(j bosma) (by way of Pit Schultz ) on Thu, 18 Jul 96 15:03 MDT

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

nettime: Het Paradijs off the air

VPRO's Het Paradijs  (The Paradise) thrown off the air!!

   The VPRO, a dutch national broadcasting company with an avantgarde, 
intelectual reputation,has decided to stop its weekly radioshow 'The 
Paradise' from september the first 1996. Reasons given for this action are: 
lack of journalistic content, too little explanation and too much made for 
an incrowd audience. They also do not want a target program in the middle of 
the night.
   This decision fits the image of an operation "CleanSweep" within the
VPRO. Initiatives in the field of new media that work in an open, 
non-commercial, political-cultural manner are pushed aside. This in favor of
the arrogant, cynical top-down coverage of the so-called professional
journalist that knows and has seen all .Now the old garde has had enough of
the new media. Also the the television programs W.E.B. and W.E.B.worldreceiver
are erased and the makers kicked onto the street. In the light of an
uncertain future a safe and conventional approach is prefered.
   But something else also is in play. The VPRO-veterans, that have a
steady contract, feel threatened by the developments in the public
broadcasting domain due to commercial stations and kick those under them. With
this in mind we should look at their opinion that the free-lancers endanger the
VPRO with their unorthodox methods, cannot deliver quality and let to many 
outsiders to the microphone.
   Public access is a political item that takes up an important place in 
circles of Internet- and camcorder-activism. For many public access is not 
just nice thought but someting that has to be put into practise here and 
now. In the case of for instance the programs that have now been dumped by 
the VPRO this does not lead to a sort of impressionist author-radio or tv 
but a lively view of what is happening and what positions are being taken. 
To let others speak is not clever for your career though, is the message of 
the VPRO-management.
HET PARADIJS was initiated to get new blood for the VPRO from free 
radiostations, local stations and schools for journalism. The past season 
amongst other things there has been attention for a series of 
network-conferences (DEAF, Doors of Perception, Next Five Minutes), 
cyberculture in London, Kiev and India, the Scientology-case and the Van 
Traa-report on-line, illegal 'citizens', squatters-news, threatened
radiostations, independent media in Former Jugoslavia, the womenconference
in Peking, a number of self-produced cut up pieces,a radioplay-series from
Antwerp, the relationship between radio and computer, the best of G-force
Radio made by the Institution of Affordable Madness, Radio The Free Emperor
(amsterdams last political squatters-radiostation which is still on the air)
and the Radio Patapoe notorious show 'Men like a Warm Shower' and many
smaller items, hot and less hot.

The editors of HET PARADIJS have been trying unsuccesfully to get a better 
broadcasting time to reach more people. It is ironic in a suspicious way 
that the bad broadcasting time that was forced upon the show by 'higher 
authority' is now used as an argument to drop this hot potato. What is more,
the 'lack of journalistic content' ,the 'too little explenation' and 'made
for an incrowd audience' which are given as important reasons to get rid of
the program only show the incompetence of the ruling old garde to deal with
subjects and format of a new age they so much wanted to be part of. The
'elitist' or 'incrowd'- argument is the strangest of all, as the VPRO thanks
it good reputation and most of its members to not succumbing to forces of
popularisation in the public broadcasting world. 

An attempt was made earlier this year to start a cooperation between the
TV, radio, Digital attic and the magazine by amongst others people from HET 
PARADIJS and W.E.B. to coordinate the attention given to new media. This 
failed due to the rigid structures within the VPRO. Every medium has its own 
path and they hardly ever meet. When it comes to the subject of new media: 
the hype may be over, but that doesn't mean the subject can be swept off the 
table. The VPRO should dig into this deeper instead of pretending its a 
storm that will pass. The structure of the Internet will put the VPRO in 
need of reorganisation in the long run.

Radio, TV and the net will cooperate more and more and bounderies between
them will blur. This development now, after starting off enthousiastically,
leads to the first conflicts. The VPRO tries to solve its problems in an easy
way, by simply not renewing the contracts of the free-lancers. They hope that 
will be it, unaware of what potential they throw overboard. If new media 
will be covered still, it will be the traditional way, top down, from the
all-knowing to the dumb. This will produce compromises that will satisfy
nobody, neither the absolute beginners, nor the connoisseurs.

HET PARADIJS, every night from tuesday till wednesday between 01.00 and 
02.00 hours. Last broadcast agust 28th. Editors: Bart Schut, Geert Lovink.

This piece was wildly translated by Josephine Bosma.

*  distributed via nettime-l : no commercial use without permission
*  <nettime> is a closed moderated mailinglist for net criticism,
*  collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
*  more info: and "info nettime" in the msg body
*  URL:  contact: