Parliament – only 76 out of 150 seats. Mark Rutte will continue as prime minister in the new government.

Defense Minister resigns

October 3

An official report is released about an accident last year in Mali when two Dutch soldiers were killed and one seriously injured after a grenade suddenly exploded. In the report of the Security Board (OVV), criticism is directed at the Department of Defense for the fact that the grenades came from a warehouse with older grenades purchased from the US Pentagon and that the guidelines that apply to arms purchases have been violated. After the report, Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis decides to leave her post.


The king declares support for hurricane-stricken islands

September 19

No new government after the March elections has yet to be formed when the Dutch king Willem-Alexander opens parliament. The King promises that the Dutch territories, Sint Maarten, Saba, Sint Eustatius, who were hit hard by Hurricane Irma in early September will receive help with the reconstruction.


The Government of Routes sets a record

20th of August

The outgoing government under Prime Minister Mark Rutte has now been in power longer than any other government in the country since the Second World War. It has now ruled for 1,749 days, which is longer than Ruud Lubber’s government in 1989-1994. The record is due to the difficulties of forming a coalition government after the March elections. Negotiations are currently in progress between the VVD, CDA, D66 and the Christian Union.

Poison scandal hits the egg industry

August 3rd

Once traces of the toxic insecticide fipronil are detected in eggs, 180 chicken farms in the Netherlands are forced to close. A Dutch company is said to have used the prohibited poison to fight lice in a wide range of chicken herds. Several millions of eggs are removed from stores in the Netherlands and Germany. The Netherlands is Europe’s largest egg exporter, and about 65 percent of the eggs are sold to other countries, including Germany. The cost of the closure, lost revenue and measures to clean the plants is later estimated to be EUR 33 billion.


Established judgment on Srebrenica

June 27

An appeals court in The Hague upholds an earlier ruling in which a court decided that the Netherlands should pay compensation to relatives of 350 Muslims killed by Bosnian-Serbian troops at the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 (see July 2014). The Dutch soldiers understood the risks that existed for the Muslim men when they were separated from their families by Bosnian-Serbian soldiers, according to the court. The Muslim refugees had sought protection from the Dutch peacekeeping UN troops.


Parliament approves EU agreements

May 31st

The Senate approves a revised agreement between the EU and Ukraine. The House of Representatives has already accepted the agreement by a large majority in February. Thus, the Parliament in the Netherlands has finally approved the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, which thus appears to be in port. In a referendum, the Netherlands voted against the EU’s cooperation agreement with Ukraine (see April 2016 and Foreign Policy and Defense).


The VVD wins the election

March 15th

In the parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s right-wing Liberal Party VVD will be the largest with 33 seats. Geert Wilder’s right-wing populist PVV ranks second with 20 mandates, which is significantly less mandated than opinion polls had predicted. The Christian Democrats CDA and Democrat ’66 receive 19 seats each. The Green Left and the Socialist Party each receive 14 seats and Social Democratic Labor Party 9, while the Christian Union (CU) and the Animal Rights Party Labor Party receive 5 each, while the remaining 12 seats go to a further four small parties. The turnout is unusually high, 80 percent.

Trouble with Turkey

14th of March

A diplomatic quarrel erupts since Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has been refused entry to attend a general election in Rotterdam. The Dutch authorities are also stopping the election, which was planned by the Turkish regime ahead of a referendum in Turkey in April to increase the president’s power. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to convince the many Turkish citizens of the Netherlands to vote yes. However, the Dutch government does not want to allow Turkish elections, citing the security situation in the country ahead of the March 15 parliamentary elections. Erdoğan, who previously accused the German authorities of behaving like Nazis, describes the Dutch government in similar terms. When the Turkish family minister tries to get to Rotterdam to meet Turkish citizens, she is expelled to Germany. Supporters of Erdoğan clash with police outside the Turkish Consulate, but are driven off with the help of water cannons and dogs. Turkey breaks diplomatic contacts at the top level with the Netherlands and announces that the Dutch ambassador to Ankara, who is temporarily on vacation, is not welcome back.


Jihadists can be deprived of citizenship

February 7

The Senate votes for people with dual citizenship to be deprived of their Dutch passports if they are considered a risk to national security. The law can be used against people who join terror groups such as IS or al-Qaeda, even if they have not been convicted of any crime. In such cases, the Minister of Justice is entitled to revoke Dutch citizenship without going through court. The law is approved with the support of the government party VVD, the xenophobic PVV, the Christian Democratic CDA, the fundamentalist Christian SGP and the pensioner party 50+. The Labor Party, which is part of the government together with the VVD, voted against the proposal already adopted in the Second Chamber.


The Minister of Justice resigns

January 27

Justice Minister Ard van der Steur leaves his post after being criticized for his actions in connection with a hearing in Parliament on a scandal surrounding a payment to a convicted drug dealer. van der Steur is the third member of the Routes government to step down as a result of the scandal (see December and March 2015).

Netherlands Culture

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