news hourpresenter Jeroen Wollaars has won the annual Sonja Barend Award for the best television interview. He receives the prize for the interview with then CDA party leader Wopke Hoekstra in the run-up to the elections to the House of Representatives. The prize was awarded on Tuesday evening by Sonja Barend herself in the BNNVARA program Khalid & Sophie.
The jury called the conversation with Hoekstra “a political interview hard on the man and therefore completely different than usual on TV”. During the interview, Wollaars asked about the messy campaign of the CDA and the hectic environment surrounding Pieter Omtzigt, the MP who would leave the party months later. He pointed out to Hoekstra a number of times that he had to tell ‘the honest story’. Sonja Barend called the interview in the broadcast on Tuesday “extremely well prepared”.
The longlist for the Sonja Barend Award 2021 was compiled this year by TV critic Arjen Fortuin (NRC), Yasmina Aboutaleb (de Volkskrant), Maaike Bos (Fidelity) and Roy van Vilsteren (editor-in-chief VARAgids). In addition to Wollaars, Janine Abbring, Özcan Akyol, Kefah Allush, Twan Huys, Jorn Jonker, Margriet van der Linden, Cornald Maas, Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, Humberto Tan and Mariëlle Tweebeeke also had a chance to win the prize.
Last year, the prize for the best television interview went to journalist and program maker Coen Verbraak. He received the prize for his interview with Srebrenica veteran Liesbeth Beukeboom in the series Srebrenica – the impotent mission of Dutchbat. The Sonja Barend Award was then presented in Eve, the forerunner of Khalid & Sophie.