Home Dutch News 2003 annuals miss the ‘big news’

2003 annuals miss the ‘big news’

Published on 18/12/2003

18 December 2003

AMSTERDAM — Early publishers of yearly news in review books have been stumped this year by the late-breaking news of Saddam Hussein’s arrest and the birth of the Netherlands’ future queen, as both events occurred too late for printing deadlines.

Many of the books in the Netherlands are printed just in time for the pre-Christmas sales rush and are thus at risk of missing news breaking in late December. But the nation’s most famous book leaves its release until the New Year.

A classic example of a premature publication is Het Jaar 2003 (The Year 2003) — published by newspaper De Telegraaf. The book depicts on its front cover a picture of a fallen Hussein statue, plus a photo of the former Iraqi dictator and his unmistakable moustache.

But missing from the book itself — dubbed a “varied reference work” — is the historic photo of a dishevelled Hussein, complete with beard, after his 14 December arrest in war-torn Iraq, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

The book also lacks news of the birth of princess Catharina-Amalia, the future queen of the Netherlands. Princess Maxima, the wife of Crown Prince Willem-Alexander gave birth to the couple’s first child on 7 December, but missed the Telegraaf’s publication deadline.

There is also the RTL Nieuws Jaaroverzicht 2003 (RTL News 2003 Year Overview), which failed also to include the Hussein capture and the royal birth. A spokesman for publisher Strengholt, Ton van Poelgeest, has since described the missing events as “awfully annoying”.

“It (the book) is typically a present for Christmas and this is the annoying consequence. If a reprint comes, we will certainly include it,” he said.

But the new compilation from the Trouw newspaper and publisher Maarten Muntinga, Trouw Almanak Nieuwsgids 2004 (Trouw News Guide Almanac 2004), and the year overview from Dif (publisher LJ Veen) also failed to completely cover the entire 12 months of 2003.

In Dif, Hussein was still being listed among four high profile fugitives, namely terrorist mastermind Osama bin laden and alleged Serbian war criminals Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic. The Trouw decided to change the calendar and decided that 2003 ended with the month of September.

But the most-well-known year overview in the Netherlands, known as Het Aanzien van … (Looking on …) can afford a satisfying laugh judging by the actions of its competitors.

The book — published by a PCM, which also publishes the Volkskrant and Trouw newspapers — will not be released until the start of 2004.

“A year overview must be complete,” it said.

[Copyright Expatica News 2003]

Subject: Dutch news