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Jan Becaus News

Jan Becaus

Jean-Marie (Jan) Becaus is a Flemish politician and a former Belgian journalist renowned for his 29-year tenure as a news anchor on Het Journaal at the Flemish public broadcaster VRT. Becaus worked as an educator before completing his military service in 1973 after obtaining his teaching diploma in 1971 and his diploma as a regent in English-Dutch-German in Ghent.Read more


Jan’s teaching career continued until 1984, and in September of that year, he joined the BRT (now VRT) as a journalist. Becaus became the news anchor for Het Journaal by 1985. He presented the Journaal Laat for many years and later anchored the seven o'clock and one o'clock news due to a format change. He possessed strong linguistic skills, especially in English. Becaus retired on July 31, 2013, and subsequently became a columnist for Kerk & Leven.

Becaus became a specialist in covering the Belgian royal family for the VRT news editorial team, in addition to news reading. He produced a documentary program titled "The Voice of the Queen" about Queen Paola and briefly provided Dutch lessons to the queen. Becaus delved into reporting on the Vatican. Jan co-authored the book "In Conversation with Cardinal Danneels" in 2009 with reporter Christian Laporte of La Libre Belgique.

Becaus transitioned into politics in 2014 and was co-opted into the Senate for the N-VA, holding a permanent position on the Institutional Affairs Committee. Jan’s political career continued until the 2019 elections. One notable news about Jan Becaus was a colleague criticising him during his senatorial job. Becaus says that Peumans seems angry because Becaus got the co-opted senator post instead of Huub Broers, who is Peumans's friend.

1947

Jan Becaus is born.

1970

Jan Becaus Begins his career in journalism, likely working for various media outlets and gaining experience in reporting and broadcasting.

1991

Jan Becaus Becomes a news anchor for VRT, the Flemish public broadcaster, where he gains recognition for his professionalism and authoritative delivery.

2000

Jan Becaus Continues to serve as a prominent news anchor, covering national and international news events for VRT, and becoming a familiar face to Belgian viewers.

2015

Jan Becaus Retires from his role as a news anchor after a distinguished career spanning several decades, leaving a lasting legacy in Belgian journalism.

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Press Releases

Jan Becaus has declined an offer from VRT to extend his tenure beyond his official retirement date of August in a press release. Read more
Becaus chose not to prolong his stay despite being regarded as a popular and skilled figure by the editor-in-chief, Luc Rademakers. The decision aligns with Becaus's earlier sentiment about everyone having an expiration date and avoiding any perception of indispensability. His refusal to extend his time at VRT, where he has been a news anchor since 1985, underscores his commitment to gracefully bowing out of the professional spotlight. Becaus, who has garnered a cult following, particularly among a younger audience, is going to retire as planned, leaving VRT to determine his successor. De Morgen reported the news on March 29, 2013.

Jan Becaus, co-opted senator and former VRT news anchor, has responded to criticism from fellow party member Jan Peumans in a recent press release within the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA). The exchange unfolded through a reader's letter to Knack, addressing Peumans' comments in a Knack interview where he disparaged Becaus. Jan Becaus contends that Peumans' disapproval stems from personal dissatisfaction, suggesting Peumans preferred his associate, Huub Broers, for the co-opted senator position. Becaus defends his record in the letter, asserting his consistent attendance at Senate meetings compared to Peumans. The dispute involves accusations regarding Becaus' alleged lack of involvement in N-VA departments and conflict resolution before his senatorial role. The publicised discord highlights internal tensions within the party, shedding light on differing perspectives on contributions to party affairs and legislative responsibilities. The exchange took place on February 27, as reported by Knack, and Becaus responded through a reader's letter on March 8, 2019.

Speeches

Jan Becaus’ speeches mainly focused on his role as a broadcaster. Not much information is available regarding speeches during his senatorial job.Read more
Jan Becaus is known for his impeccable pronunciation of foreign languages, mainly English. There's a reference to Jan Becaus' distinctive clarity in pronouncing English terms in one of the Facebook groups, a characteristic he has been recognised for over an extended period. The group suggests, "I believe it's a fundamental display of courtesy to pronounce the language accurately." However, it's acknowledged with a hint of amusement that proficiency in pronunciation has evolved into a recurring and light-hearted theme.

