The Netherlands public-service broadcasting system is confronted with an austerity policy of the present liberal-christian democrat minority cabinet, supported by the populist Party for Freedom. The Rutte cabinet also aims at scaling back the amount of large member-based broadcasting associations. Merger talks are now high on the agenda in Hilversum. Apart from the large member-based broadcasters a small amount of airtime is given to several broadcast organizations that represent the main religious or spiritual communities (catholic, protestant, jewish, buddhist, humanist, hindu, islamic). They are also involved in the merger talks. This article clarifies their present position in the Dutch broadcasting system under the Media Act. It is argued that they should integrate to form one, internally pluralist, task-based broadcaster for ‘higher things’, especially in order to stimulate religious encounters and dialogue.
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