Vrij Nederland

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Minister Frits Korthals Altes with the Vrij Nederland (19 May 1983) at the Tweede Kamer, next to him Onno Ruding. Both are linked by Vrij Nederland Slavenburg's bank affair [nl].

Vrij Nederland (Free Netherlands) is a Dutch magazine, established during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II as an underground newspaper. It has since grown into a magazine. The weekly magazine is traditionally intellectually left-wing, in recent years it became more centrist. It is one of the four most influential written media in its sector, along with Elsevier, De Groene Amsterdammer and HP/De Tijd, now all with a stagnating or dwindling readership of their printed media. Publisher of Vrij Nederland is WPG Media in Amsterdam. The offices are in a monumental building from 1914 on Raamgracht 4, on the corner with the Kloveniersburgwal.

The first issue was published on 31 August 1940. The chief editors have included:

  • 1940–1942: Frans Hofker
  • 1941–1950: Henk van Randwijk
  • 1950–1955: Johan Winkler
  • 1955–1969: Mathieu Smedts [nl]
  • 1969–1991: Rinus Ferdinandusse
  • 1991–1997: Joop van Tijn
  • 1998–2000: Oscar Garschagen
  • 2001–2004: Xandra Schutte
  • 2004–2005: Gerard van Westerloo (interim)
  • 2005–2008: Emile Fallaux
  • 2008–2015: Frits van Exter
  • 2017–present: Ward Wijndelts

The circulation has decreased from 1945 on, except for an increase in the 1970s:

  • 1945: 109,000
  • 1947: 32,000
  • 1951: 35,000
  • 1955: 19,000
  • 1960: 23,000
  • 1965: 36,950
  • 1970: 81,378
  • 1975: 109,381
  • 1978: 117,165
  • 1980: 111,857
  • 1985: 97,132
  • 1990: 76,947
  • 2000: 55,947
  • 2001: 53,669 (−4.1%)
  • 2002: 53,413 (−0.5%)
  • 2003: 52,868 (−1.0%)
  • 2004: 50,124 (−5.2%)
  • 2005: 49,244 (−1.8%)
  • 2006: 47,082 (−4.4%)
  • 2007: 46,671 (−0.9%)
  • 2008: 44,115 (−5.5%)
  • 2009: 44,860 (+1.7%)
  • 2010: 48,353 (+7.8%)
  • 2011: 45,534 (−5.8%)
  • 2012: 40,872 (−10.2%)
  • 2013: 35,649 (−12.8%)
  • 2014: 31.623 (−11.3%)
  • 2015: 22.937 (−27.5%)
  • 2016: 19.875 (−13.3%)

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