Who is Jan Becaus?

Jean-Marie (Jan) Becaus, born July 18, 1948, is a retired Belgian journalist renowned for his illustrious career. He gained widespread recognition as one of the news anchors for Het Journaal at the Flemish public broadcaster VRT, a role he dedicated himself to for an impressive 29 years. He further contributed to the political landscape beyond his journalism endeavours by serving as a co-opted senator for the N-VA from 2014 to 2019.

Jan’s roots trace back to the humble surroundings of the working-class Muide district in Ghent. The son of a butcher was engaged in an environment where taking over the family business was never a consideration. “I am not cut out for commerce,” he reflects. Jan’s aspirations instead gravitated towards education. “I pursued studies to become a teacher and later delved into becoming a regent in English-Dutch-German. My path was unequivocally set for a career in education, a trajectory I embarked upon after completing my military service in 1973.”

Jan responded to a screen announcement inviting candidates for a journalist exam at the BRT in 1982. He decided to participate, curious about the outcome. Only 10 remained after a year-long exam process out of 1,200 candidates. Jan began his journey at the BRT on September 17, 1984, acknowledging the substantial shift and his lack of experience in journalism. He stressed that journalists at the public broadcaster must set aside their political and philosophical beliefs to maintain objectivity, emphasising neutrality’s importance. The commitment to impartiality has been a cornerstone of his journalistic approach throughout his career.

Jan Becaus concluded nearly three decades of journalistic service with his final broadcast after bidding farewell to viewers on July 31, 2013. Jan Becaus gained renown for his impeccable pronunciation of foreign languages throughout Flanders, particularly English, garnering significant popularity on social media during his tenure as a news presenter. Jan Becaus transitioned to a new chapter in his career by joining the ranks of the New Flemish Alliance as a co-opted senator in 2014. Jan Becaus’s political entry significantly shifted his public role and responsibilities.

Jan Becaus biography is illustrated in the table below.

Personal Information of Jan Becaus
Full Name Jean-Marie Becaus
Birthday July 18, 1948
Status Married
Number of Children None
Position Former Belgium co-opted Senator
Political Party New Flemish Alliance (N-VA)
Education Teaching Diploma (Normal School in Oostakker) Regent diploma in English, Dutch, and German (Ghent)
Position Term Preceded by Succeeded by
Teacher 1971 - 1984
Journalist VRT 1984 - 2013
Co-opted Senator 2014 - 2019

What is the Political Party of Jan Becaus?

Jan Becaus’s political party is the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA). The N-VA was founded as a centre-right political party to advance Flemish autonomy and redefine Belgium as a confederal nation by progressively acquiring additional powers for both Belgian communities autonomously, hoping to facilitate Flemish independence eventually. Becaus has a broad experience and legacy in the TV broadcasting industry. He was a former TV News Anchor for nearly 30 years before entering politics. Readers of New Flemish Alliance Party news are kept informed about the party’s evolving political stance, notably its shift towards conservatism under the leadership of Bart De Wever.  

What is the Official Title of Jan Becaus?

The official title of Jan Becaus is the former member of the Senate of Belgium from 2014 to 2019. Becaus was a co-opted senator for the New Flemish Alliance. The press refers to him as the “white rabbit.” The term “white rabbit” is often used colloquially to describe someone unexpectedly chosen or appointed to a position, especially in politics or professional contexts.

Some of Jan Becaus’ official titles are listed below.

  • Teacher: Jan Becaus met the requirements to become a language instructor in 1971, a position he maintained until 1984.
  • Journalist VRT: Jan Becaus joined VRT in 1984 and rapidly became Het Journaal anchor in 1985. After 2012, he gave midday and evening briefings instead of late-night news. Becaus, VRT’s royal correspondent, made a Queen Paola documentary and taught her Dutch. His coverage included concerns about the Catholic Church and royals. Becaus retired on July 31, 2013, after nearly thirty years in journalism. Jan’s flawless English accent made him famous on social media.
  • Co-opted Senator: Becaus was co-opted by the New Flemish Alliance in 2014 as a senator. He has been labelled a “white rabbit” by several press commentators.

What was Jan Becaus Former Job before Entering Politics?

