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Radio Veronica, which had started broadcasting  regularly in May 1960, didn’t introduce a news service until November 1965.

The service was provided initially by two newsreaders  - Gerard de Vries and Harmen Siezen. They shared their time on board because the role was so intensive and demanding - Gerard de Vries provided the news service between Tuesdays and Fridays and Harmen Siezen covered the period Friday to Tuesday.

One of Veronica’s owners, Bull Verweij claimed they had a sophisticated network for gathering the news - "We had a telex on board the Norderney which supplied not only the ANP news agency but also others, for example from China , the Soviet Union, Reuters, etc. This worked under the system name 'TOR' (telex over radio) where the signals were received through the short wave and converted by the telex into written words. Of course, we took all kinds of news from this wide range of sources in our broadcasts. I was never able to sign a contract with the ANP and so we had to do it this way."

Early plans denied

The last comment from Bull Verweij had some substance because there is a record of the management of Radio Veronica approaching the General Dutch News Agency (Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau - ANP) as early as 1963 requesting to be allowed to use their services.

The ANP dismissed the request in a  reply to Radio Veronica saying:  'There are serious impediments to the ANP at this time in providing a news service for the benefit of your organisation.’

A few years earlier, this same decision had been taken when Radio Luxembourg’s Dutch-language service asked the ANP to supply the station with news reports .

Alternative version

Despite what Veronica’s management said, others claimed that (as with many other offshore stations) Radio Veronica monitored the output of the official (Hilversum) stations, then rewrote the stories and broadcast them in their own news bulletins.

A few months after starting its news service research within the ANP showed that, despite statements to the contrary from its management,  Radio Veronica was indeed listening to the official Hilversum broadcasters, rewriting and re-broadcasting the news stories.

False news

To prove this was happening the head of ANP’s Radio News Service, S. Witteboon,  decided in January 1966 to broadcast a false news story about a large fire on a chicken farm located in the non-existent Gelderse Withuizen.

Less than two hours later the newsreader on Radio Veronica read the same story, thus proving to the news agency that its output was being ‘pirated’.

However, here was something of a backlash to the issue of this false story by the ANP - it was said to undermine the agency’s reputation for accurate reporting - and Witteboon was given a written warning by the management.

Legal action ?

Despite the claim that this incident had damaged the agency’s reputation, the Board of Directors of the ANP met on 26th January 1966 to discuss the possibility of taking  legal action against Radio Veronica.

However, they did not proceed because it was not at all certain that such a case could be won due to the fact that the Norderney was in international waters flying the flag of a foreign country and - at that time - only  the captain of the ship and the management of Radio Veronica, knew which country that was.

Additionally there was the fact that in 1963 Radio Veronica had in fact offered to pay for the news service, but this had been turned down by ANP.

At the beginning of March 1966, Radio Veronica received a letter indicating that the Management Board of the ANP considered the offshore station’s use of their news, without acknowledgement, was illegal and if the practice continued they reserved the right to take legal action in the future.

In response Radio Veronica's management instructed the newsreaders not to report the ANP stories verbatim, but to ensure that words and sentences were significantly changed.

Radio VERONICa News


The General Dutch News Agency (Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau - ANP) is the largest news agency in the Netherlands and has been at the heart of news gathering since 1934. Its mission is to deliver independent and accurate,  fact-checked news.

The ANP Foundation was established on 11th December 1934 by the Dutch Dagbladpers (NDP) to provide the Netherlands with an efficient central news agency .

In March 2018 the ANP became part of Talpa Network, the media company of John de Mol Jnr (son of the person responsible for the management of the Radio North Sea International  (RNI) Dutch Service). The Talpa Network is also the ultimate holding company of the current incarnation of Radio Veronica.

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Thanks to Hans Knot for allowing us to use this information, originally published in his book Herinneringen aan Radio Veronica

Radio Veronica news intro

Radio Veronica news intro.mp3