De Volkskrant is a the 5th biggest Dutch news paper, and was first published in 1921.
About the newspaper
First of all, this writeup is in no way intended to be a full history/information of De Volkskrant. Three great books have been written on the subject, albeit in dutch, which should cover most of the history
De Volkskrant (literally translated, The People's Paper) was started in 1921, and is now the 5th largest newspaper in the Netherlands. The paper is (and has always been) left-oriented politically, and is often critical towards the choices and policies of the Dutch government.
The paper's aspiration is to be a serious, robust and well informed newspaper. It's readers are generally young and well educated. The paper has little or no tabloid material
As the editor puts it: "There is really not much to laugh about in De Volkskrant. We do things thoroughly, but maybe a bit predictable." "We didn't become what we are today by cracking jokes. De Volkskrant is dead serious - its purpose is to inform, not entertain." "If the newspaper doesn't make you thing 'Damn, I never thought about that before', then the paper has no reason to continue its existence".
The newspaper uses substantial resources for research and original investigative journalism, claiming that "News is always more than what the press conferences try to tell you".
Due to its focus on educated readers and a slightly archaic use of language, the paper occasionally struggles to make itself accessible to new groups of potential readers. The paper does not focus just on news, but also has an extensive commentary section.
Finding out more
Further reading about De Volkskrant and Dutch newspapers in general: Joan Hemels, De emancipatie van een dagblad. Geschiedenis van de Volkskrant, Baarn 1981;
Martin Sommer, Krantebeest. J.M. Lücker. Triomf en tragiek van een courantier, Amsterdam 1993
Frank van Vree, De metamorfose van een dagblad. Een journalistieke geschiedenis van de Volkskrant, Amsterdam 1996.
De Volkskrant online: http://www.volkskrant.nl