Alslandyske Nijs en Radiotsjinst
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|Founded||16 November 1929(with the launch of AFR) |
11 April 1987 (merged with Alslandyske televyzje)
Groeneveld kampus, Riverwâl, Yndyk,
|Services||Television and radio services|
|Owner||Government of Alsland|
Number of employees
(as of 31 December 2016)
|Divisions||ANS Television, Radio Alsland, ANS News,|
Alslandyske Nijs en Radiotsjinst (Dellish for "Alslandic News and Radio service"), commonly shortened to ANS, is the Public broadcaster of Alsland and is headquartered in Riverwâl, Yndyk. ANS was founded in 1987 as a merger between the Alslandic Federal radio service and Alslandic television under the terms of the Alslandic National Broadcaster act.
ANS is overseen by a board selected by the Government of Alsland which is headed by the Chairperson of ANS. Under the terms of the Alslandic National Broadcaster act, ANS and all other television networks in Alsland are regulated by the Broadcast Authority of Alsland. Since it's creation ANS has expanded and ANS can be streamed from across the world and via an app.
AFR was founded in 1929 to provide radio coverage to Yndyk's metropolitan area. Upon the outbreak of the Great War AFR was requisitioned to promote the new Popular Party government after the 1929 coup d'etat. Many AFR broadcasters fled Yndyk during the coup and the station was severely understaffed for the duration of the war.
After the war AFR expanded to cover much of Alsland. In 1960 the Televyzjetoer was constructed to increase AFR and AT's broadcasting capability in the Yndyk region and quickly became a tourist attraction. In 1982 AFR declared bankruptcy and began laying off staff en masse. As a result AFR began reducing it's broadcasting capabilities which led to the government renationalising the company.
In 1987 Alslandyske televyzje (AT) and AFR merged to form ANS. Their services were officially incorporated. In 1989, Secretary of Culture Hans Jongbloed confirmed that ANS would continue to be funded publicly and serve as Alsland's official public broadcaster. ANS' first Chairperson Friedrich Happe was fired after being arrested for embezzling public funds and fraud.
In 2006 after the aftermath of Suksesgate, Jui Hamstra was appointed as ANS' chairperson to fix the declining viewership and record low trust among the public. Hamstra agreed to several wide ranging reforms including pay cuts and new rules on bias and neutrality. Hamstra's reforms were credited with saving ANS from bankruptcy and public confidence in the broadcaster was restored. However viewership continued to decline which was partially fuelled by the rise of the internet and streaming services.
Appointment of former Government officials
In 2001, Bonne Zijlstra was accused of appointing pro-Government members to ANS' board. Several Progressive Alliance donors and a former Progressive Senator were appointed to the board of the company. Later ANS was accused of not dedicating enough coverage to allegations of harassment within the government which were being widely reported in the media. In the run up to the 2003 Legislative election opposition parties accused ANS of covering Zijlstra's government in an unfairly positive light whilst the opposition candidates were depicted in a negative light. The allegations were denied by Zijlstra during the campaign. The allegations were widely accepted to have played a role in the Progressive Alliance losing it's majority in the election.
In 2004 a whistleblower within ANS said that the board members appointed by Zijlstra had placed pressure on Journalists on how they covered stories relating to the government. The whistleblower claimed that an unidentified board member had threatened to fire a producer if the 2002 Budget was covered in anything but a positive light. It was also claimed that after Martina Scott succeeded Zijlstra, journalists were ordered to portray her in a positive light and a board member allegedly threatened a journalist with being fired after including a detail about Scott's alleged drug use as a teenager.
Suksesgate was a term coined for the political scandal during the premiership of Jonathan Fraser when ANS newsreaders would only cover the government's successes. The term was coined in 2013 during an interview with Secretary of Social Affairs Lijkle Mulder when ANS newsreader Rykholt Zwart only referred to policies enacted by the government as 'successes'. The interview sparked backlash and led to ANS firing Zwart and conducting an internal review into their journalists practices. In total 5 journalists and 2 newsreaders were fired after they were found to be biased towards the Progressive Alliance.
Aarnd Hellinga led condemnations of ANS following 'Suksesgate' and threatened to defund the company if it did not solve the issues surrounding bias. Zwart was forced to apologise publicly after being fired and said a lack of judgement and claimed he was drunk during the interview. Later on Zwart said that a culture of bias existed within the ANS. Zwart said that ANS was terrified of losing it's special relationship with the government and would intentionally try to praise and flatter government officials.