Platform of Authenthic Journalism

Platform Authentic Journalism is a partnership of a group of researchers who by means of critical reporting want to contribute to a just and democratic society. The concept of Authentic Journalism is simple: collecting and publishing information which contributes to the political struggle of (groups of) people who are suffering from exclusion, exploitation, (repression and) other forms of injustice. We do so by identifying the problems together with those concerned, by subsequently formulating the solutions to these problems, and finally by disseminating those solutions to the widest possible audience.

The Team

Bas van Beek

Bas van Beek

Bas obtained a degree in Conflict Studies and Human Rights at the University of Utrecht. He has been active as an independent journalist during the people’s uprising in Oaxaca, Mexico, an experience which instilled in him a lasting passion for independent reporting. His last research brought him to Mozambique, where he investigated the upcoming gas industry.

Bas is responsible for all the FOIA requests of the Platform and is assisting Freedom of Information Specialists Roger Vleugels in several cases.

Sophia Beunder

Sophia Beunder

Sophia engages in issues around social movements and conflicts, climate, water and sustainable agriculture. She has done research with regard to the impact of biofuels, megadams and water grabbing in Latin America. She holds a BSc in Biology and Cultural Anthropology of the University of Utrecht, and a MSc in International Land- and Watermanagement of Wageningen University.

Jilles Mast

Jilles Mast

Jilles obtained a degree in Cultural Anthropology at the University of Utrecht. He has investigated the political organization of indigenous communities and social movements in Latin America. Another field of study is the social and economic impact of extractivism in the Amazon. He believes it is important to combine the soundness of academic research with the accessibility of journalistic writing.

Alexander Beunder

Alexander Beunder

Alexander has a master degree in economics at the University of Utrecht. In his research he has combined psychology, politics and economics in questions around household’s energy consumption, climate change and the Brexit. As an economics teacher he has contributed to De Kern van de Economie, a textbook by professor Arnold Heertje. As a journalist, he has written on the influence of lobbygroups in Dutch politics, development aid and ISDS.

Merel de Buck

Merel de Buck

Merel is a PhD researcher at Utrecht University. As a political anthropologist, she is interested in intercultural social movements and conflicts about autonomy, democracy and citizenship. Her PhD research focuses on the possibilities and dilemmas of grassroots universities and community policing in Mexico. She uses collaborative research approaches, and builds a bridge between the academy and society through journalistic publications.

English Publications

The Hidden Costs of Trade Treaties

The free trade treaties with Canada (CETA) and the United States (TTIP) are not threatening European standards, the negotiators in Brussels assure us. Yet environmental and food safety regulations have already been weakened.

Read the full story on the Zeit Online.

Big business orders its pro-TTIP arguments from these think tanks

Think tanks present themselves as independent providers of arguments, facts, and figures in the ideologically charged debate on TTIP, the pending free trade agreement between the U.S. and the EU. But is that really the case?

Read the full story on de Correspondent.

As the world meets to discuss ISDS many fear meaningless reforms

This week, representatives of around 100 countries are meeting in New York to talk about investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). ISDS is a legal instrument that multinationals can use to sue governments for billions. External experts and observers fear that the new negotiations will amount to ‘old wine in new bottles’. They believe that those who benefit from this instrument (powerful states and top lawyers from the ISDS sector) are controlling the debate.

Read the full story on TNI.

The quiet power of the Dutch Trade and Investment Board (DTIB)

For around 13 years, on the Dutch Trade and Investment Board (a body that is not familiar to most of the Dutch public) top civil servants and company lobbyists have been discussing how the government can support the country’s international trade. Minutes reveal how lobbyists and ministers collaborated in reforming fiscal and development policies in favour of private interests. It’s an example of the power of ‘quiet politics’ of company lobbyists in the Netherlands, calling into question the country’s image as an exemplar of liberal, consensual corporatism.

Read the full story on TNI.

The Netherlands helps Shell profit from gas in dirt-poor Mozambique.

The Dutch government says it is helping Mozambique combat poverty and corruption, but the dirt-poor country has extensive gas reserves and these prove more important. Documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act reveal how closely the Dutch embassy and Shell work together.

Read the full story on: Down to Earth Magazine.