from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
description national daily newspaper
publishing company De Persgroep Nederland
First edition 1943 (as a legal newspaper since 1945)
Frequency of publication working days
Sold edition Q1 / 2008: 93,524 copies
Editor-in-chief Willem Schoonen (since 2007)
Web link

Trouw ( German  "Treue" ) is a Dutch national daily newspaper with an editorial office in Amsterdam . It was founded in 1943 as an illegal underground newspaper and has been published by the De Persgroep Nederland media group since 1975 (until 2009 “PCM Uitgevers”). In the first quarter of 2008, the newspaper had a paid circulation of 93,524 copies. Willem Schoonen has been editor-in-chief since 2007.


Dilettantism in the Puritan 1950s

The newspaper was founded in 1943 as a Protestant underground newspaper during the German occupation in World War II . Although nearly 120 employees were executed during these years, it was possible to publish several editions a month until the end of the war. After the Second World War it was decided to continue running Trouw as a daily newspaper. It thus became the unofficial successor to De Standaard , published by the anti-revolutionary party , but in contrast to this it was no longer a party newspaper, but only politically close to the Protestant ARP. The first editor-in-chief was Sieuwert Bruins Slot , who in his capacity as a parliamentary group member (from 1956 also as parliamentary group chairman) of the ARP in the Dutch lower house additionally guaranteed party proximity for the time being.

By the end of the 1950s, Trouw lagged significantly behind other national newspapers in terms of quality. The editors acted as “girls for everything”, which had the consequence that they wrote on topics with which they were not familiar, and there was also a lack of individual high-profile editors who contributed to the reputation elsewhere. At the time, the newspaper, which came across as quite staid and puritanical, did not yet have a division into categories. Apart from the fact that said puritanism restricted reporting on theater, dance and other amusements, the strict Sunday rest requirement also led to problems, such as with Sunday sports, where sometimes contortions and subsequent justifications were necessary in order to be able to report on them at all.

Bruin Slot was rarely seen in the editorial office during this time and left the day-to-day business to the editor-in-chief and the department heads. The latter consisted partly of non-denominational former employees of the daily De Telegraaf , who had come to Trouw due to the ban on this newspaper that was in effect until 1949 . At that time, Trouw had to reinforce itself with journalists who actually came from distant newspapers due to a lack of staff, although, ironically, the Telegraaf journalists in their new role, out of caution towards their new readership, followed a more orthodox course than their colleagues.

Intellectual-political opening and professionalization in the 1960s

A series of profound changes began in the early 1960s. In mid-1961, Bruin Slot's turn away from the Christian right, often referred to as conversion, began when he suddenly abandoned his defensive stance against the surrender of Western New Guinea to Indonesia and urged negotiations. Some of the readers did not understand this; 2,500–3,000 subscriptions were lost through this change of course alone. In December 1963 there was a sensational exchange of pages with the South African newspaper Die Burger , which dealt with the apartheid question . The opposition to apartheid, in contrast to Die Burger , intensified when Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 . The branding of Mandela as a terrorist was vigorously contradicted by Bruin Slot, drawing an analogy with Dutch resistance fighters during the German occupation. The exchange of pages was repeated in November 1964. Trouw made a name for himself through this campaign in South Africa and became a contact point for dissidents who had come to the Netherlands. The newspaper was also a vehement opponent of the Vietnam War , which would not have been so pronounced earlier, since the Americans were considered the liberators of the Netherlands. In the aforementioned apartheid issue, too, the newspaper had previously taken a position that it was a necessary evil.

In the 1960s, efforts were also made to make the newspaper more professional. The later editor-in-chief Jaap de Berg introduced rubrics for the first time in 1962; The promotion of journalistic training that began with the establishment of the “School voor Journalistiek” in Utrecht in 1966 also benefited the newspaper, which was able to recruit new staff from such cadre schools. There were more reports, interviews and "human interest" stories than before. The stereotypical women's site “Trouw voor de vrouw” was finally abolished by Cisca Dresselhuys , who later became editor-in-chief of the feminist magazine Opzij , and feminist articles began to appear instead. The rejuvenated editorial team, which had clearly moved to the left, moved further away from the often more conservative readership; the balancing act between conservative and progressive content made the newspaper noticeably more troubled than other papers such as the Volkskrant , which was consistently different from its own at the time Past began to resolve. The following developments should be of great concern to the newspaper in the coming decade with its ever-decreasing circulation.

