Sonja Barend called it ‘a sharp, but relaxed conversation’. The winner was chosen from a longlist of eleven interviews by a jury of experts, consisting of more than forty TV critics, colleagues and media journalists. Among them TV critic Angela de Jong. “It rarely happens that you as a viewer get a vicarious stomachache, but watching here literally hurt,” said De Jong.
Wollaars interviewed Hoekstra a week before the parliamentary elections for news hour. The presenter had spent months preparing for the interview, together with editor Nynke de Zoeten and editor-in-chief Jane van Laar, BNNVARA reports. They had mapped out who would say what and when, down to the minute. “It sounds disrespectful and it is not the right word, but Hoekstra walked with open eyes into the traps we had set for him,” Wollaars said earlier in the VARA guide about the interview.
The Sonja Barend Award is an initiative of the VARAgids and has been awarded since 2009 to the best TV interview of the past year. Previous winners include Matthijs van Nieuwkerk, Twan Huys and Eva Jinek. Last year the prize went to Coen Verbraak for his interview with Dutchbatter Liesbeth Beukeboom in the program Srebrenica – the impotent mission of Dutchbat.
The interview can be viewed here.
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