Reliable news in these challenging times

April 10, 2020

04/09/2020, The Netherlands, RTL Nederland

Remote and agile working where possible, delivering reliable and credible information, while protecting the employees’ health, these are the main priorities of the RTL Nederland newsroom.

Our broadcasting news teams are working around the clock and pulling out all the stops to keep millions of people facing unprecedented disruption to their daily lives informed about the latest coronavirus developments. Backstage has launched a special series acknowledging the work that these teams are doing. We now continue this series by looking at the great work being done by our colleagues at RTL Nederland.

The efforts of the RTL Nederland news team are paying off as there is a clear increase in the number of viewing time and the usage of its online portals. To name a few, RTL 4’s 19:30 news bulletin has seen an especially strong increase in viewing figures, as the number of its total audience viewers (people aged 6 years and older) has risen by no less than 47 per cent and by as much as 54 per cent in its target group of people aged 25 to 54 who are responsible for household purchases (period 16-29 March 2020).  The greatest improvement in performance has been at the weekend: the number of total viewers has shot up by 67 per cent to 1,720,000 (in the demographic 6 years and older), and the 19:30 news bulletin has netted an audience share of over 35 per cent in the key target group.

Online, the weekly page views on RTL Nieuws and on the website of the news channel RTL Z tripled since January 2020.* Online page views of the online portals for the month of March has reached 250 million, while the best ever month to date was July 2019 with 134 million views.

Harm Taselaar, Editor-in-Chief of RTL Nieuws, says: “In these challenging times, RTL Nieuws has two key priorities: protecting its employees’ health and continuing to deliver high-quality, reliable news. This last point is important because there is a lot of misleading information out there. News consumers need to be able to count on the accuracy of the news they hear.

To ensure continuity, many at RTL Nieuws are currently working from home. However, not everyone is able to do so. Take our reporters, for instance. They travel around the country, put together their reports on location, sometimes even in their cars, when they have no other option, and then head home, hoping that they have not caught anything. Presenters, chief editors and some other editors, directors, supervisors and coordinators also have jobs that are impossible, or at least very inconvenient, to do from home. Most of our online editors are working from home though.

In short, we are pulling out all the stops to give our viewers the news they deserve. That is our goal, our mission – it is what we have been trained to do. Our viewers are relying on us and we will not let them down.”

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