As an expat, you have a wide range of media outlets on offer to you in the Netherlands. Plus, you will not have to learn Dutch in order access them! This page will give you a rundown of how to keep up with news and entertainment as an English speaker in Holland. If you do speak the local language, you can read all about the nature of the Dutch media here too.
Printed Media in NL
Here are a few facts about Dutch printed media:
- There are 11 independent newspaper companies in the Netherlands
- Collectively, these companies publish 27 newspapers a day
- Nine of the papers are nation-wide
- The other 18 papers are regional
- This amounts to a daily total of 3.1 million papers published per day in the Netherlands
- Of this 3.1 million newspapers, 54% are national and 46% are regional
- Each paper has its own editorial staff
- There is one subscription-free Dutch newspaper called Metro. You can find this paper on most Dutch trains
- Fifty out of every 100 households receive a daily newspaper in the Netherlands
- 92% of newspapers distributed in the Netherlands are sold to subscribers
- This gives the Netherlands the highest percentage of newspaper subscribers in the world
- Approximately 23% of subscribers share their newspaper with, for instance, their neighbors
Newspapers in the Netherlands
If you don’t Speak Dutch
Do not despair. You certainly will not have to wait until you speak Dutch before you can read about what is going on in the world. Often, even the smallest Dutch towns will sell magazines like:
Nationwide Dutch Newspapers
If you are trying to improve your Dutch, the newspaper is a fantastic learning resource. There are five major nationwide newspapers in the Netherlands. They are:
- De Telegraaf. Crculation :430,686
- De Volkskrant. Circulation: 237,409)
- The AD. Circulation: 340,209
- NRC Handelsblad. Circulation: 154,986
- Trouw. Circulation: 98,259
Regional Dutch Newspapers
- Regional Newspapers can provide you with important information about what is going on in your region
- If you want stay up to date on events in your town, you can take out a subscription to your local town paper
- There are a few regional newspapers whose number of subscribers exceeds that of some of the much larger nationwide papers!
- FD is a newspaper that is very popular amongst those who are active in the business world:
- It contains news on economics and stock market analyses
- It has a circulation of: 46,557
- This number does not include online subscriptions
- To get an idea of how many people actually subscribe to a publication, you multiply the number of hard-copy subscribers by 5. That’s a lot of people!
Television in the Netherlands
For Non-Dutch Speakers
As with the printed media in the Netherlands, you will not be deprived of telly if you have not yet mastered Dutch. Television in the Netherlands is subtitled, in Dutch! This means that all foreign movies, TV series and other programs will be broadcast in their original language.
TV Channels in the Netherlands
The Netherlands has a plethora of cable television channels to choose from including:
Keep in mind that the cable package available to you will depend on where you live.
Dutch Broadcasting Companies
Dutch broadcasting companies generally have some sort of denomination or political leaning. The major companies are:
- TROS (general)
- VARA (social-democratic)
- AVRO (general)
- NCRV (Protestant)
- KRO (Catholic)
- VPRO (progressive)
- BNN (general, young audience)
- EO (evangelical Christian)
Broadcasting Company Backgrounds
All these companies work together in the ‘NOS‘: The Netherlands Broadcasting Corporation. They share broadcasting time on Nederland 1, 2 and 3. What’s the deal with the denominations?
- The company’s political and/or religious orientations do not mean that they only show content related to their principles
- You will not, for example, be able to see solely Catholic programs on the KRO, or social-democratic programs on the VARA
- The denominations relate to where the broadcasting company originated from
- Only a percentage of the programs on any channel will be in line with its affiliation
- The EO is an exception to this rule, which broadcasts very specific programs
Some of the companies have merged together to form:
Non-Dutch TV Channels
You will be able to access plenty of non-Dutch channels in the Netherlands as well. These include:
- RTL 4, 5, 7 and 8
- Net 5
- SBS 6 and 9
- The Discovery Channel
- The National Geographic
- Animal Planet
- As well as other German, Belgian and British channels
Kid’s TV in NL
Children’s television programs are available daily, from 7 A.M, on several of the Dutch channels. There are also shows for your kids on: Nickelodeon, Ketnet/Canvas (Belgium) and BBC 2. For an overview of what’s on, take a look at the ‘TV Gids‘.
Did you buy a beautiful Dutch Farmhouse in the middle of nowhere? Have you discovered, with horror, that you do not have access to cable? Don’t sell up! You have the option to:
- Purchase a satellite dish
- Invest in a ‘digitenne‘
- Make do with satellite TV. This is a really strong option. It will bring you many international TV and movie channels
Radio in the Netherlands
Like pretty much anywhere in the world, Dutch radio is quite straight forward. Here are the bullet points:
- The Netherlands has five national radio stations
- There are several Dutch regional stations too
- You can, of course, listen to broadcasts from just about anywhere in the world
- Listening to Dutch radio on your way to work is a great way to grow better accustomed to the language. Why not try to pick up a few Dutch phrases to try out on the neighbors?
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