Dutch Language Blog

6 Ways to Read More News in Dutch Posted by on Feb 23, 2016 in Culture, Dutch Language, News

Especially when learning a small cultural language like Dutch, it’s nearly impossible to separate the language from the culture of the people who speak it. That’s why jezelf op de hoogte houden (keeping yourself up to date) on current events in the Netherlands, Belgium, and other parts of the nederlandstaalgebied is a great way to enhance your language learning and get some reading practice along with it!

dutch news volkskrant

Image via Pixabay under CC 0 (public domain).

The Netherlands particularly has a very civically engaged culture compared with many others, which means that the journalism coming out of the country is of world class. There are plenty of different news sources for different interests and perspectives, but here’s a sampling of six of them to get you started.

1) De Volkskrant

De Volkskrant is one of the mainstays of Dutch media. Originally founded as a Catholic newspaper, the modern-day publication markets itself to highly educated, left-leaning Dutch readers. De Volkskrant is one of the three main kwaliteitskranten or newspapers of record of the Netherlands, and as such is generally respected as high-quality journalism.

Expect to read stories of national, European, and international interest here, from the refugee crisis to the weather forecast. Many editorial pieces, like this one on the potential consequences of closing the Schengen area internal borders, take a slightly left-leaning, pan-European approach to issues facing the Dutch public.

2) De Correspondent

De Correspondent is one of the most innovative Dutch news sources of the digital age, with sleek design and deep-going, thought-provoking coverage of complex issues in the Netherlands and abroad. De Correspondent typically approaches its stories with a progressive slant meant to appeal to worldly, educated twenty-somethings.

Unlike the other newspapers on this list, De Correspondent is totally online, subscription-based, and completely free of advertisements. But you don’t have to subscribe to start reading — check their website and social media or subscribe to their mailing list for the handful of articles that are shared daily by Correspondent staff, like their coverage of Operatie Leunstoel that exposed a Cold War era Dutch espionage plot.

3) Lokale dagbladen

The big names aren’t the only ones — if you’re living in or otherwise particularly interested in the daily goings-on of a particular city, just check their local dagblad or daily newspaper. I check the Leidsch Dagblad frequently to keep myself op de hoogte of what’s going on in the city I used to live in.

Most of the local dagbladen feature a focus on local news, and while stories like the first ‘poepbank’ (it’s what you think it is) in the Netherlands may not be of interest to many, they make an exceptional way to stay keyed in to the details of what’s going on in a community.

4) De Standaard

Belgium is also host to a number of Dutch language (often referred to in Belgium as Vlaams, with its own written and spoken differences from the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands) newspapers. De Standaard is one of the most prestigious nederlandstalige kranten, and is read daily by many throughout Flanders and Brussels.

This paper is usually associated with a Christian-Democratic approach to the news and, unsurprisingly, a generally pro-Flemish take on Belgian politics. Among daily stories on all things Flemish, Belgian, European, and global, De Standaard features a popular Cartoon van de Dag that normally treats the day’s hottest news topic with gentle satire.

5) NRC Handelsblad

For business and economics, there’s no name more trustworthy than the NRC Handelsblad. The Handelsblad takes a liberal economic approach to the day’s news, so expect analysis of things like the potential repercussions of a UK exit from the EU or positive coverage of international trade deals like TTIP.

For younger readers, NRC has developed the related (but editorially independent) sister magazine NRC Next, which aims to engage a public of, according to one of its editors, “de nieuwe generatie geïnteresseerde mediagebruikers die anders omgaat met nieuws en informatie“.

6) Amigoe

Don’t forget that Dutch is spoken in the Caribbean as well! Amigoe is based in Curaçao and publishes the daily news in Dutch for the Caribbean market.

This paper lacks the global perspective of many of those based in the Netherlands and Belgium, instead focusing on regional goings-on in the Dutch Caribbean and the greater Caribbean in general. News stories range from local feel-good stories to looks at how the Zika virus might affect the Caribbean economy as a whole, all written in a Dutch that’s palpably influenced by Spanish and local languages of the Caribbean, yet still perfectly understandable for the casual Dutch reader.

dutch news newspaper

Image via Pixabay under CC 0 (public domain).

If you’re not sure which krant you’d like to get started on, you can start with an article like this one that explains (in Dutch) how you can go about choosing a newspaper and explains the slants and editorial policies of each major paper in the Netherlands. Don’t forget that it’s really easy to supplement your news-consumption with TV news from the Netherlands with sites like npo.nl.

How do you stay op de hoogte of what’s going on in the Dutch-speaking world? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below!

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About the Author: Jakob Gibbons

I write about language and travel on my blog . I often share my experiences with learning languages on the road, and teaching and learning new speech sounds is my specialty.


  1. Graham:

    Excellent blog. Have been collecting them to read and all are interesting. 🙂