A different newspaper has been launched in the Netherlands. Earlier this month, the first edition of ‘De Andere Krant‘ (The Other Newspaper) rolled off the printing press. This new newspaper was distributed throughout the country in a volume of 50,000 to 100,000 pieces and want to show a different perspective on news events.
The first edition of the newspaper is devoted entirely to Russia and is filled with stories and analysis by, among others, Karel van Wolferen, Stan van Houcke, Eric van de Beek and Jonathan van Tongeren. The newspaper has been distributed free of charge in various places in the Netherlands during the past few days, but it is also possible to order the newspaper online.
This is what the editors of De Andere Krant ‘the Other Newspaper’ write about their new initiative and about the choice to dedicate the first edition entirely in the shape of Russia.
The idea behind ‘De Andere Krant’ is that we want to show ‘the other side’ of the one-sided stories that many media outlets tell us. The story about Russia is one of them. For a long time, my companions and I have been concerned about the selective way in which the Dutch media have reported about the country.
We are not alone in that. In the paper, Eva Hartog of The Moscow Times states that the Dutch media only tell ‘a part of the story’, causing the image that the Dutch have about Russia to differ a lot from what the country actually looks like. Now of course it is often the case that people have clichéd images of each other’s countries. But the Netherlands really takes an exceptional position. Research from the Pew Research Center shows that there is no other country in Europe where opinions about Russia are so negative. It is not easy to change such a negative image.
What do you have to show about Russia to add some nuance? What is that other side? Due to the disaster with flight MH17, Russia has lost a lot of credit in our country, so this issue can not be overlooked in this newspaper. In addition, there is obviously a lot of attention for President Vladimir Putin. How can it be that so many in the Netherlands see him as a dictator, while he is very popular among the Russian people?
It is not without danger to view Russia as an enemy, as various authors warn. Do we have to fear a nuclear war again? And of course in this first edition of ‘De Andere Krant’ there is a lot of attention for the role of the media. What is wrong with the Dutch news about Russia? And what about the media in Russia? Are they really not free like we think? On pages 4 and 5 you will find an interview with a Dutchman in a foreign military service. In the conflict in Ukraine he chose the side of the separatists in the Donbass, because everything really has a different side.
We certainly do not want to claim with this newspaper that there is nothing to criticize about Russia. Then we would be closing our eyes. The reason that in this newspaper the criticism of the country and its leader is almost missing, is precisely because the mainstream media already provide for this critisicm to a large extent.
More about ‘De Andere Krant’
For more information about this new initiative we refer to the website of De Andere Krant. If you want to contact them, you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. On their website you can support this initiative by making a donation or by ordering copies of the second edition of this newspaper.
Sander Compagner, the editor-in-chief of ‘De Andere Krant’, together with Eric van de Beek from Novini, appeared at Café Weltschmerz earlier this week to talk about their new initiative. Below you can see the video (in Dutch).