Groeneveld’s no-holds-barred journalism has brought him into conflict with housing developers and landlords
Translated by Thomas Ansell
The lead writer for Sikkom, Willem Groeneveld, a Groninger mainstay and pioneering youth journalist was targeted with Molotov cocktails yesterday evening. Groeneveld and his partner managed to put out the flames after the bottles were hurled through their window. The police say that they will not speculate as to who might be behind the attack at the moment, reports the Dagblad van het Noorden.
Groeneveld has also been “doxxed” in the past few months: a tactic used by online extremists where someone’s personal details, including their address, is leaked online.
A history of being intimidated
Willem Groeneveld founded and edits Sikkom, the youth-focussed Groningen outlet. His work has brought him into conflict with plenty of the shadier faces in the city: housing providers and landlords.
His investigative work included looking into fake energy labels in rented homes, and the various creative ways that Groningen’s landlords extract as much money as possible from tenants.
In 2019, Groeneveld was pelted with stones by a landlord who had obtained his address. Last summer he was intimidated by another landlord on a bike, who (weird, creepy) followed him around with a camera following a ‘critical’ piece about the housing provider.
Sikkom is also known for highlighting the city’s newest restaurants and bars, its video content, and its use of the Groninger vernacular in reporting.