About Media Network
On Thursday 7th May 1981, the first edition of Media Network was broadcast by Radio Netherlands. It was a “communications” magazine designed to reflect the world of broadcasting, giving listeners an insight into why and how the business was evolving. This weekly show ran for almost 20 years and over 1000 editions. It was hosted by Jonathan Marks, who was to become Head of the English Language Department, then Director of Programmes and finally Creative Director at Radio Netherlands. Jonathan left the organisation in 2003 to set up a media consultancy, Critical Distance.
Media Network was a pioneer in the use of electronic communications. There were early experiments with computer bulletin boards in the late 1980’s. As e-mail began to evolve, Media Network encouraged listeners to use its e-mail box in 1991 as “another way” to send timely material to the show. Programme previews were also important in an era when it was difficult to get topical information to listeners outside The Netherlands. By 1994 the programme had set up one of the first broadcast websites in the Netherlands, posting the text from some of the booklets sent out to listeners on request, such as the Receiver Shopping List and the Booklist. When Andy Sennitt, who had been a contributor to Media Network in his role as editor of the World Radio TV Handbook, came to work full time at Radio Netherlands, the Internet site was expanded into what we called a Webzine. The radio show ended in October 2000, and in spring 2003, as war broke out in Iraq, we needed a way to post the latest media developments. So the Media Network Weblog was established, and it expanded into a general newsfeed of media developments around the world.
In June 2006, we moved the Weblog to servers in Hilversum. The Weblog continued, updated almost every day including weekends, until 24 March 2012 when Andy Sennitt took early retirement from Radio Netherlands Worldwide following the Dutch government’s decision to cut the budget of the organisation by 70 percent.
The Weblog remains online as an searchable archive of international media news from 2003 to 2012. There are over 15,600 news items and almost 14,000 user comments in the database. Unfortunately the commenting facility has had to be switched off due to the large amount of spam that would otherwise accumulate.