The 1970s, the merger decade

In the early 1970s, the editor of the newspaper, the "Stichting Christelijke persons" (Foundation Christian press) saw this forced Trouw with the so-called Quartet leaves, four regional South Holland Newspapers, specifically De Rotterdamemer , Nieuwe Haagse Courant , Nieuwe Leidse Courant and Dordts Dagblad , to merge. In contrast to Trouw , the latter had remained Protestant Orthodox, so that there was now a great cultural difference between the editorial offices. The respective editors-in-chief opposed the merger, which was carried out in February 1971. Most of the editors of the quartet papers had to move to Amsterdam, where tensions arose - editors of the quartet papers complained about the condescending treatment on the part of their new colleagues. The quartet sheets initially remained in existence, at least according to their name; from now on, all four had the content of Trouw under the old title , supplemented by regional pages. From February 1975, the old name became a subheading of the now general name Trouw for the quartet sheets , until the last external remains of the quartet sheets disappeared in the autumn of 1982 when the subheadings were deleted.

The new newspaper, which the readers of the quartet papers now got, was often not liked by them. Whether culture, church or sport (in the meantime there were also Sunday sports at Trouw , boxing and car races were still taboo), this was no longer their old newspaper, so that (once again) there were a number of subscription cancellations. Another decisive factor was the introduction of a church page in 1972, which means that such topics now have an official place, but no longer in the front section of the newspaper. The year before the Reformatorisch Dagblad had been founded, which from then on served the Orthodox Protestant readership.

At this time the era of Bruins Slot ended, he was replaced in 1972 by Jenze Tamminga, a man from the ARP party headquarters who had no journalistic experience. At the time of his introduction, the editors were told that Tamminga's strengths were more likely to be seen in organizational matters; so he made no journalistic name for himself in the following years either, but despite his origins he defended an independent way of the newspaper that was not tied to a party. The development that began in the 1960s could not be turned back, and although there was still a closeness to the ARP, the newspaper was still approaching the degree of political direction that can be found in other daily newspapers.

The former publishing house of Trouw and Het Parool in Amsterdam's Wibautstraat, 2009

Due to the still unfavorable financial development, Trouw joined “Perscombinatie” at the beginning of 1975, the joint venture between Het Parool and de Volkskrant founded in 1968 . For this purpose, the newspaper moved from the old Fleet Street of the Netherlands, the Voorburgwal, to the Wibautstraat, which thus advanced to become the new Amsterdam newspaper street. As early as 1973 there had been talks with the Volkskrant to form a joint rump newspaper. The first part would have been the same for both, in a second part both newspapers would have brought their own content back on their own. This plan was abandoned because of the great differences between the two newspapers.

The 1980s, breaking out of the lack of concept

At the beginning of the 1980s, Trouw presented itself without a concept or leader. In 1981, this led to the formation of a management committee, which included the deputy editor-in-chief Jan Kuijk, and Tamminga effectively snatched the editorial management away, although the latter initially remained officially editor-in-chief. In the years that followed, the layout and the page layout were rearranged, and the commission began looking for a successor (initially a co-editor-in-chief was planned) for Tamminga. This was finally found in 1984 in the person of Jan Greven, a theologian and then director of the broadcasting corporation "Interkerkelijke Omroep Nederland" (IKON). Greven decided not to support either the one parliamentary group that wanted to make a conservative newspaper or the other that poached the Volkskrant and would like to abolish the church side, but instead relied on the middle ground of the third parliamentary group, the one wanted to make a daily newspaper that was both modern and not alienated from tradition. At the end of the 1980s, the Saturday supplement “Letter & Geest” was created, which also became known within the newspaper because of its controversial life of its own.

Radical redesign in the 1990s

In an analysis carried out in the early 1990s, Jaap de Berg, who had already introduced the rubrics in 1962, came to the conclusion that the aging of the readership could ultimately mean the end of the newspaper. Together with the layouter Erik Terlouw, he then designed a completely new concept for the newspaper and the division into a news section and a background section. The thematic supplements previously published on a certain day of the week should be distributed throughout the week to the background supplement, which should also appear in tabloid format. This concept was initially rejected. One reason for this was that the tabloid format for full-page ads would have resulted in ad loss due to the reduced size.

With Greven's departure, however, the way was clear for change, because De Berg, after rejecting Bruin Slot's successor in 1972 and that of Tamminga in 1982, was finally ready to become editor-in-chief. One of the reasons for his appointment, which was limited to four years at De Berg's request, was that the new co-editor-in-chief Frits van Exter, who was the first editor-in-chief of the newspaper, did not belong to any church, which was probably too radical a change would have been. At the beginning of 1999 the new Trouw finally appeared with its subdivision into a news section and a background section; the latter is called “De Verdieping” (the depression). The change actually received a lot of attention. In 2001, the newspaper and the Portuguese daily Diário de Notícias were honored as the most beautiful daily newspaper in Europe as part of the “European Newspaper Award”.

Trouw in the age of the internet and free newspapers

The free newspapers that have been appearing since 1999 and the Internet are, with all the echo for the new format, tough competition that Trouw also had to face in the end. While De Berg's original plan only included the background supplement in tabloid format, in 2004 the newspaper finally switched completely to the format that had been rejected a decade earlier due to the feared losses in advertising income, among other things.