Jan Becaus’s former job before entering politics was as a TV anchor. Jan Becaus swiftly rose to prominence, commencing his journalistic journey at VRT (formerly BRT) in 1984. Jan assumed the role of a steadfast anchor for the renowned news program Het Journaal in 1985, a mere year after joining Het Journaal. His illustrious career, spanning almost three decades, witnessed a notable transition in 2012 when he shifted from presenting the late-night news to taking charge of the afternoon and evening bulletins, adapting to the evolving format of the late news.

Jan Becaus seamlessly blended his role as a news presenter with that of the VRT’s royal correspondent, who specialises in reporting on the Belgian monarchy. Becaus delved into the intricacies of the royal household through insightful documentaries, including a feature on Queen Paola, with whom he even provided brief Dutch lessons.

Becaus became a familiar face in stories about the Catholic Church beyond his news duties, serving as a reporter and commentator. His multifaceted career reached its zenith on July 31, 2013, as he bid farewell to the audience in his final broadcast.

Jan Becaus gained widespread recognition for his impeccable pronunciation of foreign languages within the Flemish community, particularly English. The linguistic finesse endeared him to audiences and garnered immense popularity on social media during the concluding years of his tenure as a distinguished news presenter. 

What are Jan Becaus Accomplishments?

Jan Becaus’ accomplishments are listed below.

  • Veteran Broadcaster: Becaus had a notable career spanning 28 years as a reporter and news anchor for the Flemish public broadcaster VRT, where he started as a journalist in 1984 and later became a regular anchor of the news program Het Journaal in 1985.
  • New Flemish Alliance co-opted Senator: Jan Becaus made a seamless transition into the realm of politics, embarking on a new chapter, assuming the role of a co-opted senator for the New Flemish Alliance in 2014. It marked a significant pivot in his career, demonstrating a sincere commitment to public service and a dedication to contributing to the political landscape. Becaus’ foray into the world of governance reflected a personal evolution and underscored his desire to actively shape and influence the trajectory of public affairs.

What are the Important News about Jan Becaus?

The important news about  Jan Becaus is listed below.

  • Jan Becaus bid farewell to the viewers as he presented his last news on VRT on August 1, 2013, concluding an impressive tenure of almost 29 years on screen. Acknowledging the privilege of conveying world events to the audience, Becaus, known for his discreet style and impeccable pronunciation of English terms, left a lasting impact on the broadcasting landscape. His departure was marked by a gesture of appreciation, with flowers even sent by the competing channel VTM, a testament to the respect he garnered throughout his distinguished career.
  • Jan Becaus, a former VRT presenter with 29 years of service, was unexpectedly co-opted into the Senate by the N-VA on June 14, 2014. Becaus cited his retirement as an opportunity to openly align himself with the party he had favoured for an extended period, a departure from his longstanding practice of keeping political opinions private during his journalism career. The decision marked a shift in his professional trajectory and was part of a trend, with other former VRT journalists like Siegfried Bracke and Klara Manuela Van Werde joining the Flemish nationalists. The N-VA’s decision on its European Parliament group affiliation was notably postponed, underscoring the strategic considerations in play as the party navigated its position within the broader European political landscape.
  • The revelation that newly co-opted N-VA senator Jan Becaus had maintained an ’email relationship’ with Bart De Wever for years drew attention. Becaus exchanged occasional emails with De Wever even while working as a VRT journalist, expressing personal thoughts rather than his journalistic role. De Wever noted that these communications indicated Becaus’s proximity to the N-VA. It was Becaus himself who initiated contact with the party, expressing his desire to openly share and defend his political convictions after keeping them private during his 29-year journalistic career. The news triggered surprise among former colleagues, with observations of Becaus’s “Flemish reflex” occasionally surfacing in private conversations. The disclosure added an intriguing layer to Becaus’s transition from journalism to politics. The information was reported on June 15, 2014.
  • A bold move by Jan Becaus, former VRT news anchor and current N-VA senator has unleashed a scathing critique against participants of the Vier program “The Sky is the Limit.” Becaus used unusually harsh language to describe the show’s personalities in a column on the Doorbraak.be site, including Willy Naessens, whom he accused of contributing to the degradation of the landscape, and Philip Cracco, whom he labelled a clone of Marc Coucke, inept and incapable. Becaus did not spare Michel Van Den Brande, characterising him as an angry bulldog and questioning the motivations behind his repeated appearances on the show. Even Danielle and Tom faced his criticism, with Becaus describing their actions as a display of blasphemy, arrogance, bad taste, and petty humanity. Becaus defended his strong words, stating that individuals who “prostitute themselves” in such a manner deserve such criticism. TV maker Peter Boeckx, the creator of “The Sky is the Limit,” fired back in response, asserting that the show says more than all of Becaus’ accumulated TV work, referring to him mockingly as “Pope Becaus.” The exchange occurred on March 4, 2016, and Becaus did not retract his statements.
  • N-VA senator Jan Becaus reflected on his memories of Cardinal Danneels on March 14, 2019, expressing admiration for Danneels’ intellect, linguistic abilities, and appreciation for art’s beauty. Becaus, who collaborated on the book ‘In Conversation with Cardinal Danneels’ and produced a documentary about him, highlighted Danneels’ eloquence, recalling an impressive Italian speech in the Senate about Charles Péguy. Becaus noted Danneels’ collection of art and his belief in the Church embracing beauty. Becaus disagreed with the perception of Danneels as progressive, emphasising his orthodoxy on issues like abortion and euthanasia while acknowledging Danneels’ use of metaphors and his influence in the Vatican. Jan characterised Danneels’ approach as “strict in the pulpit, gentle in the confessional,” highlighting a balance between setting high standards and showing leniency.

