Max Westerman is a Dutch journalist who spent much of his professional life in the United States. For fifteen years, until 2006, he was the U.S. correspondent of RTL4 Dutch Television and covered all the major stories from that period: four presidential elections, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, the Oklahoma city bombing, the O.J. Simpson case, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, the destruction of New Orleans by hurricane Katrina, and of course, 9/11.
He was the only Dutch TV correspondent in New York City when the World Trade Center was attacked. His reporting on those stories, as well as his features on various aspects of American society, have earned him much critical acclaim. De Volkskrant called him “the brilliant correspondent,” NRC Handelsblad “a shining example to the makers of news programs”.
In high school in Holland, Max already decided he wanted to be a New Yorker. On his first visit to the City he landed a job as a mailboy at the United Nations. After a stint on the foreign newsdesk of De Telegraaf in Amsterdam, he returned to New York to study; he obtained a bachelor’s degree from New York University and a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, where he won several student awards putting him at the top of his class.
Upon graduation in 1982 he joined Newsweek, first as a reporter in New York, then as the magazine’s youngest foreign correspondent in West Germany. Back in New York (he left four times, but the city always pulled him back), he worked as a writer for Business Week. He also contributed to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and CNN, and served as a U.S. correspondent for NRC Handelsblad, Elsevier Magazine and Dutch national radio.
In addition to his work as a news journalist, Max branched out with three TV-series . In “Max And The City” he took a humorous look at New York and in “Max in alle Staten” at American society at large. In 2008 he hosted the series “Westermans Nieuwe Wereld,” in which he compares the Netherlands with the United States. In his shows he went beyond traditional journalism and participated in many of the stories (trying out such things as “nazi-yoga” and “speed-dating”). He also produced documentaries about america’s prison industry, the O.J. Simpson case, the 2000 elections and the death penalty.
Max wrote two bestselling books about his adventures in the United States. In recent years he has worked as an independent journalist, contributing articles, TV reports and commentary to various media organizations. He is a frequent public speaker and as a moderator has hosted many events ranging from a conference with former U.S. vice-president Al Gore to TEDxRotterdam. He currently spends most of his time in Rio de Janeiro where he reports on the rapid changes in Brazilian society for Dutch public television and is working on a new book. Max’s most recent article in English was this opinion piece about the Dutch monarchy in The Wall Street Journal.
In 2017 Max presented the tv-serie called Max Zoekt Rust, about his passion for yoga and meditation. The series can be found at www.uitzendinggemist.nl