The editors-in-chief of NOS Sport will step down in due course to make room for “new leadership” following an inventory of reports of transgressive behavior at the editorial office. Almost a hundred people have reported to the external confidential advisers.
These reports cover the past twenty years and also concern the work culture. The complaints come from internal and external employees, as well as former employees. NOS director Gerard Timmer says he is “touched” and apologizes. According to Timmer, most complaints are about longer ago, but there have also been incidents more recently.
The external confidential adviser who drew up the inventory has not conducted a fact-finding investigation in recent months. “Nevertheless, the report has provided penetrating insights that affect NOS and force it to take action,” the broadcaster said in a statement. The inventory report contains reports of bullying, (sexual) intimidation, discrimination, verbal aggression and integrity issues.
The confidential counselor was instructed to map reports of transgressive behavior to the sports editors. The reason was a call from the editors-in-chief of NOS Sport to report inappropriate behavior after the publicity about the TV program De Wereld Draait Door. At a staff meeting in December, the editors-in-chief were accused that these reports had been there for a long time, but that nothing was done with them.
It was then decided to have the inventory done and to start working on a culture change. The confidential counselor was then also told that managers at the sports editorial office had not done enough with signals of transgressive behaviour.
The resignation of the four-member editor-in-chief is not immediately, because “the continuity of sports coverage must be guaranteed”, the statement says. Editor-in-chief Maarten Nooter points out that there will be an investigation into the culture at the editorial office and that “we and our organization will be looked at critically”. “And therefore also to the people who lead it.”
NOS director Gerard Timmer does not want to make any statements about the period within which the editor-in-chief will step down. “We’ll get back to that in a month or two.”
Timmer says about the reports that they are examples of manners “that do not fit who we want to be and what the NOS stands for”. He does not want to give a concrete example, because there is a risk that it can be traced. He apologizes: “These experiences teach us that we need to do better in the future.”
Employees who need it are offered professional guidance. In addition, the policy with regard to reporting transgressive behavior will be improved, because the signals have not come to light sufficiently.
The public broadcaster is also conducting a broader investigation into transgressive behavior and culture, by a committee led by former minister Martin van Rijn. The NOS will share the results of this inventory with that committee.
State Secretary Uslu of Media says that it affects her that NOS employees have felt unsafe and that signals have not been taken seriously. But she also emphasizes that the issue is playing out in more places in the media sector. “We also need to look at the underlying systemic causes of these problems.” She calls on employees and former employees of the NOS sports editors to report to the Van Rijn committee, so that they can also investigate the situation at NOS Sport.
- NOS investigates possible transgressive behavior in Sport
- After the announcement of the NPO investigation, the Mores reporting center receives many more complaints
- Former minister Van Rijn oversees investigations into abuses at NPO