Professor Cees Hamelink has been a rare critical voice in Dutch and international communication scholarship for the last half a century. His work has explored media in the Netherlands and internationally, foregrounding a normative perspective, human rights, and political economy. He recently published his twentieth monograph. In this interview conducted near the end of 2023, he discusses the past and present of Dutch journalism and communication science from an international perspective, identifying worrying trends. He evaluates his career at the University of Amsterdam as a critical scholar and talks about persisting with education and activism in the face of a bleak world.

Keywords: Cees Hamelink, communication science, Dutch journalism, foreign news, higher education, the Netherlands, pillarization, University of Amsterdam


For half a century, professor Cees Hamelink, born in 1940, has exercised a prominent voice in public debates on media and politics in the Netherlands, his country of citizenship, and beyond. As professor in International Communication at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) for decades, he has published widely on Dutch and international media. Prominent and persistent themes in his work have been a critical perspective on politics and media grounded in the subfield of the political economy of communication, universal values and human rights. He has also focused on exploring the benefits and especially the threats posed by stark differentials in social power relations and new technologies, and critiquing mainstream social scientific research into media and communication (e.g. Hamelink 1988, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2011, 2015, 2020). A pithy summary of his work could be: power versus human rights.

Hamelink has published twenty monographs, including his latest, Communication and Human Rights (Hamelink 2023; Bergman 2024). In it, Hamelink argues that communicative justice can only be realized in a grassroots-democratic and non-capitalist society. For the legal framework of human rights erected by the United Nations after World War II lacks enforcement measures in the face of overwhelming corporate and state power. He emphasizes the neglected importance of Article 28 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized” (cited in Hamelink 2023: 134). In addition, he argues, all people including himself need to decolonize their minds. Looking back at the debates on a New International Information Order in the 1970s, in which he himself took part, he writes reflectively that “Many of us in the Western academic community did not see how much a part we were (and still are)” of “epistemic coloniality.” He adds: “Our overzealous attempts to do good obscured the analysis of our biases. Our colonial minds formulated the world as we thought it should be organized” (Hamelink 2023: 103-104).

Hamelink has been an engaged public intellectual in the Netherlands. A broadcast journalist in the second half of the 1960s, he has since written many op-eds in Dutch newspapers and frequently appeared on national television, making him a public figure in the Netherlands. He also was a policy advisor, including with UNESCO, and has taken leadership roles in the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), including as president.

Hamelink received his PhD in theology from the UvA with a dissertation on the role of the churches in public communication in 1975, the year I was born. Initially, he wanted to research the role of transnational corporations in international information flows. He was advised against that topic by his prospective supervisor, who deemed it too radical (Hamelink Unpublished Manuscript). For me, his work has been important in two ways. First, as an example of critical media scholarship explicitly and unapologetically grounded in universal values. Second, as an authoritative and well-known voice that I could refer to in my own research on Dutch journalism. Not infrequently, both Dutch and non-Dutch scholars would express doubt as to how negatively I cast the Dutch media. Was not the Netherlands one of the most progressive countries in the world? Though, the better informed foreigners were aware of troubling developments in the Netherlands, including the rise of the far-right and a political murder that shocked the country and the world.

While taking my own PhD in the Institute of Communications Research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2008 to 2013, I once joked in a presentation that the “hypothesis” of my dissertation on the political economy of Dutch journalism was that “the Dutch media suck too.” That got me a few laughs. Everyone in the room, mostly Americans, understood that the “too” referred to the media in the United States. Indeed, in my experience American scholars tend to take a more critical stance towards their own media than Dutch scholars do towards theirs. It would be a mistake to think that the relatively positive attitude prevalent among Dutch scholars can be wholly – and conveniently – explained by the American news simply being of much lower quality than the Dutch news (e.g. Bergman 2013, 2014, in press; Bergman and Van de Beek 2022).

In short, Hamelink’s work has been indispensable to me. In my impression, which is based on his academic and journalistic work and my interaction with him, a key to his longevity as a teacher and public figure is that he is a people’s person who is energized by and finds value in debate and human interaction. The following interview with Hamelink was conducted on 6 November, 2023, at his home in Amsterdam.[1] Hamelink discusses the past and present of Dutch journalism and communication science from an international perspective, identifying worrying trends. He evaluates his career at the University of Amsterdam as a critical scholar and talks about persisting with education and activism in the face of a bleak world.

