At October 26 2016 Dutch Parliament had only its second plenary debate on MH17. The subject of the debate was the preliminary report of the Joint Investigation Team. JIT is responsible for the criminal investigation.
The debate lasted around 3,5 hours. A lot of interesting things were asked and said. However the Dutch media failed completely to report on what was said in the debate!
I wrote a summary of the debate here.
Some news which should have been reported by the media:
- Dutch government will only consider liability of Ukraine for not closing airspace after criminal investigation JIT has finished
- Ukraine is willing to transfer jurisdiction to the Netherlands according minister Klimkin
- In oktober 2017 a national archive on MH17 will be ready. The archive is important to be able to reconstruct and have ‘lessons learned’ on the acting by government and parliament on the MH17 case.
- Koenders states there is no agreement yet with Ukraine on prosecution
- Rutte denies that Ukraine made a second time a link between MH17 investigation and association treaty. This as an answer to questions by Harry van Bommel. Rutte however is wrong and not well informed! See this post.
One minor exception for newspaper Trouw and Telegraaf. Trouw published an article about the options for a court case. The newspaper did not report on any other subject of the debate. Telegraaf reported about “Ukraine is willing to transfer jurisdiction to the Netherlands” and the options for a court case.
Besides online, the printed editions of newspapers on October 27 did hardly have any coverage of the debate either. Telegraaf did a short article about the reaction of the next of kin on the debate in addition to the piece about the court case. None of the media covered the statements by the government. The screenshot below was taken from Blendle. The complete content of all major Dutch newspapers is accessible via Blendle.
All major newspapers and online news channels reported during the debate that Russia handed over a parcel with info on MH17. The Russian prosecutor stated the parcel contains the primary radar data. The article was distributed by pressagency ANP to the newsfeed of all major media in the Netherlands.
The most comprehensive reporting about the debate was done remarkably enough by the Dutch Parliament newsdesk itself. Here is a report on the website of the Tweede Kamer.
So how come the main stream media all failed to do proper reporting of the debate? Two possible reasons are:
- Dutch media is not aware what statements are relevant for publication.
- Dutch press agency ANP, which is a major supplier of news to newsdesks, did not cover the debate and did not release an article which newspaper could copy and paste.
As the debate ended around 21:00 which is long before the deadline of the printed edition of newspapers, this cannot be the reason for not including the coverage of the debate. Deadline for newspapers is around 23:00. Soon after the first editions are printed. Telegraaf showed that deadline is not an issue.
A major excuse of main stream media for not reporting news the next day is: this is old news. 298 people were killed and as a result states are very carefull to tell the truth.
It is not there were no journalists attending or watching the livestream. Some of the MSM journalists covering the debate on Twitter were: Jeroen Akkermans (RTL), Rudy Bouma (NOS Nieuwsuur), Fons Lambie (RTL) and Niels Rigter (Telegraaf). These journalists did a very good job. Such a pity their co-workers did not copy some of their Tweets into an article!
The best media coverage of the debate was done by Bart Nijdam of webblog GeenStijl which did both on Twitter and on the website comprehensive reporting.
All Dutch main stream media failed to report in detail on important statements by Dutch government on questions by the Parliament. Non-main stream media like GeenStijl and the website of the Parliament did a far better job!
This is a very serious issue and shows the weakness of main stream media. Media should report about the acting of governments as it has an important watchdog role.by