Flat Earth News

message from Holland

Click here to go to the main blog page.

Tagged: / Posted: 29 August 2010

Hello, my name is Roeland Smeets, I work as a librarian at Barlaeus Gymnasium, a grammar school in the heart of Amsterdam, Holland. I write articles for Mediacoach, a Dutch magazine for (school-)librarians. Since many schools in Holland (including Barlaeus Gymnasium) claim they want to turn their students into critical citizens, I think it is my (and the teachers-) task to let them be critical about the information they are consuming. I read an interview with Nick Davies in a Dutch newspaper and was immediately interested in Flat earth News. I read the book and appreciated it, especially the parts that involved international politics, like the was in Irak. Of course we, in Holland, also have many examples of media manipulation. I'll mention one that is influencing (or paralyzing) politics in Holland at the moment. Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician, has attracted many votes. His party, the Party for Freedom, became, after elections in the spring of this year, the third party in Holland after the Liberals and Socialists. We still don't have a government because other political parties don't really want to be in a governement with him. But many people voted for him.... Anyway: how come so many people voted for him ? Well he is a one trick pony. He keeps telling us that Holland (and Europe) is being overrun by the Muslims. One of his claims is that there are 54 milion Muslims living in Europe at this moment. Wilders is smart, he is not lying, but his definition of "Europe" is a bit strange. If you include a large part of Russia in your definition of Europe, then you include many millions of muslims that have been living in the south of Russia for a long time. But if you define "Europe" as the European Union, then there are 20 million muslims living in it, not even 4 % of the population. Personally, I think we need books like Flat Earth News, very badly. Because examples of media manipulation keep popping up. So: journalists and librarians do your job! Greetings, Roeland Smeets

>>> Archive of Nick Davies work >>>