Radio Program ‘Op de Klippen’ Discusses Quality of Press on Bonaire

A view of Saturdays program during one of the musical breaks. Photo: Op de Klippen

KRALENDIJK – On Saturday afternoon from 12 to 2, the Dutch-language radio program ‘Op de Klippen’ discussed the quality of the press on Bonaire. The discussion was prompted by recent criticism from Bonaire’s Island Council, regarding an alledged lack of quality in the local press.

Under the guidance of presenters Martijn Hisschemoller and Judith Brekelmans, invited guests Bubui Cecilia (BonFM), Harald Linkels (ABC Online Media), and Island Council member Yona Chirino (UPB) debated the topic.

Chirino mentioned that, in hindsight, she might have aimed for a different wording in the letter sent by the Island Council. “The current letter didn’t really specify the issue, making it seem like there’s criticism of all media on the island. That’s not the case, and we need to acknowledge that,” said the UPB Council lady.

Cecilia expressed concern about radio and TV stations on the island that do not disclose when programs are paid for by specific sponsors. The radio station owner believes that this distinction is currently blurred. “Advertising is fine, but it should be clear that it’s advertising,” said Cecilia. Both guests and presenters agreed on this point.


Linkels emphasized that the strengths of the press on Bonaire should also be acknowledged. “First, consider the quality of local press in an average municipality in the Netherlands with 25,000 inhabitants. From that perspective, Bonaire has tremendous diversity and quality when it comes to local press.” Linkels also noted that the island produces daily news in not just one, but at least three languages, which makes Bonaire relatively unique.


None of the participants considered the fact that almost all press on the island relies on advertising revenue to be a significant problem, especially since there are no other income sources, such as Government subsidies. 

Cecilia reiterated his previously expressed objections to the introduction of a state broadcaster or public system, which some seem to advocate for. “In our situation on a crowded market, that quickly becomes unfair competition.”

Linkels also pointed out that many readers expect Media on the island to engage much more in investigative journalism, but little thought is given to how that should be funded.

Both the presenters and the guests agreed that the topic is so interesting that it deserves another broadcast dedicated to it.

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