Past and current Dutch journalism

TB: To someone who is not from the Netherlands, how would you introduce Dutch journalism? What are Dutch journalism’s main characteristics? How does Dutch journalism compare to journalism in other countries, for instance the United States, Great Britain and Germany? How has Dutch journalism developed and how do you evaluate the current level of journalism, especially the foreign news?

CH: What happens in the Dutch media, like elsewhere, is that powerful propagandists deceive and the media mainly relay their propaganda without sufficient skepticism. On the whole, Dutch journalists simply accept what powerful sources say. A big problem in the Netherlands is that many newspapers, notably the popular De Telegraaf and NRC Handelsblad, say the Dutch New York Times, are owned by the Belgian company Mediahuis. So by Belgian millionaires, who have very strong ties to the European Commission. They are very pro-European Commission. Therefore, you often see a lack of criticism in the Dutch coverage of the European Commission and specifically its president, the very undemocratic Ursula von der Leyen, for instance as to the Covid pandemic and the current conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

Taking an international perspective, Dutch journalism is very similar to German, American and British journalism. These countries all follow the same models. Students are trained the same way at journalism schools. Students are told that it is important that they become muckrakers, that they do investigative journalism. In meetings between the directors of the Dutch journalism schools and the editors-in-chief of the newspapers, the directors may ask the editors-in-chief: “What do you need?” The editors-in-chief usually will reply that they need investigative journalists. But when the schools educate such journalists, it turns out that the newspapers have no capacity to hire them. Apart from the objections to undermining the powers that be that would inevitably arise, there is also the problem that investigative journalism costs a lot of money. There is never enough money to suggest to a journalist: “Why don’t you take three years to investigate the relations between the Dutch government and the pharmaceutical industry?”

Investigative journalism is hardly seen anymore in the Netherlands. It blossomed in the 1960s and 1970s, centered around the left-wing magazine Vrij Nederland, which began as a resistance publication during the German occupation in World War II. Dutch public broadcasting once provided journalists with a reasonably large amount of freedom, certainly more than the commercial broadcasters. But public broadcasting rather quickly turned into de facto commercial broadcasting, because the government made the survival of public broadcasting contingent on it reaching large audiences. In the 1960s the Netherlands introduced commerce on the public channel by allowing commercials to be aired, coordinated by the organization STER. The STER mandated that the larger the audience, the higher the pay-out.

The Netherlands has a concealed commercial broadcasting model. In contrast, in the period of pillarization, when radio and television programs were produced and funded by the four main ideological factions in Dutch society – the Catholics, the Protestants, the Socialists and the Liberals – public broadcasting had clear ideological features. The news by the socialist VARA was different from the news by the Protestants. That is the broadcasting era in which I grew up. I am a pillarization person. It was a better system than the current one. My work, first as a journalist and then a scholar, is inspired by the prophets in the Old Testament. They spoke truth to power, with huge risks to their own life. They spoke the truth as they saw it and accepted the risk that the king would not be happy. From when I started in 1965 as a journalist at the religious broadcaster IKON, where among other topics I reported on the Middle East, I have always thought: that’s a beautiful motto. But if you want to speak truth to power you should first understand how power works and who the powerful are. That is how my research started into the role of the banks in the economy and cultural imperialism.

In the 1960s the pillars started to disappear from Dutch society. This development had its benefits, but the pillars were replaced by what I call post-ideological politics. The parliamentary debates weren’t about ideas anymore but specific issues. Dutch politics became issue politics, for instance on migration, the role of Islam in society, and the climate. The broader ideological questions that underpin these topics are not discussed anymore. Almost all the states in the world are rogue states and the Netherlands has become one as well. We are a very corrupt state. Not in the sense of shoveling a lot of money to each other, though that happens as well, for instance in the real estate and other sectors, but as to the ways we deal with each other. We don’t listen to each other and humiliate people. There is enormous institutional racism in this country. These days all political parties want to stop immigration. It all amounts to a structure in which you cannot realize human rights.

