Dutch Debate is Dead

Debate Remains Dead. And They’ve Killed It.

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A popular song about the Covid restrictions was ‘We’ve Lost Dancing’ in 2021. In The Netherlands, we certainly lost much dancing during these years – our house-, techno- and dance DJs are the best in the world – but we also lost another valuable part of our national identity: We lost public debate. Restrictions were lifted and dancing returned, but public debate has not been restored.… Continue reading

All Talk, No Action

Journalism Since the Great Financial Crisis

In early 2009 I attended a memorable panel discussion at Columbia University’s Journalism School in New York. A handful of elite journalists who were trained in finance, statistics and data came to talk to about fifty of us students. The main questions were: What could journalists have done better in reporting on the financial sector before the crash? Why hadn’t we, the best reporters in the world who were writing the first draft of history, seen the crash coming?… Continue reading

Dutch Media’s Unforced Errors

Balancing the Scales after Deceit

A law of nature dictates that energy always tries to balance itself, like a scale that’s always moving to the middle, which is the most natural, comfortable and peaceful position: homeostasis. Call it physics, biology, whatever you like, but this law also applies to all the energy that humans put out into the world. Today, in the Dutch media landscape, the scales have been tipped toward a gigantic imbalance that can only be restored by building new media initiatives.… Continue reading

The Deafening Silence of Columbia Journalism School

Maybe I missed the memo. I sure hope I did. Maybe there are groups of journalists trained by my alma mater, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, who are taking a stance against censorship and propaganda. In any case, the vast majority in my alumni network either promote it, are on board with it or keep silent on the matter. I’ve spoken out about this before, but the more time passes the more awkward and deafening the silence becomes.… Continue reading

Mijn visie op de informatie-oorlog

Op uitnodiging van Fiona Zwart was ik onlangs te gast bij Café Weltschmerz. Deze journalistieke denktank richt zich op maatschappelijke, sociale, politieke en filosofische vraagstukken. Het is in 2014 opgericht, een periode waarin voor mij persoonlijk duidelijk werd dat de wereld een minder rooskleurige richting op ging, primair gekenmerkt door de internationale geldontwaarding als reactie op de financiële crisis van 2008 — het jaar dat ik journalistiek studeerde in New York en stage liep in hetzelfde gebouw als Lehman Brothers.… Continue reading