Kasper Goethals joined De Standaard as a staff writer in 2018. He has written about president Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, the revolution and war in Ukraine, the trek of migrants through the Sahara in Niger, and the return of a troubled former US army translator to his homeland Iraq. Before his work at De Standaard, Kasper worked for three years as a freelance reporter for Al Jazeera English, Knack, De Groene Amsterdammer and others. In 2020, he won the national Belgian press prize for his reporting on a major Belgian gold dealer in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is based in Brussels, where he covers an eclectic beat, ranging from politics to social issues spanning four continents.
After publishing his first stories from Poland and the Balkans, as a journalism student in the Spring of 2015, Kasper started covering the European migration crisis. He worked freelance and lived in Athens for several months in 2016. In the five years that followed those early reporting days, Kasper’s work brought him to over thirty countries.
Migration in and around Europe has been a returning theme in his work, for which he followed migratory routes across Africa and the Middle East. Together with many stories from squalid refugee camps in Europe, these reports have been a humbling experience, full of valueable insights on the human condition. Insights which deepened and broadened during special reporting projects from Venezuela, Burma, Iraq, Uganda, Russia, Qatar and elsewhere.
Kasper is most proud of his investigation about the shady business of a major Belgian gold trader in Uganda. Another months long investigation about unpaid, undocumented workers at the construction site of the EU Council’s headquarters, with Roeland Termote, made international headlines. Also amongst his favorite work: this report on the EU’s efforts to stop migrants in the desert of Niger, an investigation into the total collapse of socialist Venezuela, a longread from Russian Kaliningrad and this portrait of Murad, a former US army translator on a desperate journey back to Iraq.
Much of his work is the result of collaboration with Coen van de Ven, Olivia Kortas and Johannes De Bruycker. After graduating in 2015, Kasper and his friends founded the journalistic cross-border collective The Caravan’s Journal. The members of the collective continue to travel and report together whenever they can.
Kasper was born in the city of Ghent in October of 1992. He holds a BA in Print Journalism from Ghent and an Honors degree in International Reporting from the Media Schools of Utrecht and Aarhus.
Finally, Kasper finds it a bit silly to write about himself in the third person.
Awards and nominations
- In 2020, Kasper won the prestigious Belgian National Press Prize by Belfius, in the category of Finance and Economy, for his story on Belgian gold trader Alain Goetz.
- Also in 2020, Kasper was nominated a second time for the De Loep, Belgium’s and The Netherland’s leading investigative journalism prize, for his story on Belgian gold trader Alain Goetz.
- Also in 2020, Coen, Olivia, Johannes, Kasper and the team of Are We Europe were awarded the Stars4Media ‘Reacting to the Coronavirus Prize’ for their work in their journalistic cross-border project ‘The Summer of 2020‘.
- In 2019, Kasper was nominated for the De Loep, Belgium’s and The Netherland’s leading investigative journalism prize, for his story – ‘I was a slave, what else would you call working in construction without getting paid?’
- In 2018, Coen and Kasper’s story on a road trip through Central and Eastern Europe was nominated for the Best Report Award of the Dutch fund Freepress Unlimited.
- In 2017, Kasper and the other members of The Caravan’s Journal were nominated for a Belgian Press Freedom Prize for their cross-border investigative work and international educational projects for young storytellers.