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The Netherlands: Society, Media & the Church. Fifth Professional Seminar for Church Communications Offices Pontificia Università della Santa Croce 27th of april 2006. Dutch society (1). 16 million inhibitants Randstad versus other provinces ‘Americanisation’ of the economy

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The Netherlands: Society, Media & the Church

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The netherlands society media the church

The Netherlands:Society, Media & the Church

Fifth Professional Seminar for Church Communications Offices

Pontificia Università della Santa Croce

27th of april 2006

Dutch society 1

Dutch society (1)

  • 16 million inhibitants

  • Randstad versus other provinces

  • ‘Americanisation’ of the economy

  • Central right government

  • Murder of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh

Dutch society 2

Dutch society (2)

  • Assylum/ integration of foreigners one of the leading political themes

  • As you all know…: strong on liberal values (homosexuality, euthanasia, drugs, prostitution)

Religion 1

Religion (1)

  • Dominant secular society, but ‘kind of religious intuition’ remains present

  • The image of a ‘protestant nation’, but catholic church by far the largest (4.5 million vs 2.5 million Reformed Church)

  • Mainstream Reformed Church in decline, growth of orthodox-protestant and evangelical movements

Religion 2

Religion (2)

  • Islam is growing fast (800.000-1 million), but lack of clarity in leadership

  • Hardly known: number of foreign christians also increasing strong (Rotterdam)

  • Church versus State ‘hot’ political issue (mainly because of radical muslim movements)

Catholic church 1

Catholic Church (1)

  • From one of the strongest catholic provinces in the world to the lowest

  • Seven percent of catholics attend Sunday mass (95% in the beginning of 20th cent)

  • Lack of vocations (esp. religious life)

  • Large number of lay pastoral assistents

  • Financial & organisational problems

Catholic church 2

Catholic Church (2)

  • Orthodox leadership versus dominant liberal flock & clerus

  • But… the ‘hot’ polarisation has ended

  • Looking for new inititiatives (small christian communities, Alpha course, etc)

  • New movements welcome, strong in quality but low in number

Media 1

Media (1)

  • Explosion of tv-broadcasters in the last two decades

  • Radio more and more a ‘jukebox’

  • Internet strong and still booming

  • Watching tv on internet increasing fast

  • Newspapers structural in decline

Media 2

Media (2)

  • No catholic daily newspaper

  • One semi-large general christian newspaper, two small orthodox-protestant newspapers

  • Two more or less catholic magazines with a small audience; no real popular ‘family style’ magazine

Media religion 1

Media & Religion (1)

  • New generation of journalists: from specialists with own agenda to generalists without knowledge

  • Islam has given new attention to public role of religion

  • Catholic church leadership leading in image of christianity

Media religion 2

Media & Religion (2)

  • Death of John Paul II turning point in media attention for catholic church

  • Bishops active on medical-ethical and social issues

  • Media attention strong on folkloristic and surprising news, low in ‘serious’ matters

Church communication 1

Church & Communication (1)

  • Professional quality (information bulletin Bconference, diocesan magazines, etc.)

  • Communication office Bishopsconference: 4 professionals

  • Communication offices dioceses: 1-3

  • Internet ok on national and diocesan level, moderate – weak in parishes

  • Electonical communication with parishes in development

Church communication 2

Church & Communication (2)

  • ‘Internal’ communication impossible without using external channels

  • Weak in measuring results of communication

  • Weak in focussing on a few issues

  • Difficult to broathen ‘the catholic voice’ to others than the bishops

Rkk zendtijd 1

RKK-zendtijd (1)

  • Unique in the world

  • State sponsored/ budget: EUR 7 mio

  • 56 hrs Television, nearly 200 hrs Radio and a very well developed website

  • From a service to catholics to an instrument for evangelisation

  • develops into an independant broadcaster

Rkk zendtijd 2

RKK-zendtijd (2)

  • Television: strong in emotion, weak in content

  • Radio: strong in content, weak in outreach

  • Internet: possibilities without a limit, but danger of becoming a narrowcaster

Rkk zendtijd 3

RKK-zendtijd (3)

  • God voor…

  • Afzien

  • Childtelevision

  • Videocasting on Internet

Having fun

Having Fun!

  • Campaign style of communications

  • Tests on internet

  • Sms mobile service Lent

  • Benedetto shirts during WYD

  • Podcasting priest

  • Daily mass by the Cardinal

And a campaign that didn t make it

And a campaign that didn’t make it…

Thoughts on the future

Thoughts on the future…

  • Internet & Mobile Phone the most important “killer applications”

  • Church communications has to be cross medial

  • Need for courage to explore new ways (games!) and strategies

Anselm grun osb

Anselm Grun osb:

“The most important challenge for a succesfull organisation

in our times is:

how to organize creativity”

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