With depillarization the broadcasters and newspapers lost their ideological orientation. It became hard to distinguish public programs from those on the commercial channels. Public broadcasting had a clear societal function when it was based on ideological differences, but it doesn’t have that function anymore. Ten years ago I took articles from different newspapers and asked my students if they could tell which newspaper had published them. The students couldn’t tell. Then I showed them articles from newspapers in the 1960s, and it was easy for them to see that this article came from the protestant Trouw, that one from the Catholic-progressive de Volkskrant, and the other one from the socialist Het Vrije Volk. Take de Volkskrant. These days it is not a left-wing paper anymore. It hasn’t been so for a long time. When it was led by left-wing, Catholic progressives it was a very decent newspaper. It smelled a bit Catholic, but it promoted progressive positions.

The sometimes rosy view abroad as to our public broadcasting system and “critical” journalism might be wishful thinking, originating from wanting to believe that somewhere in the world things are alright. I can understand it also from the perspective that the Dutch, together with for instance the Swedes and the Fins, have long been at the forefront of talking about human rights and providing aid to the underdeveloped world. We are seen as very progressive and tolerant. In the Netherlands everyone was always welcome … well, as long as these immigrants didn’t cause trouble and brought money with them. We are very selective as to whom we show tolerance to.

The Dutch media are starting to realize that they didn’t get it quite right during the Covid pandemic and that perhaps research should have been done on the side-effects of the vaccines. In the current conflict between Hamas and Israel, Dutch journalism is quite critical of Israel. But as to the war in Ukraine, Dutch journalism has shown no inclination at all to explain the war as having started with the American neoconservatives who want to get rid of Russia. The notion that a whole history preceded this war, that’s not on the Dutch media agenda. Russian president Vladimir Putin is regarded as satan and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky as a saint. That is the neat narrative into which the Dutch media fit everything that happens. The Dutch government has de facto declared war on Russia, but the Dutch don’t want to see that. The ideological blindness is overwhelming.

Especially the quality of the Dutch media’s reporting on Latin America and Mexico is terribly low. The wrong sources are used. We had a great tradition as to foreign reporting. For years we had top journalists, including in Latin-America, like Jan van der Putten. All that has disappeared. I hardly see any good foreign news reporting. I barely see good investigative journalism. The journalistic quality has gone down. In the Netherlands there are very few journalists, maybe one or two, who can conduct a decent political interview.

I hardly read or watch Dutch journalism anymore. I consider Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and the radical journalist Chris Hedges and the periodistas in Mexico much more interesting than the Dutch media. I have paid close attention to the Dutch media for a very long time. I come out of those circles. I worked there. I have an interest because I am Dutch but slowly that interest is starting to fade. If I really want to be well informed, then I read the articles by Roberto Savio, the founder of Inter Press Service, which he disseminates through his site Other News. He publishes terrific commentaries. If I read him and listen to Chris Hedges and Amy Goodman, and watch Al Jazeera, then I have been sufficiently informed as to what goes on in the world.

With Goodman and Hedges things happen in the United States that we haven’t yet seen in the Netherlands. For two years I published spoken columns on the alternative media site blckbx. Some of those columns received a hundred thousand views, which for a small country like the Netherlands is a lot. I would have to give many lectures to reach that number. But in the Netherlands, the few alternative media that we have never became a community. I myself was excluded from the mainstream media because of critical comments on the Covid pandemic, the governmental measures and the unreliability of the pharmaceutical industry.

Other critics of the Dutch government’s Covid policies were excluded as well from the mainstream media. They fled to social media. I believe social media are the future and will more and more determine the media landscape, despite their problems, including the presence of fake news. Some social media channels have professionalized and are threatening the Dutch mainstream media or the “bourgeois media” as they say in Finland. Why did no one in the Netherlands do investigative journalism on the topic of the pharmaceutical industry and its ties with the Dutch government? Dutch communication scholars conducted no research into Covid and government propaganda either. I would like to know, what were the roles played by media owners and editors-in-chief?

