An initial attempt to give an outline of the life of the journalist Jan Blokker reveals his significance for media history in two respects: not only as a media historian but also as an actor in media history. His first role, as a historian, cannot be understood withoutreviewing Blokker’s preference for modern and narrative history. Furthermore, his strong views about politics and media played a decisive role in his historical production.Far more important, however, is Blokker’s role as an actor in media history. As a journalist, formally a manager and informally an encourager and source of inspiration,he profoundly influenced the character and conduct of a generation of newspaperand television producers. In particular his work for the newspapers Algemeen Handelsblad and de Volkskrant, and for the broadcasting company vpro had a great influence on the cultural-political changes that have taken place in The Netherlands since the 1960s. Whatever he did, Blokker proved to have a progressive liberal view of contemporary culture, which cannot be understood without having experienced and known about the past.

Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis

Wijfjes, Huub. (2013). Een malcontent in mediageschiedenis: Jan Blokker (1927-2010). Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 15(2), 5–25. doi:10.18146/tmg.286