Henk Hofland, Dutch journalist, columnist and writer, Died at 88

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Hendrik Johannes Adrianus “Henk” Hofland was born on July 20, 1927, and died on June 21, 2016.

He was a Dutch journalist, commentator, essayist and columnist.

Mostly known as H.J.A. Hofland, and was often referred to as the éminence grise of Dutch journalism.

During 1999, Henk was named Dutch “Journalist of the century” in a nationwide poll among his peers.

Hofland once described himself as belonging to the “anarcho-liberal community”, though his political orientation was that of the secular center of society.

During 1962, Henk became deputy editor in chief of the Handelsblad, and subsequently its editor in chief in 1968.

Hofland 1972, after two years the Handelsblad had merged with the Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant (NRC), becoming NRC Handelsblad, he resigned his post after a bitter conflict with the publisher about the disconnect between the liberal editorial staff of the newspaper and the more conservative readership.

Whilst he a freelance journalist, Henk Hofland continued to publish articles, essays and reports for NRC Handelsblad.

During 1972 he published a book called Tegels Lichten (Lifting Tiles), containing essays on postwar Dutch domestic politics and various high profile ‘affairs’, such as the decolonization of Indonesia, the Dutch-Indonesian dispute about New Guinea and in particular the “anguish of Dutch authorities.”.

Henk Hofland wrote the book out of anger and frustration about the Dutch cover-up culture in politics and business.

Whilst he was operating along the lines of the American New Journalism he made the television documentary Vastberaden, maar soepel en met mate (Determined, but flexible and cautious), with television journalists Hans Keller and Hans Verhagen in 1974 for the VPRO.

Whilst using the alias Samuel Montag, a pseudonym he took from a British banking house, he writes ruminations on everyday aspects of life.

Henk Hofland passed away at 88 years old.

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