Dutch communication science and the university system

TB: When I meet non-Dutch scholars of media and communication and they hear that I grew up in the Netherlands and have written about the Dutch media, sometimes your name comes up. I have the impression that quite a few non-Dutch scholars consider you emblematic of the scholarship coming out of the Netherlands. That surely is a compliment, but to me your critical perspective grounded in the humanities makes you an exception and not the rule. Can you talk about communication science and the universities in the Netherlands, and your career path? What have been the main developments? Who, if anyone, have you considered a fellow traveler to your critical perspective?

CH: Communication science as it is called in the Netherlands was never critical. I like to say that Herbert Schiller’s stay at the University of Amsterdam in academic year 1972 to 1973 was the only period when critical political economy was taught there. Communication science as a discipline is more interested in studying media effects, not political and economic power. Many classes in communication taught at the UvA focus on topics such as effective communication strategies, audience reception and political participation, and the ways the media report on controversial issues like migration. You should also realize that Dutch sociology was never really critical sociology and what critical thinking there was has disappeared almost completely.

Dutch researchers in general have paid little attention to the relations between societal elites – as sources, owners, and propagandists – and the news choices that journalists make. Economic interests have not been a topic of research. Gathering quantifiable data was seen as preferable to asking critical questions about power relations. Power was never high on the research agenda. The battle for recognition of communication as an academic discipline and publication and funding requirements promoted epistemological conservatism among journal editors and funding providers. Also, communication studies at the UvA needed to attract students, many of who seemed especially interested in completing a degree that would help them land a job. The rise of neoliberal thinking in Dutch politics and the economy has shrunk the space for critical reflection even further. After I published the book Regeert de Leugen? [Does the Lie Govern? TB] in 2004, in which I argued that Dutch journalism mostly relays propaganda by the powerful, the Dutch communication scientists kept silent.

As to my fellow travellers, there were a few individuals, especially Jaap van Ginneken [e.g. Van Ginneken 1998, 2007, 2018; see also Bergman 2018, TB]. He didn’t receive the prominence in the Netherlands that he deserved. By now he has retired from writing books and giving talks. Teun van Dijk, the critical discourse analyst, was another good comrade. The UvA treated him so badly that he left for Barcelona and Sao Paulo. The UvA did not even congratulate him when he received his second honorary doctorate, a rare achievement. So he thought: “What a strange university this is.” Also, when Teun and I established the critical research group CRITICS in the late 1980s, we invited Noam Chomsky on the board. CRITICS never took off as we never received any support from the university. It was another important reason for Teun to leave the Netherlands. There has been no one else who has focused on political economy and power relations. Someone like Liesbeth van Zoonen, for instance, did good critical work on feminism, but did not work on political economy. We never had a strong tradition in political economy research in the Netherlands. Internationally, there was Peter Golding, Graham Murdock, Oscar Gandy, Dallas Smythe and Herbert Schiller. A great list but they also remained individuals in the margins.

The Dutch are reasonably tolerant and progressive. There is space for criticism. But that ends when the criticism becomes systemic, when it concerns the political-economic system. For instance, all the attempts at the UvA to set up a critical Master’s program in International Communication with a strong political-economic angle, failed, although there was a lot of interest among the students.

In the 1960s and 1970s there was a reasonable amount of freedom at the Dutch universities but slowly they became more embedded, just like journalists became embedded, in the industrial-educational structure that considered it important for researchers to publish a lot and to sell their work and themselves, to attract their own research funding, and especially to do research that does not rock the system’s boat. Many of my colleagues spend an enormous amount of time filling in forms and writing grant proposals that will never be awarded. It is a waste of time and energy. Generally speaking the social sciences have become more and more embedded in the industrial-education system. Who wants critical research on power relations? Research needs to be paid for.

The big questions have disappeared from the research agenda. I remember a PhD viva at the UvA. A student had done research into the digital versions of newspapers. It was a very professionally conducted study, methodologically sound. I asked the student what her findings meant for democracy. She went into a panic. She had no idea what the answer should be. Afterwards her primary supervisor was upset with me for asking the question. A big question like what it all means for democracy is not on the research agenda because nobody is interested in paying for such a study. Communication science often merely amounts to the quantification of the obvious. The research is methodologically in order and at the same time meaningless.

