Matthijs van Nieuwkerk lashes out at a number of colleagues in the first statement he sent to de Volkskrant, but which has not been published. This is revealed by journalist Willem Feenstra.

    © NPO, RTL

    It took de Volkskrant an incredible amount of effort to get a response from Matthijs van Nieuwkerk to the months-long investigation into his misconduct on the work floor of De Wereld Draait Door. At the very last moment, last Friday afternoon, it still came. And that reaction stunned the newspaper and his own BNNVARA.

    Two statements

    The Volkskrant article was published in the evening at 8.30 pm and Matthijs made his statement at 2.30 pm, which he sent to the newspaper and to his broadcaster at the same time. He showed no regrets in that. “Matthijs’s reaction disappoints us and forces us to consider,” BNNVARA then told the newspaper.

    Fifteen minutes later, Matthijs came under pressure from the broadcaster with a reaction in which he suddenly regrets and only that reaction was included in the newspaper, but that is not the end of the matter. BNNVARA makes no secret of the fact that the broadcaster is very disappointed with that initial reaction.

    Matthews lashes out

    Why was it not decided to publish that first statement? “Well, look, that is very complicated,” explains Willem Feenstra, one of the three writers of the Volkskrant article, in Renze Klamer’s talk show. “We were under a lot of time pressure at the time, because it was really late in the afternoon.”

    He continues: “In that statement he also lashed out at a number of people. We didn’t have time to get back there. I can’t say more about that at the moment, because we are still considering what to do with it from a journalistic point of view.”

    ‘We are considering it’

    It is evident that the first statement has news value, because BNNVARA partly on that basis doubts the collaboration with Matthijs. “We of course presented to the broadcaster what they thought of it and they found it inconsistent with the conversations they had with him and disappointing, they said.”

    Will the general public still get to read that statement? “We are still considering it. How we relate journalism to this, actually.”


    Private boss Evert Santegoeds thinks that Matthijs’s first, unpublished reaction says a lot. “He doesn’t care again. I notice from everything you hear about those broadcasters that we are working towards a very serious conversation next week before continuing with Matthijs van Nieuwkerk,” he says in Shownieuws.

    And Rob Goossens in RTL Boulevard: “That first reaction is reason for BNNVARA to consider the future, so you could say: because of how he looks at it himself – apparently he doesn’t find it very problematic yet, because otherwise if his first reaction had been better – he made it very difficult for himself.”

    “I wonder if we’ll see him again on TV.”