What are you looking for?


Pillarization, Depillarization and the Press in Dutch Society

Professor Huub Wijfjes is KB Fellow

As part of his KB fellowship at NIAS, Media Historian Huub Wijfjes will explore the relationship between the press and the processes of pillarization and depillarization in the Netherlands.

Pillarization and the Media

Huub Wijfjes intends to use historical media sources (newspapers, magazines) and material connected to political culture (political journals, proceedings of parliament) to analyse the relationship between politics and the press in twentieth-century Netherlands. According to existing theories – which Wijfjes would like to test – pillarization in the Netherlands was a time when politics and the press were bound together, so much so that the press was loyal a specific political party. During depillarization these close bonds began to dissolve; Dutch society became more and more mediatized; and the press became more independent. Instead of the press adapting to politicians, politicians started adapting to the media. Wijfjes hopes to find out more about this shift in power.

Digital Collections as Source

Wijfjes will use digitalised collections of newspapers (Delpher), parliamentary documents (Staten-Generaal Digitaal) as well as publications by political parties. His empirical study of the relationship between pillarization and the media in the Netherlands will include digital visualisation techniques. Wijfjes will present the results of his research at the annual public KB Lecture on 20 January 2016.

Huub Wijfjes

Huub Wijfjes is journalist and historian, specialized in Media History. He is Professor in History of Radio and Television at the University of Amsterdam and Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Groningen. Wijfjes published a number of books on the history of journalism and media in the Netherlands. He is a board member of the The Kossmann Institute for Political Culture, as well as a member of the Panel of Experts of the Dutch national broadcasting organisation (NOS).

KB Fellowship

The Fellowship is a cooperation between the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (KB) – National Library of the Netherlands – and NIAS. The fellowship is awarded to a renowned Dutch or non-Dutch scholar in the humanities and aims to promote the use of the KB’s special collections. Previous KB fellows include Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Robert Darnton, Jonathan Israel and Lisa Jardine. Huub Wijfjes is the twelfth KB Fellow.

More information about Huub Wijfjes and his research on his own website.
More about the KB Fellowship and previous fellows