Willem van Altena

Content manager

From starting out as a budding historian and ending up in the dazzling world of medical editing is a career trajectory that even I find baffling. For over 25 years I have devoted myself to local and regional journalism. Being on top of the news, working with a team of creative writers and designers, pursuing elusive stories while faced with impossible deadlines… I was addicted to the adrenaline rush. And yet, with time, I had noticed that a certain complacency had begun to set in. I felt that I was in a rut as far as journalism was concerned.

To cut a long story short: when the opportunity presented itself in april 2018 to step out of my comfort zone and into the world of medical publishing, I decided to just go for it. Not just because I wanted to extend my boundaries, but also because Ariez’ mission statement truly resonates with me. Making the Netherlands healthier is a wonderful goal, and one I gladly contribute to.

My work

As content manager I am involved in many projects that involve writing, and building seven brand new medical web platforms is certainly the most challenging task of the past year. In a time where ‘fake news’ and social media-fed hysteria seem to be the norm, I cannot stress enough how important it is to provide the greater public with reliable, factual medical news that has been thoroughly checked and double checked. Simultaneously, I am busy setting up a number of new publications in print that focus on medical innovation and the future of care.

What else should I tell about myself? I spend a lot of my time travelling, often to Australia, but basically any place that combines nature, culture and great food is where you can find me. I am also passionate about cooking and can often be found in the kitchen or scouring markets for delicacies. Much of the reading I do is in line with these passions: I am an avid reader of cookery books –but never while I cook!- and travel guides – but never while I travel.

As far as my tastes in media are concerned, my tastes can only be described as eclectic. From opera to Eurovision, from historical drama to Scandi-noir crime: I pretty much enjoy it all. And lately I’ve become obsessed with podcasting and reading out my favourite stories and poems in Dutch and English.