ABSTRACT

This chapter looks at how accessible and open media organisations are towards members of the public. It examines how news organisations in the Netherlands respond to public complaints in an online environment. The number of fact-checking news desks has increased in media organisations in the Netherlands. The fact that social media are seen as a multi-headed beast, a Russian roulette or millions of frogs leaping out of a wheelbarrow, is indicative of the problems that news organisations are facing: the urgent need to respond to the public as fast as possible. The chapter shows that social media are not so much felt as an opportunity for public accountability but remain at the level of panic discourse. Responding to public complaints is felt as an obvious task for news organisations today, with a greater focus on personal response. The advent of social media as a new form of public accountability demands a new look at organisational complaints policies.