The Netherlands: Talking about HET BLAD

A boiled egg, a Christmas tree and Emily Watson – just some of the topics editor of chief Laura Wismans spoke of in our latest interview.

Please describe the USP of HET BLAD.
HET BLAD is a cultural lifestylemagazine with a touch of luxury. And it is the only newspaper magazine in The Netherlands with a cosmopolitan view on the world. In HET BLAD you can read about culture, fashion and style, design and living, travel, culinary and sometimes about cars. Or as we say: ‘the main affairs among the side affairs’. Because we have room for long features and interviews and of course beautiful photography, the best journalists of our newspaper NRC Handelsblad are happy to write for us.

How do you see the brand in 5 years?
HET BLAD will still be a happy guest in our readers home. It will have even more pages than it has today and our best writers are still proud to be in such a beautiful magazine. In five years from now, we will have made a lot of cool specials and are still inspired to explore new themes.

Can you please describe your daily business life? How does it look like?
The sun was shining in The Netherlands this summer week. So yesterday, we took our bi-weekly brainstorm outside. I put a Christmas tree on our sunny table on the terrace, because we were brainstorming about cold winter days and stories. That was really funny, and it helped to get the brainstorm going. So brainstorming is a big part of our work. Working so far in advance (we’re talking December in August) is something newspaper people are not accustomed to. So urging colleagues to work far, far in advance is part of daily business life too. And two weeks a month we’re really busy putting the beautiful pages together. With a small team of three text editors, a photo editor and a designer we work towards sending it all to the press in Belgium. And the day after? Brainstorming again.

What do you like most about your job?
The creativity and variety. Seeing a wild idea come to life in print is amazing, every time.

Which celebrity would you like to interview most for the magazine – and personally?
The toughest question so far… If I have to pick one person I think Emma Watson is on top of my list of people I would love to have an interview with in HET BLAD. And I personally would love to talk to Elon Musk – yeah, I’m a bit of a geek.

Which story are you most proud of?
There are many on my list. I am most proud of the interviews we did, with Paul Verhoeven, Lianne LaHavas and Ian McEwan, and the beautiful reportages, for example the one to the wool makers of the Shetland Islands and to a small Chinese village where fireworks for the biggest firework shows of the world are being made.

What motivates you?
I love to really make something. It is very motivating to see your ideas a couple of days, weeks or months later in print or in a beautiful form online. That other people like what you devised, or are inspired to think in a new way about something.

Who inspires you?
My mum and dad and all the enthusiastic people around me in the newsroom.

What's the best decision you've made?
The best decision workwise has been taking a job with NRC. In the past five years I have had the opportunity to do so many cool things. From writing articles about the most obscure subjects, to making such a beautiful magazine with an amazing team. It’s all because of the chances NRC has given me.

Your favorite spot in Amsterdam?
The newsroom. I’m kidding, life is not all about work. I love the parks the most. Sunday afternoons, lying in the grass of the Vondelpark with a lot of friends around me.

What city or country in the world you would like to visit?
I’m off to Morocco in two weeks, for vacation, looking forward to visit Fez and Marrakech!

What is something you couldn’t live without?
A boiled egg in the morning. And my smartphone, of course.

What would you like to invent?
A way to get the energy sleep gives me, without the hours of sleeping itself. There are never enough hours in a day.