I always say, Jürgen Habermas would not survive in the current university system. He would have needed to bring in money for his research. But he belongs to a tradition of researchers, to which I also belong, who need little money as their research consists of collecting empirical studies. It doesn’t require a lot of assistants. You need to think critically and report on your thoughts. Money isn’t needed, just a clear mind. That form of research you see a lot in France. I don’t think Michel Foucault ever put in a funding request.

At the UvA it came to a point when monographs didn’t count anymore as research output. The priority became articles in peer-reviewed journals. Van Ginneken and I were annoyed, as we focused on writing books. Public outreach also doesn’t count at Dutch universities. At the UvA they did not like it when you became too popular. Van Ginneken was asked: “Aren’t you a bit too much in newspapers and on television?” As I stressed in my retirement lecture in 2012 at the UvA, communication science emerged out of different disciplines and developed into its own discipline. It settled into a monodiscipline just when multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and even transdisciplinary issues became important because of the complexity of communication in a globalizing world. Students of communication became specialists right at the moment when communication was more and more integrated in social, economic and political systems. When it comes to international communication, we should doubt the global validity of social sciences that emerged from European realities and are not the product of Asian, African or Caribbean realities.

In 1981 I started teaching and researching international communication at the Institute of Social Studies as a senior lecturer. In my first working paper on “New Structures of International Communication: The Role of Research,” I wrote that “in order to play a useful role, nothing less than a scientific revolution is required.” The central question to me was if “scientific activity will keep people dependent upon so-called objective forces or whether it will enable them to understand the character of these forces and to control them.” I distinguished between repressive and emancipatory science and proposed that the researcher be no longer “the mere student of social contradictions” but “a full participant in them.” In 1983 I accepted an extraordinary chair in International Communication. It was changed into a regular chair in 1993, which I vacated in 2012 upon mandatory retirement. Until 2018 I continued giving lectures and supervising PhD students at the UvA, which was allowed because I was also a professor at the University of Aruba, which did not participate in age discrimination. From 2019 on, international communication as a subject at the UvA has practically disappeared.

I tried to keep my position at the UvA for as long as possible, against the tide. When I stepped down my chair was terminated. It was replaced with a chair on the digital society, a topic on which already so much research and teaching is done. I always believed that international and intercultural communication were very important for a city like Amsterdam, which boasts about how many nationalities live there. I sometimes wonder if I should I have done more to embed international communication into communication science. At my retirement ceremony, my colleague Jo Bardoel remarked that I was always traveling. That was right. I worked for the United Nations to promote the New International Information Order and participated in the MacBride Report and the World Summits on the Information Society. A benefit was that I could then later talk to students about current political developments, because I had observed them myself.

The UvA was never an environment that, when it came to my insights on political economy and power structures, inspired me or helped me. I navigated being at the UvA by travelling and participating in UN projects, while keeping some distance because the United Nations is a completely powerless organization, as is clearly shown again these days with regard to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The guardian of peace cannot guard the peace. The United Nations should have been an organization of nations, of peoples, but became an organization of states. The UvA afforded me the opportunity to bridge my academic work with political engagement. In some ways there was no better job than being a professor at that university.

My circle of friends and intellectual comrades, like Herbert Schiller and Robin Mansell, was elsewhere, outside of the UvA. So I travelled. I frequently visited foreign universities because I felt very much at home there, including in Mexico. In Latin America, there is more sympathy for the critical approach to communication because the power relations are more sharply drawn there, compared to the Netherlands. In Mexico, the mainstream media are obviously on the side of the political opposition and openly try to undermine the current president Lopez Obrador, a critical social democrat. The power of the extreme right and the contradictions in society are very clear there.

