Omroep Brabant removes all its own logos from satellite and commercial vehicles to protect its staff. Editor-in-chief Renzo Veenstra confirms this on Monday opposite the AD. According to Veenstra, the decision was prompted by countless threats and intimidation in recent years: from reporters who are harassed and threatened in private, to death threats on the phone.
Editor-in-chief Veenstra says that because of the recognizability of the logos, his journalists have become ‘a kind of target’. “As a journalist you are by definition wrong in the eyes of a small part of the Netherlands.” He emphasizes that he was not initially in favor of removing the Omroep Brabant name from the cars, but that he ultimately made a choice “for the safety of our people”. On Monday, the broadcaster will remove the last stickers. “A sad low point,” said Veenstra.
According to Veenstra, incidents that took place more than a week ago in Helmond were the straw that broke the camel’s back. Journalists from Omroep Brabant were harassed at the commemoration of an accident that killed three boys. “Retreating into the car did not work, they just rushed towards it,” said Veenstra.
Other media have also recently felt compelled to take measures after threats and intimidation. Last year NOS decided to remove the logos from its satellite cars, due to persistent threats against journalists and public service broadcasters.
At the time, editor-in-chief Marcel Gelauff called it “a defeat for the NOS, but especially for journalism”. In October, Omroep Gelderland scaled down its coverage of football matches. It still reports football matches in the stadium, but no longer about places around the stadium, because the broadcaster no longer considers it safe there.
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