Dutch is a full-color glossy magazine about the Netherlands, the Dutch, and the Dutch in North-America.
The first edition of this new English-language magazine just came of the press this week. We spoke with Tom Bijvoet, the publisher.
"You can compare it to the glossies in stores about Italy, France or the United Kingdom", says Tom. “We target everybody with an interest in the Netherlands, and especially North-Americans with a Dutch background."
The magazine will be published every other month. The current edition has 2,500 copies, the goal is 5,000 at the end of the first year. "There's a large potential market", says Tom, "there are some 5 million North-Americans of Dutch ancestry".
Looking at the Netherlands with a North-American view
Tom describes the content of the first edition, which consists of 48 pages. "First, there are the letters to the editor, followed by short news articles. These are Dutch news items that are of interest, such as the new 'Floating Dutchman Bus' at Schiphol Airport. We have several feature articles, for example an article on the surveillance culture in the Netherlands. We tend to look at the Netherlands with a North-American view, and the large number of cameras on the highways, and in the inner cities is remarkable."
There is an article about the history of the Dutch-language press in North-America. Tom: "There used to be several dozen Dutch-language newspapers in the United States and Canada, some of which stayed in existence for a long time". Other items include articles on immigration, genealogy, travel to the Netherlands, the Dutch language, and a 'Dutch judge' comic strip. Tom: "We try to stay away from stereotypes: we're not about tulips and windmills. On the other hand, if there are interesting developments about water management in Holland, we will certainly write about them."
The magazine targets everyone with in interest in the Netherlands and the Dutch. It is particularly aiming at the children of Dutch immigrants in North America. Tom: "Dutch immigrants tend to 'Americanize' very quickly, and the next generation usually doesn't speak Dutch very well. But they know the language a little bit and would have liked to know more about their roots".
Tom is also the publisher of De Krant, a large Dutch-language paper, but there are significant differences between the two publications. "De Krant is a Dutch-language magazine. A large part of its audience consists of immigrants who came to Canada and the US in the 1950s. The numbers of the target demographic of the newspaper are declining, which is one of the reasons we decided to start with Dutch. There are simply not that many Dutch-language immigrants coming the North-America anymore, and we don't want to mix Dutch and English in De Krant. We did a one-time special last year in English for De Krant, about World War II, which was a dry-run to see how an English-language publication would be received. "
The authors of Dutch live in the United States and Canada, and one of the columnists is an Englishman who lives in the Netherlands. Of note is the Dutch recipe column, by Nicole Holten, who translates her online success into a print publication.
A Dutch immigrant in Canada
Tom arrived in Canada in 1999 with his wife and 1-year old daughter. They had been on vacation in Canada, fell in love with the country and decided to immigrate to Canada. Now they have four children, and are living in Penticton, British Columbia.
"After our immigration, I came across De Krant, and started writing columns for it. Four years ago, I got the opportunity to take over the newspaper, so I started a publishing business for magazines and several books, with publications about World War II".
Dutch is now available through the publisher, annual subscription fee is $39.50.
Mokeham Publishing Inc.