What are the Political Ideas of Jan Becaus?

The political ideas of Jan Becaus align with the political party New Flemish Alliance (N-VA). The New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) is a Flemish nationalist and conservative political party in Belgium, founded in 2001 by the right-leaning faction of the centrist-nationalist People’s Union (VU). The N-VA advocates for the peaceful and gradual secession of Flanders from Belgium within the framework of civic nationalism as a regionalist and separatist movement. It has recently become the largest party in Flanders and Belgium, participating in the 2014–18 Belgian Government until December 9, 2018.

Jan Becaus, renowned for his nearly three-decade career as the anchor of “Het Journaal,” transitioned into politics by joining the N-VA in 2014 after his retirement. Becaus emphasises his neutrality as an anchor and distances himself from political affiliations, debunking the perception of the VRT as a “red castle.” Becaus maintained a neutral stance despite the politicisation of the news service during his early years. He highlights the role of an anchor as a conduit, stressing the importance of remaining neutral and not overshadowing the news. Becaus critiques the evolving trend in journalism where reporters play a role in their stories, advocating for the focus to remain on the facts rather than the journalist’s personality. Becaus expresses discomfort with the attention, describing himself as a shy person who doesn’t seek publicity despite becoming a media sensation at the end of his career, particularly for his unique English pronunciation. Jan recognises the inherent differences between journalism and politics, acknowledging potential conflicts as the two realms converge. Becaus suggests that politicians, despite their complaints about media coverage, have something to hide, highlighting the challenging reconciliation between the two distinct worlds of politics and journalism.

Jan Becaus, as a Co-opted Senator from 2014 to 2019, aligns with a critical perspective on commercial surrogacy, advocating for an ethical and well-regulated approach to the practice. Becaus emphasises the ethical dimensions and potential exploitation inherent in commercial surrogacy arrangements alongside fellow legislators Lorin Paris and Valerie Van Peel. Their stance reflects a broader political discourse surrounding surrogacy, highlighting concerns about the rights of surrogate mothers and resulting children. Becaus and his colleagues argue against the promotion of surrogacy in Belgium, advocating for a comprehensive ban on commercial surrogacy while supporting altruistic surrogacy under strict government oversight. Their political ideas prioritise ethical considerations, legal clarity, and protection of individuals involved in surrogacy arrangements, aligning with broader principles of social justice and human rights within the legislative framework.

Jan Becaus, a member of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), showcases a commitment to his political role through active participation in legislative responsibilities, particularly as a co-opted senator. His emphasis on attending committee and plenary meetings in the Senate underscores his dedication to his duties despite internal party tensions and criticisms from fellow members like Jan Peumans. Becaus’ defence of his record suggests a belief in accountability and effectiveness in fulfilling his role within the party and the broader political landscape. His actions reflect a dedication to N-VA’s political ideals, focusing on pragmatic engagement within the legislative process to advance the party’s agenda and serve the interests of its constituents.