Observant team

Wendy Degens

After her studies in Arts and Culture at Maastricht University, Wendy Degens (1978, editor) dove into the Limburg cultural scene, working for Week In Week Uit, Parkstad Limburg Theaters and various theatre festivals. She didn’t try her hand at writing until she joined the editorial staff of the city and arts section at the Limburgs Dagblad – but she was immediately sold. In 2005 Wendy made the move to Observant. She enjoys sinking her teeth into a complicated scientific story, but also pestering staff and students about their innermost feelings.


Cleo Freriks

Cleo Freriks (1986, editor) studied journalism in Tilburg. There, she wrote for BN/DeStem and the Malmberg Jeugdbladen, focusing on sport, the animal world and the inner lives of 10-year-olds. Study books aside, she then dove into the local news in Roermond. She worked for the Nederlandse Weekbladengroep, writing for the then newly launched newspaper Stad Roermond. Cleo became an editor at Observant in August 2009. She enjoys dancing, both active and passive. She also likes to be behind the camera, taking photos and making films.


Riki Janssen

Riki Janssen (1959, editor in chief) launched her career in journalism at the Nijmegen university newspaper KUnieuws (now Vox) and Sophia&Co, a student magazine at Radboud University. She studied social and political philosophy, and loves her racing bike. She is on the board of the Netherlands Society of Editors in Chief, and in 2008 she and her colleagues organised and presented a UM talk show. In her view being a journalist is a great job, because while it may look the same at times, it’s always different. See an interview with Riki at www.deredactie.nl (in Dutch)


Marion Janssens

Marion Janssens (1958) studied crafts and drawing at the Teachers Training Academy in Utrecht. She has worked for the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, the Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht, the Utrecht Summer Festival and various nature organisations. Since 2002 she has been a part-time editorial assistant at Observant, responsible for the Paarltjes and the photo archive, and jointly responsible for the financial administration. She is interested in other countries and cultures, and travel is her passion; with her husband and two children in tow, she has been all over the world.


Yuri Meesen

Yuri Meesen (1990, editor) never expected to end up in journalism. He studied Economics in Tilburg and then Politics in Maastricht. During his studies there, he also worked at the university library. As an amateur writer, he and a friend set up the current affairs website GeenKwats.com in 2016, of which he is still an editor. He realised that he liked writing and decided to apply for the position of junior editor at Observant in 2017. He enjoyed the year so much that from 2018 he will be working there as an editor.


Maurice Timmermans

Some time in the distant past, Maurice Timmermans (1967) studied social sciences in Nijmegen. He worked as a science officer at Radboud University and at the Netherlands Foundation for Public Communication on Science and Technology (Stichting Weten) in Utrecht, and has been an editor at Observant since 1998. Maurice loves Woody Allen, indie music and walking in the dunes of North Holland. He is a keen follower of scientific research in Maastricht and has a passion for psychology and philosophy.


Wammes Bos

Wammes Bos (1952, retired) had a plan: he would study political science then become a journalist. As it turned out, his studies took somewhat longer than expected, followed by a detour at the Maastricht University Library – but eventually everything fell into place. After working at Observant since 1986, he is now retired. However, he still writes the series Praeses versus Praeses. 

w.bos@maastrichtuniversity.nl | 043-3885383


Editorial staff

Riki Janssen (editor in chief) 043-3885384

Wendy Degens 043-3885382

Cleo Freriks 043-3885386

Yuri Meesen 043-3885385

Maurice Timmermans 043-3885381


Editorial assistent

Marion Janssens 043-3885390


Student freelancers

Observant works with a team of student freelancers. If you're interested in writing for us, please send an e-mail, cv and example of your work to cleo.freriks@maastrichtuniversity.nl. At the moment there are no vacancies for student freelancers.


Copyright on letters/letters to the editor

Readers who submit letters or letters to the editor for publication, retain their copyright, but by submitting their writings give unlimited permission for publication of the material in all editions of Observant, both printed and electronic, as well as for storage in (electronic) databases and other files.


How do we work?

Topic choice Space in Observant’s paper version is limited. Therefore we use a number of criteria to select the topics for our articles. Is it current? Is it interesting enough for a large group of students and/or staff? Is there a connection with Maastricht University? All articles from the newspaper are also posted on our website. The site is our digital archive.

Both sides of the story Observant always tries to put forward both sides of the story, which means that we ensure that we look at a topic from all perspectives. Sometimes the other side is published a week later in a follow-up article, if parties involved initially refuse to respond or cannot be reached.

Preview of an interview When someone is individually interviewed for a longer story, an agreement can be made regarding inspection before publication. This is not matter of course. Corrections are only possible in case of factual errors. The tone and style of the article is the journalist’s prerogative. The editor-in-chief always has final responsibility for the article. Observant works with deadlines. This means that quick responses may be required. Journalists and interviewees make clear agreements about this.


Removal from the digital archives?

Just like other media, Observant also receives a lot of these types of requests. The digital version of our newspaper, however, serves as an archive. We want the entire archive to remain intact and searchable. In this respect too, we are no different to other media.

For more information on this topic, please refer to https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2014/05/10/corrigeren-in-het-archief-is-beter-dan-amputeren-a1480697

The Netherlands Press Council has also drawn up a declaration: https://www.denieuwereporter.nl/2010/10/online-krantenarchief-is-ook-journalistiek-drie-recente-uitspraken/

If you want to remain untraceable for Google’s search engine, you may submit a request by filling in the so-called forget-me-form. See: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/legal-removal-request?complaint_type=rtbf&hl=en&rd=1