For some time now, the “Letter & Geest” column has had an internally controversial status as a politically incorrect part, which caught the pulse of the newspaper and took a defensive stance on issues such as multiculturalism and political Islam . This led to a conflict between the editor-in-chief and the head of the section Jaffe Vink, who then left the newspaper in mid-2006 and founded the opinion magazine Opinio , which has been published since January 2007 .

Due to the temporary involvement of the investment company Apax at PCM Uitgevers , as "Perscombinatie" was called from 1994 to 2009, further positions had to be cut in 2006. The circulation, which stabilized at the turn of the millennium, and even increased slightly, then fell again. In 2007 van Exter left the newspaper - due to the temporary appointment of De Berg since 2002 sole editor-in-chief - and was replaced by the previous head of the economic department, Willem Schoonen.


  • 1999 - The newspaper goes online in January, which means that it is launched much later than the sister newspapers de Volkskrant and Het Parool (in the case of the latter at the time)
  • 2004 - in September to RSS - Web feeds a part of Homepage
  • 2006 - Since October, Trouw-tv has broadcast a weekly video program on a specific topic

Previous editors-in-chief

Jan Bruins slot 1945–1971
Jenze Tamminga 1972-1984
Jan Greven 1984-1997
Frits van Exter, Jaap de Berg 1998-2002
Frits van Exter 2002-2007
Willem Schoonen 2007–

Known editors and employees who shape the newspaper

Trouw has, to a lesser extent, star journalists and columnists than its (later) sister newspapers, NRC Handelsblad and de Volkskrant . However, some journalists who would later become well known and / or important in the Netherlands began their careers at Trouw and emphasized the importance of their apprenticeship years there:

  • Cisca Dresselhuys , later editor-in-chief at the feminist magazine Opzij , worked for the newspaper from 1961 to 1981 and helped shape the women's page. In 1997 she received the offer to inherit Jan Greven as editor-in-chief and thus to become the first female editor-in-chief of a Dutch national daily newspaper, but turned it down.
  • Piet Hagen, former editor-in-chief of the specialist body De Journalist and former lecturer at the important School voor Journalistiek, started his journalistic career at Trouw in 1967 .

Edition development

By 1971, the number of copies sold fluctuated around a value of around 200,000. If the Algemeen Dagblad passed Trouw at the end of the sixties , this also applied to de Volkskrant . The circulation initially fell rapidly to a value of around 150,000 in 1975, then continued its downward trend somewhat more slowly and was not able to stabilize until 1985 at a value of just over 120,000. The new concept introduced in 1999 even led to slight increases in circulation, but there was now increasing competition in the form of the Internet and the offshoot of the Swedish free newspaper metro, which has been appearing since June 1999 . In 2004, the circulation fell below the 100,000 mark for the first time, with 96,096 copies sold.

Sold edition
year 2000 2005 2010 2015
Edition 105.196 97,986 93,722 89,957

Newspaper ducks

The amateurism of the 1950s can also be seen in a story from the early days of the later editor-in-chief Jaap de Berg. At that time, he had entered a football stadium for the first time for a football match between Feyenoord Rotterdam and a Brazilian team. When it was 3-2 for Feyenoord at the end of the game, he asked a steward if anything else was going to happen because the deadline for the next day's issue was approaching. The steward denied this, whereupon De Berg left the stadium and gave the score of 3: 2 as the final result. The Brazilians managed to equalize after all, which was also stated in the other newspapers and made De Berg flush with shame the next day.

In 2013, Trouw reported that Aldi was boycotting goods from Israeli settlements across Europe . When asked by Peter Finkelgruen , Aldi called this report a "rumor" and apologized for the fact that there is no general approach to products from these settlements in the group. The newspaper duck was denied in the Dutch media, but is still circulating on the Internet.

See also


  • Peter Bootsma: Trouw. 75 jaar tegen de stroom in. Boom, Amsterdam 2018, ISBN 978-90-8953-689-1 .
  • Jan van de Plasse: Kroniek van de Nederlandse dagblad- en opiniepers. Otto Cramwinckel Uitgever, Amsterdam 2005, ISBN 90-75727-77-1 (Dutch; earlier edition: Jan van de Plasse: Kroniek van de Nederlandse dagbladpers . Cramwinckel, Amsterdam 1999, ISBN 90-75727-25-9 .)
  • Co Welgraven: Typically Trouw, an autobiography van de redactie. Trouw, Amsterdam 2002, ISBN 90-70675-65-X .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Het Oplage Instituut ( Dutch / partly English)
  2. ^ Werner Warmbrunn: The Dutch under German Occupation . Stanford University Press, 1963, p. 227 ff.
  3. Determined by the Het Oplage Instituut (HOI) until 2014 , since 2015 by the Nationaal Onderzoek Multimedia (NOM) foundation , into which the HOI was merged on January 1, 2015.
  4. Uri Degania: No Aldi boycott . haGalil, July 24, 2013