That is what WNL editor-in-chief Bert Huisjes said on Wednesday in the NPO Radio 1 program Spraakmakers. He speaks on behalf of a number of broadcasters, including KRO-NCRV, MAX and WNL. “We are still discussing this, but a majority is emerging,” Huisjes said.
The position was the result of a consultation between the heads of journalism of most broadcasters. These consultations take place on a regular basis. “We no longer want to talk about journalism with Ongehoord, because what they do is not journalism,” Huisjes said in the broadcast. “They make a pamphlet-like program that uses structures that we recognize from journalism. But the interviewers are Twitter agitators like Raisa Blommestijn, without any journalistic experience or background.”
CDA wants measures against broadcaster ON, ‘administrative courage is lacking’
The CDA believes that State Secretary Gunay Uslu (Media and Culture) is taking measures against broadcaster Ongehoord Nederland (ON), according to parliamentary questions from the CDA faction. According to the petitioner Lucille Werner, it now appears to be ‘lack of administrative courage’ to act against ON.
She wants to know who is responsible for checking whether ON complies with the conditions set for admission to the system, and wants to know what duties and powers the NPO Ombudsman, the Media Authority and the State Secretary have in the case. They often refer to each other when the call to action is heard.
So far, Uslu has been of the opinion that it will only intervene once ON has been sanctioned twice by the Commissariat. After that, she herself is authorized to intervene, she stated earlier. Uslu said several times that he did not want to influence the content of programs of the public broadcaster.
The broadcasters also disapprove of the fact that there is rarely a rebuttal in Ongehoord Nieuws. “Someone with whom the microphone is turned off in the House of Representatives, may be completely deflated at Ongehoord in a kind of journalistic setting,” said Huisjes. He seems to be referring to Forum for Democracy leader Thierry Baudet. During the General Deliberations in the House, he was denied the floor because he made suggestive statements about Minister Sigrid Kaag and the British university she had attended. The day after, Baudet was a guest in Ongehoord Nieuws. “Unheard News does not pursue any journalistic goals. Its sole purpose is to extend the vote of Forum for Democracy.”
‘Ended in screaming’
According to Huisjes, the journalistic consultation with Ongehoord boss Arnold Karskens ‘has already been completely derailed and ended in screaming’. The WNL boss emphasizes that the journalistic consultation of the NPO is not about the question of whether the broadcasting license of Ongehoord Nederland is under discussion. “As far as I am concerned, they should be removed from the system. But it is now about a different discussion: that they should not be allowed to call journalism companies and the program that way.”
Ongehoord Nederland previously received a financial sanction from the NPO after an investigation by the Ombudsman into complaints that the broadcaster spreads incorrect and unreliable information, that the journalists did not ask enough critical questions and that the guests mainly came from the right. This is contrary to the Journalistic Code of the NPO. The Ombudsman considered these complaints to be largely well-founded. The Ombudsman has launched a new investigation after a much-discussed item that showed videos of random black people beating up white people without any context.
Huisjes is not the first broadcaster to be critical of Ongehoord Nederland. KRO-NCRV director Peter Kuipers and Omroep MAX boss Jan Slagter previously stated that Ongehoord should be removed from the system. State Secretary Gunay Uslu has so far put the ball down with the NPO.
Arnold Karskens and Ongehoord Nederland could not be reached for comment on Wednesday morning.