Pieter Broertjes, former Chief Editor of De Volkskrant:
"Just good memories"
Pieter Broertjes was Chief Editor of Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant until July 2010 and is extraordinary lecturer of cross-media publishing at Hogeschool Utrecht. On 1 July 2011 he will be appointed mayor of Hilversum. In the 1970s he studied economics and sociology at Utrecht University. He looks back on a fantastic and valuable student life.
Action groups and sit-ins
“I was a red in the 1970s, the period of action groups and sit-ins. I was a keen activist. Students disputed everything. For instance, we thought we did not need inductive statistics, because we disliked the subject. Instead, we asked for Marxist sociology.
I learnt a lot in that period, the most important lessons being how to deal with powerful people and learning how they react. Shouting alone is not enough. I learnt how to write and speak in public, but also how to analyse, follow reasonings and weigh arguments. It has proven to be beneficial throughout my life.
Initially, I intended to do research in the third world, but I ended up at De Volkskrant.”
"I have always stayed in touch with Utrecht University. I was on the Board of the U-blad (University Paper) for some years. And I assisted the U-blad's transition from an association to a university service.
President of the Executive Board Yvonne van Rooy has asked me to join a sounding board group for Social Sciences. I believe Utrecht University is working within an ivory tower. Scientists are primarily concerned with each other, rather than with society. The sounding board group aims at maintaining contact with the outside world and developing sensitivity to what society expects.”