AD: There has been a culture of fear at WNL for years by broadcaster Huisjes

There has been a culture of fear at NPO broadcaster WNL for years, mainly because of the behavior of broadcaster Bert Huisjes. That’s what it writes A.D Wednesday based on conversations with 25 (former) employees of WNL, including Eva Jinek, Leonie ter Braak and Merel Westrik. Huisjes is said to have been structurally guilty of bullying, intimidation, manipulative behavior and pregnancy discrimination since his appointment as director and editor-in-chief in 2011. Some employees are said to have suffered a burnout, become overstressed and ended up seeing a psychologist.

Broadcaster WNL, which was founded in 2009 and profiles itself as ‘cheerfully right-wing’, emerged as one of the worst broadcasters in the report of the Van Rijn committee about abuses within the NPO. 29 percent of WNL employees gave the working atmosphere a grade of 5 or lower, and 94 percent experienced bullying behavior. For comparison: the average score of all broadcasters was 6.4 and 74 percent of the employees of all broadcasters experienced bullying behavior.

Several prominent figures object A.D their story with name and surname. Westrik, former presenter of the WNL program Nowadays, says that Huisjes was “nice” one moment and could “question your position” shortly afterwards. “I sometimes compare it to a dog that you stroke three times and then kick.” Ter Braak says that she lived in uncertainty about her position during her maternity leave and that she lost her solo spot on television upon her return. Jinek says: “It is not without reason that I worked there for such a short time.”

‘Watching the greatest men become small’

The (former) employees who A.D spoke anonymously and said that it was almost impossible to enter into a discussion with Huisjes. People who did so would have disappeared after a few months, because their contracts were not renewed or because they left themselves. Another employee says: “I have seen the greatest men become small because of Huisjes’ behavior.”

Houses leave a comment to it A.D know is “sorry” to hear that the 25 (former) employees have had “bad experiences”. He says he has “definitely made mistakes” in his work. According to him, the fact that discussions were conducted “sometimes too vigorously” says something about “the ambitions and commitment”. Based on the results of the Van Rijn committee report, WNL is said to have taken several measures and will take even more.

The WNL Supervisory Board said in a response that it found it “unfortunate” that “a number of former employees have bad memories about their time at WNL.” The council also emphasizes that it has received responses of support for Huisjes from “important editors and presenters who still work at WNL and do not recognize the accusations at all.”

Sven Kockelman, among others, says against it A.D to “not at all” recognize themselves in the culture of fear described. The council also writes that it is fortunate to have “an editor-in-chief who, like every human being, is of course not without sins, but has achieved an enormous amount.”