As to the stark differences when it came to ideology and methodology between my colleagues and myself at the UvA, apart from traveling I navigated that situation with the Dutch mentality of avoiding trouble in the shop. We are a nation of shopkeepers. We don’t want trouble in the shop. We like to keep all parties happy. We don’t love differences much. We want no problems, so we can do business. The Netherlands is a flat land, as the Belgian chansonnier Jacques Brel already sang a long time ago, meaning that the Dutch eschew extremes and that extreme right-wing parties are in fact very ‘Undutch’. When I recently sat next to a former colleague from the UvA on a plane, we were very civilized and nice to each other. I told my wife, who was travelling with me: this is one of my colleagues whom I respect but totally disagree with, as does he with me.

Making jazz music kept me going as well, while dealing with the work issues that arose. When deans objected to whatever plans I had I could always reply: “I can get up and walk out. When they would ask: “What will you do?” I would say: “I will sit on the Dam square in the centre of Amsterdam and be a street musician.” It is important for academics to find something that guarantees their independence from their university. If they cannot pressure you, then they acquire a certain amount of respect for you because you take your freedom seriously. It has provided me a lot of freedom. I managed to survive the university system because of the inner freedom I felt that I could do other things if need be. Currently, I work at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, at the Athena Instituut, where I am Professor of Health and Human Rights. There I have found a community where I feel at home. Together with critical young researchers we are tackling health topics. I am already looking forward to teaching class tomorrow.

Universities are not just part of an industrial-education system but are also very bureaucratic. The bureaucracy has increased a lot over time. It is an endlessly filling in of forms. There are many so-called quality control checks. These are very tiring and often superfluous. The current overdose of rules and protocols is the typical bureaucratic management of stupidity.

I have given many public talks for free, including to a handful of people in remote areas of the Netherlands. Colleagues often did not want to come along. What I object to when it comes to academics, though I understand it, is that there is a tendency to first ask: “What is in it for me?” I used to reply that public outreach is part of our role. As university professors we are relatively well paid. So it is part of our role to travel to say Assen in the east of the country to talk to the three people gathered there. You don’t ask who will pay your travel expenses. In the Christian tradition I come from, it is normal to do such things. The churches have a tradition of grassroots activism in their fight against inequality and for justice.

The future and working for a better world

TB: As you say, the present looks bleak, including the states of world politics and journalism. In addition, the critical perspective in media and communication research has never amounted to much more than a small number of individuals at the margins of the field. How do we keep going?

CH: To realize communication rights we need a radically different society. Where do I find most support for that position? The answer returns me to where I once started. I come from a Christian tradition. I studied theology. I worked for the Dutch religious broadcaster IKON, which was a pleasure because it was the most critical broadcaster in the Netherlands. These days one of the very few public figures who is a true critic of capitalism is Pope Franciscus. He is someone who dares to say out loud that capitalism is a deadly system and that if capitalism endures humanity has little chance of surviving. He is supported by the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation. Despite all the things you can object to in the churches and given that the majority of the world population is still religious, it would be interesting to see if you can get the religions so far that they will declare fundamental objections to the current capitalistic, neoliberal, cannibalistic world order. Such a position is not supported by the United Nations or Dutch politics. For instance, the now popular Dutch politician Pieter Omtzigt comes from a social-Christian tradition. Yet, he did not denounce capitalism in the program of his new party, Nieuw Sociaal Contract.

You have to be a very optimistic person to believe that the world might turn out alright in the end. How the system works and the consequences are no surprise. What is surprising is that there are individuals who don’t give up. I am a child of the 1960s. We thought the world would change but neoliberalism undermined all that in the 1980s. A split appeared between those who did not give up and those who did. I have a list of friends who in the 1980s said that what we had attempted, like resisting imperialism, had all been for nothing. There were even one or two who committed suicide.

There were also people who against the odds kept going, like Noam Chomsky and Roberto Savio. I didn’t give up because of the children of the world. Even if in my cynical heart I think it won’t get right anymore, when I am in front of the classroom I can’t stand there and tell the students that if I were them I would hang myself. I am a desperate optimist. Last year, I taught in Mexico at a university in a deprived neighbourhood with many first-generation students. After class, a student walked up to me and told me that she had always look for hope but never found it. But, she added, that morning in class she did. If you can inspire kids without a future to believe that they can make a difference, then you cannot give up until your last breath. I recently heard from the student’s supervisor that she has been finding her way in life. That makes it worth it.


