Editor-in-chief Gazet Van Antwerpen
Gazet van Antwerpen is the largest newspaper in the largest city in Flanders, Antwerp. It is the most important source of information for and about the city and the wider region. In addition, the newspaper reports on world news with a sharp eye.
Daily readership print
Daily readership online
Number of subscribers
(print + digital) 69.888
Omroep Onderwereld & GVA Podcast
Having time to make a crime podcast because crime was at a standstill. Making a series about entrepreneurs who dare to start a business right now. Journalistic dreaming happens in corona times too.
In mid-March 2020 we were about to launch a great campaign to promote our weekend edition. Everything was ready: banners, adverts, TV and radio spots… The best reports were in the pipeline to treat our readers and entice new readers, and our supplement Doen! had a new look. And then came coronavirus. Our beautiful culture supplement was going to look very different and our city magazine CittA had to be updated quickly. The promo campaign was shelved. But all our other plans went ahead. Here and there, corona even gave us a hand.
For example, in the spring, our crime reporters Sam and Joris were able to work hard on the Gazet van Antwerpen’s very first podcast. Crime had slowed right down and the courts were running at low speed. Sam and Joris had time to work in the studio. The six episodes of Omroep Onderwereld – the most exciting crime stories from Antwerp and the surrounding area – were ready at the start of July. We launched them with lots of fanfare and they were immediately listened to by thousands of people. Not bad for a newbie podcast. The smallest editorial team within Mediahuis Belgium is incredibly proud of this.
We had already been working for months on turning Gazet van Antwerpen into Gazet van de Antwerpse haven. Research had shown that there was interest in the port among our readers and among Antwerp residents in general. We planned to go to the docks, tow containers, travel with the ships… Well, we did it all. By June that was possible. Then we published our great series The Container. We showed and told readers everything they could want to know about containers at the port. In the summer, we presented a port cycle tour (cycling is permitted in all circumstances) and in September we started our weekly port supplement on Mondays. Just as we had planned. And just as we had hoped, it was a success. Each week we found a business, a problem, a challenge or a person to cover in our port section. And the circulation followed.
Also on our wish-list for 2020: Gazet van Antwerpen wanted to encourage entrepreneurship in the region. Small businesses bring the region to life and keep municipalities and cities moving. We postponed the plan slightly. Entrepreneurship and coronavirus, perhaps not the best relationship. Until we hit on the idea of De Durvers: who would dare to start a business in these hard times? We found 20 brave people in the Kempen and Mechelen areas. Twenty great stories. And no fewer than 6,000 people who voted for one of the Durvers, to show them their support.
We did all this in the middle of a pandemic, with a handful of people in the newsroom and the rest of our colleagues at home. Separated from each other, but connected through big ambitions and a willingness to work hard. Meanwhile, we closely followed the coronavirus and the misery it brought to the region. And we tried not to overlook the good news, because, just like us, our readers needed perspective.
We have great plans for 2021. And whatever happens, we’ll carry them out. You can count on that.