I’ve switched on paid subscriptions to the Atlantic Sentinel newsletter on Substack to give readers a chance to support my journalism.
Before I tell you about the how and what you can expect in return, let me tell you why.
When I left XPRIZE at the end of January, I decided to focus full-time on my political and writing interests. I got involved in Liberal Green, which is a network in my political party that advocates for green growth, and joined their Food Team. We’re working on cultivated meat and future business models for farmers, which are issues I (will) write about too. I got a part-time gig with Wynia’s Week, which is a right-leaning internet magazine in the Netherlands, that — in addition to opinion writing — allows me to do investigative journalism about topics like asylum law, energy subsidies and taxes, housing policy and the shortage of nurses in Dutch hospitals. In English, I wrote about Emmanuel Macron’s reelection, Pedro Sánchez’ snubbing of Catalans and the Dutch farmers’ protests for EUobserver and World Politics Review. And, of course, I’ve kept publishing here.
I’ve been writing fewer, but more thoroughly researched stories, with a focus on the countries I know best: the Netherlands, Spain and the United States (where I lived); France (not just because I’m a Macron fan!); and occasionally Italy. That’s what I want to continue to do. With an income from Atlantic Sentinel, supplanted by freelance work, I can write about the topics I care about.
How it will work for you
You can join for €5 (= $5) per month or €50 for a year. Pay €200 for a year-long “Founding Membership” and I will permanently acknowledge you on the About page.
I won’t raise a paywall on the blog and I will continue to publish a newsletter on LinkedIn, so you can still read my stories there. The newsletter on Substack, which is delivered directly to your inbox, will become largely-paywalled, but I’ll keep most stories pubolic to ease readers into the transition.
Paying readers can also gift a three-month subscription to up to three friends.
What you will get from me
I try not to get carried away by the news of the day. I wrote an explainer about the Dutch farm crisis before it became an international story and followed up with two articles (first one here, second here) to correct the misinformation I saw when it did become an international story. There’s a lot of reporting this week about whether and just how fascist Giorgia Meloni, probably Italy’s next prime minister, is. Few have looked into what a Meloni-led government might actually do. I have. I’m more interested in policies than identity and ideology. I’m one of the few journalists writing in English about Catalan politics (although that does have a lot to do with identity), most recently about how the independence movement is splitting into hardliners and pragmatists.
When I launched the Atlantic Sentinel in 2009, it was because I felt American and European media paid too much attention to the differences between us when there’s so much we can learn from each other. I still believe that, and it’s why I frequently compare policies between countries: to figure out what works best. I’ve written about flawed assumptions underpinning flawed drug laws in both the Netherlands and the United States, about similar views on (reducing) meat consumption in France and Spain, and about how different European countries failed to reduce their dependence on Russian gas for opposite reasons.
My opinions have mellowed since I started writing sixteen years ago (I would be suspicious of anyone whose hadn’t), but I’m still a free-market guy. Recently, I’ve argued European countries and the United States should liberalize trade to drive down living costs; that overregulation created a housing shortage in the Netherlands, a shortage of medical professionals in the United States and could lead to a shortage of child-care workers.
If that sounds like a combo of topics and views you don’t find everywhere, please sign up! Or, if you’re already a subscriber, upgrade to paid here.