Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ): Aggression against journalists must stop
The aggression and violence that journalists, cameramen and photographers currently face must stop.
“This is shocking. The aggression towards journalists is developing from a weekly basis to a daily basis,” says Thomas Bruning, general secretary of the NVJ in response to the ANP on last weekend events. The NVJ will consult with editors about how they can ensure that journalists can continue to do their work safely.
On Sunday, a NOS camera crew was attacked with pepper spray in Urk, and a reporter from the Brabants Dagblad was chased by a group of rioters in Tilburg, after which he narrowly managed to get to safety.
“This has to stop,” says Bruning. “It is not normal for journalists to have to go out with security guards.”
He also calls for broad political support, “including Thierry Baudet and Geert Wilders”, to clarify how important the role of journalism is.
Bruning says the NVJ will consult with editors about how they can ensure that journalists can continue to do their work safely.
“And I appeal to everyone in the Netherlands to be aware that journalists are not there to take sides but to report independently from both sides.” According to him, the rioters are hurting themselves by their behaviour. “If no more reporting can be done, any wrongdoing by, for example, the police will no longer be identified.”
Press Safe PersVeilig, a partnership between the NVJ, the Association of Editors-in-Chief, the police, and the Public Prosecution Service, helps journalists when they encounter violence or aggression.
Have you come into contact with aggression or violence while performing your job? Report your incident to PersVeilig.