2nd Global Constructive Journalism Conference

18th of January 2019
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva
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The second constructive journalism conference took place on Friday, 18 January 2019 in Geneva, Switzerland, co-hosted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.

The conference tackled questions such as:
  • How can more responsible journalism lead to deeper engagement (and higher revenues)?
  • How can journalism help rebuild post-conflict societies?
  • Do we need to rethink the news criteria?
  • How can journalism be made more relevant, trusted and future-oriented?
  • Should access to trusted information be a human right?

We also gave out a joint award between the Constructive Institute and the Solutions Journalism network, which went to Sarah Boseley from the Guardian, and launched a Global Campaign for more responsible journalism:

Meet the speakers


Michael Møller, Director General of the United Nations and Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament. 

Mr. Møller has over 35 years of experience as an international civil servant in the United Nations. He completed a Master's degree in international Relations at John Hopkins University and a Bachelor's degree in International Relations from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom.

See the opening speech here.

Heba Aly photo


Heba Aly runs one of the world's leading sources of original, field-based journalism about humanitarian crises: IRIN

Heba has worked with IRIN in different capacities since 2007, and played a key role in planning and executing IRIN’s spin-off from the United Nations to become an independent media organization. During her career, Heba reported from many different countries and conflict zones in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia. In 2018, the World Economic Forum named Heba one of 100 Young Global Leaders under 40. 


Jakob Rubin, journalist, writer, communication advisor and an expert in Latin American relations. 

Since January 2018, Rubin, working for Constructive Institute in partnership with International Media Support, is creating a journalistic methodology in Colombia, a country that moves slowly towards peace after half a century of continuous conflict. The methodology combines Constructive Journalism with elements of Post Conflict Sensitive Journalism. It will be distributed to all Colombian journalists and students of journalism free of charge. Rubin is now finishing this project and will reflect on it during the conference.


Matt Cooke, Head of International, Google News Lab, Google.

Matt Cooke is Head of International at the Google News Lab, a team dedicated to working with publishers to provide training, discuss innovative partnerships and experiments. Matt has been at Google for 5 years, and recently led Google's UK election and EU referendum projects - he also launched Europe’s first News Lab Fellowship scheme. Before that he was a television reporter and producer at BBC News for 8 years.

See the worksheet here.

Good EK photo


Emily Kasriel is an award winning journalist at the BBC who has kick started a culture change leading the solutions-focused journalism initiative.  

Kasriel previously served as a broadcaster and editor at the BBC reporting and producing across five continents.  She’s also been a visiting Fellow at Said Business School and a Senior Advisor for the Skoll Foundation, and hosts panels globally.

See the presentation here.

Caroline Vuillemin 


Caroline Vuillemin is the CEO of Fondation Hirondelle since January 1st, 2017. 

Her career reflects a commitment to international development, particularly in Africa. She joined Fondation Hirondelle in December 2003. She was in charge of the Radio Okapi project (the United Nations radio in the DRC created in partnership with Fondation Hirondelle), and then became Head of Operations in 2008. Before Fondation Hirondelle, she worked for the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) where she participated in numerous election observation missions in the DRC, Rwanda, Burundi, South Africa, Nigeria and Congo-Brazzaville. Caroline Vuillemin holds a BA from the Institute of Political Studies in Lyon, completed by a degree in International Relations from the Georgetown University in Washington, DC.


Christophe Deloire is a French journalist who has been secretary-general and executive director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) since 2012.

Deloire ran one of the leading French journalism schools, the CFPJ, from 2008 to 2012, and was an investigative reporter for the politics and society sections of the French news magazine Le Point from 1998 to 2007. He has also worked for the TV channels ARTE and TF1, made documentary films, edited several authors and written several bestsellers including Les islamistes sont déjà là (2004), Sexus Politicus (2006) and Circus Politicus (2012.


Serge Michel is the executive editor and co-founder of, a new digital media to be launched in 2019. It is based in Geneva and has the ambition to become international.

Earlier in his career Michel was the deputy managing editor of Le Monde, chief editor of Le Monde Afrique and reporter at large. For his work as a correspondent in Iran, he received the Albert Londres Prize in 2001. In 2005, Michel created the Bondy Blog, a popular website that was built around ‘citizen journalism’ and published articles written from within the volatile French suburbs. Michel has written books about Iran, China and Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan, together with photographer Paolo Woods. 

Click here for the presentation.

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen NEW (002) 

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen is Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and Professor of Political Communication at the University of Oxford.

His work focuses on connecting practice and research around changes in the news media, political communication, and the role of digital technologies in society. He has done extensive work on journalism, news, digital media, political campaigns and more. His work has been covered by a wide variety of media all over the world including the Economist, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Indian Express, L’Espresso and the New York Times. Nielsen is co-editor of the annual Reuters Institute Digital News Report and has written several books about journalism and democracy and political communication. 

