Dutch state news NOS does factual incorrect reporting only corrects after four requests

2015-01-30 06:01:18 HILVERSUM - Beveiligers bij de ingang van het pand van de NOS op het Mediapark in Hilversum de ochtend na de gijzeling door een 19-jarige gewapende man. De student uit Pijnacker eiste bij de NOS zendtijd tijdens het Achtuurjournaal. ANP KOEN VAN WEEL
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Update: NOS adjusted the text. See end of this blog.

Dutch state news NOS has been notorious for their coloured, biased reporting. I wrote a detailled blogpost about the unbalanced anti Russia reporting done by NOS on MH17 here.

This blogpost exposes another error (or deliberate wrong reporting) in NOS reporting which could  direct the ignorant news consumer to an opinion of Russia hiding information.

Dutch webblog De Stille Waarheid initially discovered the error of NOS here.

I contacted NOS several times on the phone and by Twitter to indicate this error. We are now over 30 hours after the initial contact and NOS still not adjusted the error!


NOS published at February 9 this article. It is about the letter of the Russian aviation authority Rosaviatsiya to the next of kin of MH17 passengers. The next of kin wrote a letter to Putin and Poroshenko requesting to cooperate in handing over radar and satellite info.

NOS made a factual incorrect statement in this line:

Hij gaat niet in op de vraag of Rusland over de satellietbeelden beschikt.

Translation: he (Oleg Stortsjevoj  of Rosaviatsiya) does not address the question if Russia has satellite photos


This is a clear wrong reporting! And NOS should know as they link to an article of Russian Tass. Strange however that NOS links to the Russian language version. Tass also has an English language version of the same article here.

The Tass article states (Google translated)

With regard to the satellite images, it would point out that in the first days after the crash, Russian Federation has published all its existing satellite data. They, in particular, support the movement and increased activity of Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile systems such as “Buck” directly into the zone of armed conflict in eastern Ukraine on the eve of the tragedy. Russia handed over the data to RLS, however, as we were able to verify this after the final report, Russian satellite data were not included in the RLS and not included in the document.

Okay. So maybe NOS did not trust Tass. Let us have a look at a different news source. Russia Today reports as well about the letter here. Russia Today writes in english so that is easier for NOS to understand,

Russia Today as well states that Oleg Stortsjevoj does address the satellite info.

As far as satellite imagery is concerned, I would like to stress that Russia disclosed all of its available satellite data in the days immediately following the crash. Those data confirm, among other things, that there was movement and increased activity by Ukrainian Buk surface-to-air missile systems observed within the conflict area in Eastern Ukraine one day ahead of the tragedy. Russia shared that information with the Dutch Safety Board, but once its final report was released, it turned out the DSB had chosen not to consider Russian satellite data or even include them in the report.


According to Pravda.ru the letter of Stortsjevoj was published by Russia Today. So this makes it extreme unlikely NOS has a different source for the letter. Pravda.ru by the way also writes about the satellite info.

Trying to have NOS correct their mistake

I was under the impression that NOS made a mistake. So I called NOS. The article was written by someone working for the NOS Online newsdesk. I made a telephone call. NOS advised me to send an email. Which I promptly did at February 11 around 13:00. I did not get a response. So I decided to sent a Tweet to someone working at NOS. Anouk Tijssen responded via Tweet and she confirmed at February 11 at around 22:00 she had informed the news desk.

The next day, Friday February 12 no response from NOS. So I made another phonecall. I had a friendly talk with a NOS newsdesk employee. He told me NOS will look into it. NOS wants to make sure the news is correct.

At Friday February 12 17:00 the article was still not adjusted.

So I made a third telephone call to NOS. Yes, I am dedicated to truth. Again I spoke to someone of NOS. She was aware of my previous call and told me NOS is looking into it. She told me the author of the article was not reachable and he/she has some documents.

We are now 30 hours after my initial email in which I pointed out the error. NOS seems very easy in making mistakes and not doublechecking facts. But if someone points NOS to an error, all of a sudden factchecking is very important and only the original author seems to know his stuff.

Even after sending the email to NOS twice I did not get a reply.

To be continued!

Weird, just weird.

Update Saturday February 13: 

NOS adjusted the article on Saturday February 13. The line in yellow was added. The translation is: Stortsjevoj just repeats that shortly after the disaster all available images were shared.



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1 Comment on Dutch state news NOS does factual incorrect reporting only corrects after four requests

  1. Martien Pieters // March 1, 2016 at 4:04 pm // Reply

    Een hoog papegaaien gedrag bij de NOS is mij zeker niet ontgaan. Zeker wat betreft de vooringenomenheid in vele politieke standpunten heeft de NOS de neiging om de regering na te praten.
    Toch is mij niet bekend dat er een grote angstcultuur hangt bij de omroepstichting, zoals dat bij veel overheidsorganisaties (justitie, provincie, gemeentes) in de organisatie sluipt. Wel regeert bij de sportverslaggever voetbal, hetgeen neem ik aan voor de meeste mensen niet erg interessant is, zeker als het over juridische of financiele dingen gaat en dat terwijl er rond vooral professioneel voetbal een sfeer van agressie hangt, die zich met regelmaat uit.

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