Bergman, Tabe. 2013. “Relevant But Long Since Absent: Re-establishing a Political Economy of the Dutch Media.” International Journal of Communication 7: 722-740.

Bergman, Tabe. 2014. The Dutch Media Monopoly. Amsterdam: VU University Press.

Bergman, Tabe, 2018. “Kurt Baschwitz: A Pioneer of Communication Studies and Social Psychology.” Journal of International Communication 24(2): 326-328.

Bergman, Tabe. 2024. “Communication and Human Rights: Towards Communicative Justice.” Journal of International Communication. https://doi.org/10.1080/13216597.2024.2309672.

Bergman, Tabe. In Press. “Who Blew Up the Nord Stream Pipelines in a Dutch Newspaper? De Volkskrant versus Seymour Hersh.” In: T. Bergman and J. O. Hearns-Branaman (eds.), Media, Dissidence and the War in Ukraine, 137-153*.* London: Routledge.

Bergman, Tabe, and Eric Van de Beek. 2022. “Fake WMDs All Over Again? How Dutch Newspapers Supported Western Propaganda on an Alleged Chemical Attack in Syria.” Journal of Contemporary Iraq and the Arab World 16(3): 197-215.

Hamelink, Cees J. 1988. The Technology Gamble. Informatics and Public Policy: A Study of Technology Choice. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Hamelink, Cees J. 1995. World Communication: Disempowerment and Self-Empowerment. London: Zed Books.

Hamelink, Cees J. 2000. The Ethics of Cyberspace. London: Sage.

Hamelink, Cees J. 2004. Regeert de leugen? Mediaplichtigheid aan leugen en bedrog [Does the Lie Govern? Media Complicity with Lies and Deceit]. Amsterdam: Boom.

Hamelink, Cees J. 2011. Media and Conflict: Escalating Evil. London: Routledge.

Hamelink, Cees J. 2015. Global Communication. London: Sage.

Hamelink, Cees J. 2020. Communication and Peace: Celebrating Moments of Sheer Human Togetherness. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hamelink, Cees J. 2023. Communication and Human Rights: Towards Communicative Justice. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Hamelink, Cees J. Unpublished Manuscript. “Vijfendertig Jaar ‘Internationale Communicatie’ aan de UvA: Omzien met Gemengde Gevoelens” [Thirty-five years of ‘International Communication’ at the UvA: Looking Back with Mixed Feelings].

Van Ginneken, Jaap. 1998. Understanding Global News: A Critical Introduction. London: Sage.

Van Ginneken, Jaap. 2007. Screening Difference: How Hollywood Blockbusters Imagine Race, Ethnicity, and Culture. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Van Ginneken, Jaap. 2018. Kurt Baschwitz: A Pioneer of Communication Studies and Social Psychology. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

  1. The interview was conducted almost completely in Dutch and recorded. I translated and edited the text for concision, coherence and clarity with non-Dutch readers in mind, after which Hamelink edited and added to the text. To the section on communication science in the Netherlands were added passages from an unpublished manuscript of six pages single-spaced in which Hamelink looks back at working at the University of Amsterdam, especially the research and teaching of international communication there. The manuscript was written in Dutch in 2020 (Hamelink Unpublished Manuscript).↩︎

(Featured Image: “File:Prof dr Cees J Hamelink.jpg” by B. Stenvers is licensed under CC BY 3.0. Cropped by Propaganda in Focus)


  • Tabe Bergman

    Born and raised in the Netherlands, Tabe Bergman was a journalist including with the Associated Press before he became an academic. After completing his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he worked as an Assistant Professor at Renmin University in Beijing. Currently he is an Associate Professor at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University in Suzhou, China. His research examines war propaganda and journalism. He has published the monograph The Dutch Media Monopoly (2014) and has co-edited three edited volumes: Media, dissidence and the war in Ukraine (Routledge, in press); Journalism and foreign policy (Routledge, 2022); and Nepnieuwsexplosie: Desinformatie in de Nederlandse media (De Blauwe Tijger, 2018), which translates as Fake news explosion: Disinformation in the Dutch media.