Folkert Jensma discovered his love of journalism as a student at Leiden University when he started writing for the university weekly, Mare. Then, as a newly graduated lawyer, he started working freelance for the Science section of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. By staying put when his contract as a temp ran out, he more or less forced his bosses to accept him as a regular staff member at the newspaper. ‘Squatting the masthead’, he calls it, enjoying the fact that under Dutch law, keeping on temporary staff can automatically result in a permanent contract. After passing through various editorial teams, he became editor in chief when his predecessor, Ben Knapen, unexpectedly accepted a position on the board of Philips Electronics. Knapen’s deputy at the time decided not to take over the role, so Jensma, a relative junior at 38 and an outsider, was the surprise choice.
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