NOS and NRC are reliable, Geenstijl and Telegraaf are not reliable

Which newspaper do you personally trust the most? Do you agree with the following findings?

(1) Image taken from Joop

Research from NewCom showed that the public has the most confidence in the news source and in the offline newspaper NRC Handelsblad. However, the public found the news source and the offline newspaper De Telegraaf not reliable. This news website scored a score of 5.0 and the newspaper had the weakest ranking of all newspapers (score was 4.7). Questions have been raised regarding the trustworthiness and reliability of De Telegraaf. For this reason we decided to chose this medium for a fact-checking project.

De Telegraaf
De Telegraaf is a national newspaper that appears six days a week and attracts various readers. This newspaper is also seen as the most popular due to the fact that it has a lot of entertainment content besides the serious articles. Additionally, De Telegraaf also pays a lot of attention to sport and gossip in which they deviate from the other newspapers that focus more on qualitative articles instead of entertaining. Every day the following sections are included: national and international news, finance, sports, gossip and travelling. The head quarter of this newspaper is located in Amsterdam.

(2) Image taken from Wikipedia

According to the “HOI Institute For Media Editing” the circulation figure in 2014 was about 455.927 (Telegraaf, 2015). This number decreased in comparison with the last years (see image 3 on the lift), however, the number of digital readers increased (see image 3 on the right). This shows that the offline newspapers are becoming less popular and partly replaced by online newspapers.

(3) Image taken from Volkskrant

If you want to stay up to date of the daily news as a Dutch reader, you can choose between about ten different national newspapers. The newspaper industry is still the way for people to stay up to date with the current news in the world. Different subjects such as local and international news, sports, fashion, gossip and entertainments are taken care of. However, most newspapers have the most ‘shocking’ events on the front page in order to attract the audience. In today’s society people are still purchasing the papers however all news is also available on the Internet.

As mentioned before, for this project we decided to choose the Dutch newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’. This newspaper has been in the news a lot due to bad reports and questionable assumptions. For instance, evidence has shown that this newspaper reported incorrect information on purpose. Additionally, they often fake interviews (Happynews, 2015). More information about cases of De Telegraaf can be found in the following video:

All in all, it is one of the least objective newspapers in Holland with a lot of gossip, shocking subjects and exaggerating titles. They try to sell their paper not only with trustworthy facts. Therefore, it has a bad name in Holland already since the Second World War due to the fact that it has been seen as a Nazi-paper. De Telegraaf was forbidden to produce any new newspapers the first four years after the war. In this project we wanted to cover several sections from the newspaper, therefore we decided to fact-check five articles on different topics. The following categories were included: science, politics, entertainment, remarkable news and the national news.

As you might have noticed, De Telegraaf is not really trustful. Consequently, as a reader you should not directly trust what is written in a newspaper and take the sources in mind when a journalist is suggesting something. It often happens that citizens receive the wrong information because they have read a news article where a journalist has drawn a wrong conclusion from certain datasets or interpreted data incorrectly.

If someone bases an argument on a source such as The Gloss you should probably not take it really serious, but should you take De Telegraaf serious? Think about the following question: did you ever check the sources journalists are referring to? And how about the facts? This is also known as fact-checking, in other words you want to verify the factual accuracy of the given facts.

(4) Image taken from De Efteling

Down the years De Telegraaf has built a reputation in the Netherlands as a news organization that is not to be trusted. It is known for carrying sensational news items that are meant to attract readers but often lacking in substance. De Telegraaf also has a reputation for refusing inquiries from readers and other interested parties. Calls were placed to De Telegraaf for all the five articles fact-checked in the project. It is on record that on each occasion De Telegraaf refused to disclose its sources, or deny any of its article which are published online and offline in print formats. In fact an unidentified staff in the news department confirmed that non verification of articles upon inquiry by members of the public was a statutory organizational policy that is strictly adhered to by De Telegraaf. However, it must be stated eloquently that De Telegraaf has also been known to carry some genuine and authentic news items in time past. It is therefore the responsibility of the reader to confirm the authenticity of news items before digesting them hook, line and sinker.


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