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De Nieuwste Amsterdammer

Everyone in The Netherlands has an opinion on refugees, but what means do refugees have to influence this opinion? De Nieuwste Amsterdammer provides a solution, as Holland’s first mass media platform by refugees.

Our goal: bring back balance in reporting about refugees – by making refugees the reporters. By offering assistance in the Dutch language, top-level journalistic coaching and a national platform to publish the created journalistic content.

Our team consists of 23 current or recent inhabitants of the asylum seekers center (ASC) of Amsterdam, originally coming from 16 different countries – from Yemen to Ukraine and Nicaragua to Morocco. Together, we form the core of De Nieuwste Amsterdammer.

*Although this is my personal graduation project I will use ‘our project’ instead of ‘my project’ since my team ended up consisting of 51 people who all played a vital role in the success of our organisation.

The first 12 members of the team
The other 12 members of the team (including me)

To help us we assembled a team of 17 external advisors in the fields of journalism, publishing, design, social work and entrepreneurship. They helped us lay the foundations of our organisation and develop the first steps to the individual 2 month coaching process that we developed – to eventually assist each of our team members in creating a piece of high quality journalistic content for our platform.

The external advisors, each playing an important part in different fases of our project.

Next to our external advisers we were able to arrange personal coaching from 4 journalists from Holland’s biggest newspapers (a.o. NRC, De Volkskrant, Trouw) and 2 industry leading photographers (Robin de Puy and Jan Dirk van der Burg – the former and current Fotografen des Vaderlands) to assist our team members on a weekly basis.

Our coaches. Jan Dirk van der Burg is also a weekly reporter at NRC Handelsblad.

Together with these coaches we hosted online coaching sessions and 5 in-person workshops in the ASC. During each workshop we would focus on new journalistic skills – from interviewing to photo reporting – and review individual progress of the team members who were present. Often the group size would be limited to 8 people due to Covid-restrictions.

A 2 hour workshop at the ASC by Robin de Puy

So, what did we make?
Over a period of over 5 months we created 18 articles. A few examples: Ahmed Jendoubi interviewed dive school owners in Amsterdam about secret local diving spots, Nesma Monawer interviewed young refugees about the impact of the hijab on their lives and Sherif Ibrahim created 3 unique recipes that combine Egyptian and Dutch culinary tradition on one plat.

Ahmed Jendoubi’s article, as seen in the printed version of De Nieuwste Amsterdammer (50.000 copies printed)

The 18 articles were published and promoted on three platforms: Our website (8 featured articles), our instagram (profiles of the team and article sneak peeks), and a printed newspaper (all articles)

Our reach became so much bigger than we expected. Thousands of people visited our website and instagram, and almost 1000 people ended up buying the printed newspaper for themselves, giving us enough funds to print our 16 page full size newspaper 50.000 times (that’s 3000 kilo’s of recycled paper), and distribute or newspaper to 50.000 random homes in Amsterdam. That meant that for one day, we were the biggest citywide newspaper in our capital.

A large financial contribution also came from the businesses we approached to advertise in our paper. The United Nations, Pakhuis de Zwijger, Uitgeverij De Bezige Bij and many others paid to have their message printed in De Nieuwste Amsterdammer. We also gave away and designed ads for smaller initiatives for or by refugees, giving them free publicity on our platform.

The ads in our newspaper, spread out over 15 pages (we kept the front page all to ourselves)

We were able to get a significant amount of media attention. NH-Nieuws came to film one of our editorial meetings – where we would collectively decide on the progress and direction of the project. Parool, Reformatorisch Dagblad and Westkrant wrote lengthy articles about us. De Correspondent invited us to one of their editorial meetings. We presented our project to the minister of Social Affairs of Amsterdam. And as a cherry on the cake we were invited to present our newspaper in The House of Representatives of The Netherlands (De Tweede Kamer) on invitation of D66 chairman Rob Jetten. Here Farouk Ebaiss – one of our team members – talked for over half an hour with mr. Jetten about Dutch refugee policy.

A front page feature of our project in Parool, with interviews with Sherif Ibrahim, Ahmed Jendoubi en Nesma Monawer. The photos were shot by Parool staff photographer Nosh Neneh in collaboration with De Nieuwste Amsterdammer photographer Farouk Ebaiss – who was offered an internship at Parool’s visual department afterwards.
Click here or on the image above for a link to the article (only for Parool members unfortunately)
Snippets of the articles about De Nieuwste Amsterdammer on NH-Nieuws, De WestKrant and De WesterPost.


We’ve reached over 200.000 people through De Nieuwste Amsterdammer and through Dutch local and national media. We’ve had influence on the highest level of Dutch politics. We’ve taught ourselves valuable skills we didn’t have before. We made connections between people that otherwise would never have met.

And more than that, we created lasting friendships between our many team members (myself included).

Creating De Nieuwste Amsterdammer with this amazing team has been one of the most fulfilling and meaningful experiences of my life. I hoped you enjoyed reading about it.

Read the full paper.
Visit our online platform.
Visit our Instagram.

Watch our NH-TV tv segment.
Read our Parool article.
Read our Reformatorisch Dagblad article.
Read our Westkrant article.

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