State Secretary Uslu wants NPO action plan after DWDD revelations

Secretary of State for Culture and Media Gunay UsluImage ANP

Friday night reported de Volkskrant that behind the scenes The world goes on a culture of fear prevailed. Dozens of employees fell ill. For nine years, NPO director Frans Klein was closely involved on behalf of broadcaster Vara in the rise of DWDD, but he did not intervene after reports. Nor are his successors. Klein: “I never thought: there is an abuse here.”

“The public broadcaster, including BNNVara, must guarantee a safe workplace. For everyone,” said Secretary of State Uslu on Saturday afternoon in response to the article. “It is terrible that people had to work in these conditions. It touches me that employees have felt so unsafe and have been treated very badly. This is not how a workplace should be. Not even when people are under high pressure.”

According to the minister, success is never an excuse for unacceptable behaviour. “I have asked the chairman of the NPO to thoroughly investigate what happened here. I want an action plan with concrete steps to prevent this in the future and to change this behavior.”

No excuses

Even in work situations where the pressure is high, the environment should not look away, but people should address each other, reports Mariëtte Hamer. The PvdA celebrity is currently the government commissioner for sexually transgressive behavior and sexual violence.

Hamer recognizes in it Volkskrantarticle many of the mechanisms that also apply to sexually transgressive behavior, she says. And she sees an important role for the employer, in this case the public broadcaster, in tackling abuses; which is financed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

“I recognize that for people on temporary contracts, who love their job and who work in a competitive culture, that is very difficult. That is why it is especially important that the employer provides protection in this type of working environment,” says the government commissioner about public broadcasting. “Once again it shows how important it is that there is a good reporting structure, and that something actually happens with reports.”

Good employership

There are also voices from various political parties that it is important that public service broadcasters show good employment practices in this area. CDA Member of Parliament and former presenter Lucille Werner finds it ‘disconcerting’ that things could go so wrong with this show.

“Employees should always feel protected by colleagues and employer. It’s distressing that so many people in the workplace of DWDD have not felt this and have been harmed. Bad. Because things can be done differently, I know because I myself have worked in the sector for 25 years.”

The PVV is going hard towards the responsible top man, Frans Klein. “The socialist Vara talks about how idealistic they are. In the meantime, they gave Van Nieuwkerk an insane mega salary and director Frans Klein allowed him to terrorize young editors for fifteen years,” says Member of Parliament Martin Bosma (PVV). According to Bosma, Klein must ‘absolutely’ resign after the revelations about it DWDD.

NPO and broadcasters will soon come up with an action plan for a safe working environment

The NPO will draw up an action plan ‘in the short term’ together with all broadcasters ‘to ensure that there is a safe working environment for all employees of the public broadcaster at all times,’ said NPO chairman Frederieke Leeflang on Saturday.

She made this known after a discussion about this with Secretary of State Gunay Uslu (Media).

“At the public broadcasters, we are all extremely shocked by the large number of employees who have had negative and fearful experiences while working with the program DWDD,” says Lifelong. “This should never have happened. Saturday morning I talked about this with Secretary of State Gunay Uslu and we both came to the conclusion that we need to find out quickly and thoroughly what exactly happened here and what we can do as a public broadcaster to prevent such things in the future.”

The goal is to come up with ‘concrete actions’. “First of all, we do this for all employees of the public broadcaster; everyone who works in front of and behind the scenes on our programs. We also want to understand what exactly happened at DWDDso that we can learn from this for the future.”

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