Submitted by Zainab Gaafar

The Journalist Program: A Different Way To Explore The Netherlands

Netherlands Architecture News - Feb 11, 2020 - 11:19   7482 views

The Journalist Program: A Different Way To Explore The Netherlands

Last November I got an interesting opportunity to visit the Netherlands for 5 days. As a beginner news reporter being part of a tailored program for journalists was a great experience. 

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs holds a regular program intended to bring in journalists from countries the Netherlands is involved with politically or strategically so they can convey the story or "The Dutch Way of things". The goal is to create more media exposure through these visits and missions. The Journalists Program invites journalists from all types of media and from specific countries, to visit the Netherlands and report back using their medium on specified themes.


Journalists visiting World Horti Center. Image © Dinh Tuyen

Usually these projects target journalists from one country and are there to cover political stories this time after a collaboration between TU Delft and the enterprise, they invited different journalists from all around the world to attend the Global Initiative Impact Day, hosted by TU Delft.

The program however included other parts, where the journalists met researchers and managers of other institutes working in fields related to environmental issues, food security, water management and technology. Topics all journalists participating found relevant to their field of work. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency organizes about 12 press visits each year. A visit usually takes three days. The group size will usually be a maximum of eight participants per visit. The programs are open for all types of media outlets: both journalists from newspapers, magazines and blogs, as well as radio and TV crews are invited.


TU Delft students explaining their work. Image © Dinh Tuyen

The Global Initiative:

Global Initiative | TU Delft, Scientists from Delft University of Technology use their expertise to find concrete solutions for worldwide problems mostly in the global south, in close cooperation with local partners. TU Delft | Global Initiative is their portal, platform and booster of Science and Technology for Global Development.

The global Initiative is currently funding 20 PhD students all working in issues relevant to the development of countries in the Global South, covering issues from power supply to housing solutions and material development.


Impact Day. Image © Dinh Tuyen

Impact Day:

The Global Initiative’s Impact Day the main event during this visit was to show all the stories and research conducted by TU Delft as part of the Initiative for the past 5 years and the amount of outreach they managed to reach.

Students showcased their work, research and all the ideas they came up with to provide impactful solutions in real life situations, by working with enterprises TU Delft could close the gap between science/research and the real world, as well as working with governments.

Seeing so many ground up ideas to solve problems related to energy and environment was one of the most interesting parts for me.


Student work exhibition. Image © Zainab Gaafar

The Netherlands Technologies:

Through this time around the program took the visiting journalist to several high-tech institutes and facilities where they conduct research and test out technologies, working with international and national bodies.

Deltares is an independent institute for applied research in the field of water and subsurface with five areas of expertise. Testing out the performance of upcoming water construction projects and coming up with solutions for water management are part of many points this institute focuses on.

The Green Village is an innovative space to test out new technologies and to accelerate the development and implementation of these  innovations. By bringing together everyone who needs to be involved from scientists and engineers, businesses, the public, to governmental bodies.


Journalists visit Deltares. Image © Dinh Tuyen


Journalists visit The Green Village. Image © Dinh Tuyen

A journalist:

For me this was a great opportunity, not just through learning a lot about the Netherlands and all the work they do in different fields but also meeting other journalists, seeing them in action and learning from how they find stories to write and how they look for angles that all their audience will find relevant.

During the program we went through the Roofs of Rotterdam tour, as an architect this tour was quite informative about the history of the city and learning about the use of the roofs and public spaces and all the solutions the city came up with to work on water management and connecting the city together.


Roofs of Rotterdam tour. Image © Dinh Tuyen

If you're a journalist interested in this program contact your local Netherlands embassy to ask about this program and see if it's available for journalists from your country.

Top Image © Dinh Tuyen