We also see that more and more ministries and governments are inventing the podcast. Take for example The podcast "The Service of the AIVD. This podcast gave an insight into the work of our Dutch intelligence service. And it struck a chord... The podcast The Service has been at the top of the podcast charts for weeks.
In this article we highlight another recently published podcast, this time from the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.
We talk about the podcast series 'Grensverhalen' and show how the ministry uses the medium of podcasting to bring current topics to the Dutch in a meaningful way.
The far away show
We regularly saw their stories on the evening news. Of people who lived on the border and were suddenly no longer allowed to open their shop just 50 metres away in Belgium. Or who had to miss their family for a long time, because they lived just across the border...
When I heard it on the news, it did strike me as 'bizarre'. But I couldn't really relate to it. It remained a bit "far from my bed."
In Grensverhalen, Dutch people living in border areas such as Zeeuws-Vlaanderen, the Achterhoek and Oost-Groningen tell their stories. They share their experiences of what life is like in such a border area and how the corona pandemic brought additional challenges to their daily lives.
The podcast series Border Stories brought the stories of these inhabitants of the Netherlands closer to us.
The story behind the scoop
Whereas a scoop in the evening news gives you a picture of a bizarre situation, there is no room to see what else is going on. I quickly learned the power of sharing stories in this way, in a podcast.
By portraying the reality of the border people in this way, you get a much broader picture of their experiences, their feelings and their lives.
Lucia and Dominique, working at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, made a road trip along the border. They listened to stories of entrepreneurs, inhabitants or, for example, emergency services cooperating along the border.
This is how you hear in the podcast about the border region of Limburg For example, how Venlo entrepreneurs take account of visitors from different regions. They talk about the need for bilingualism and how the city centre depends on German "guests".
And are they really guests? Because the borders may be there, they are intertwined with everyday life. And then border controls and closed shops suddenly create awkward and downright unpleasant situations.
I mainly heard the story behind the scoop, the daily reality of the Limburger who has family across the border in Belgium and Germany and can no longer see them, field roads that are closed off. And also the intransigent entrepreneur who considers opening a shop in Hasselt. The border that may have been closed, but could never be closed 100%.
And that is what makes the podcast so suitable for these kinds of stories; you create depth.
Ode to border regions
It is not for nothing that this podcast is called "Our ode to the border regions" by the Ministry of the Interior. It has really become a podcast series about the unique place that various border regions occupy for many Dutch people and their love for this area where they live, work and play.
The interconnectedness with neighbouring countries is the common thread in this podcast series. You learn how the industrial region Nord Rhine Westfalen and the European capital Brussels are seen as important by our Dutch border inhabitants. And that they have great advantages for them.
I can imagine that for many Dutch people living in border areas this podcast is a feast of recognition. That it is nice to hear how other border residents are just as addicted to the unique place where they live, or are struggling with the same problems.
We need each other
This podcast is not just a nice insight into the lives of people living in border areas. With this podcast the Ministry tells the story of the border residents. What connects these people, what important position these areas have for the Netherlands and how beautifully the border residents from the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium work together and need each other.
The podcast Border stories podcast hosts Dominique and Lucia have already been featured in several regional newspapers and on the radio to tell about these special stories and the podcast.
"With the podcast we wanted to show what is happening in the border regions. Life between the Netherlands and Belgium and the Netherlands and Germany is very much intertwined. The border was not there. Until Corona came along. Then it became clear that there was a border after all and that things were no longer self-evident."
With the podcast Border stories The Netherlands has gained another great podcast as far as we are concerned.
The podcast brings magic
And that is the magic of the podcast. Stories you've heard before, from hearsay or a scoop. They come to life, they teach you, give you depth, and astonish or connect you.
And we can all use that :D.