Tine Rud Seerup 

Tine Rud Seerup is the editor of "Public Service", the Danish Broadcasting Corporation's (DR) nationwide radio program dedicated to constructive journalism., which is broadcasted live every weekday on DR's talk radio channel P1.

Tine Rud Seerup has been working for several years as a broadcaster and editor at DR on both regional and national level. She has been conducting live radio programs on political topics as well as presenting the news. Tine Rud Seerup has also been teaching journalism at the Centre for Journalism at the University of Southern Denmark.

See the presentation here.

Jennifer Brandel 

Jennifer Brandel is CEO and Co-founder of Hearken, a company that helps newsrooms democratize the editorial process to create coverage that's more representative and relevant.

She has also co-founded Zebras Unite - a global network of entrepreneurs, funders, investors and allies creating a more ethical, inclusive and collaborative ecosystem for mission-based startups. 

Anne Lagercrantz 

Anne Lagercrantz is head of News and Sports at Swedish Television, SVT, since 2015.

Lagercrantz used to be Head of News at the commercial Swedish broadcaster TV4. In 2011 she switched to public service: first to Swedish Radio, SR and then 2015 to Swedish TV, SVT.  Since 2015 she is director of the News and Sports Division and occupied with SVT. SVT is going through a digital transformation. With success: the number of first-time-voters who considers the digital offer of SVT as trustworthy, has increased from 54 percent to 74 percent. SVT News is listed as one of Sweden's most purposeful digital brands this year and for two years in a row they are the fastest growing digital news site in Sweden.

See the presentation here.

photo de rr (002) 

Robert Roth is professor at the Geneva Faculty of Law since 1987.

Roth was also Judge of the Court of Cassation of the Canton of Geneva from 1992-2011. He was Dean of the Faculty of Law from July 2003 to July 2007. In 2011 he has been appointed Judge to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, where he has chaired the Trial Chamber for two years. He has been the Director of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights from July 2014 to August 2018. He has been for fifteen years Editor of the Swiss Criminal Law Review and is a member of the International Scientific Committee for the Revue de science criminelle et de droit pénal comparé (Paris) and of the Steering Committee of the Academic Network of European Criminal Law (Brussels). He has published extensively on European and international criminal law, as well as on international human rights law.

Philippe Mottaz  

Philippe Mottaz, award-winning journalist and entrepreneur, has been active in media  for more than 35 years. 

He is currently working on the launch of The Geneva Global Insider, a digital platform dedicated to the coverage of International Geneva. Philippe is the former Head of News and Current Affairs  and former Director of World Radio Switzerland at the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation. He spent 5 years in New York for the network and 10 in Washington as a White House Correspondent and Bureau Chief. He is the co-author of « #Trump - De la démagogie en Amérique » published in September 2016 by Slatkine & Co in Paris."

Jan Wifstrand 

Jan Wifstrand, media entrepreneur and founder/owner of the business newswire Rapidus in Malmö, Sweden. 

Wifstrand works frequently, since many years, as a moderator within business, media, education, culture, sports etc. He is a former Editor-in-Chief of the leading Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter and one of the larger regionals, Sydsvenskan.

Johan Galtung Johan Galtung, a professor of peace studies, dr hc mult, is reclaimed as the father of modern news criteria.

Galtung is the founder of TRANSCEND International and rector of TRANSCEND Peace University. He was awarded among others the 1987 High Livelihood Award, known as the Alternative Nobel Peace Prize. Galtung has mediated in over 150 conflicts in more than 150 countries, and written more than 170 books on peace and related issues.


Richard Gingras, Vice President, News at Google.

In March 2018, Gingras announced the Google News Initiative, a global effort to elevate quality journalism, explore new models for sustainability, and provide technology to stimulate cost-efficiency in newsrooms. Being the Vice President, News at Google, Gingras guides Google’s strategy in how it surfaces news on Google search, Google News, and its smart devices. Gingras has 35 years of experience of leading highly-regarded efforts in the development of online services and new media. 

See the speech here.

David Bornstein

David Bornstein is CEO and co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network.

Solutions Journalism Network works to establish the practice of solutions journalism — rigorous reporting that examines responses to social problems — as an integral part of mainstream news. 

Bornstein has been a newspaper and magazine reporter for 25 years, having started his career working on the metro desk of New York Newsday. Since 2010, he has co-authored, with Tina Rosenberg, the “Fixes” column in The New York Times. Bornstein is the author of three books that focus on social innovation.


Dr. Jacob Udo-Udo Jacob is a Visiting International Scholar in International Studies at Dickinson College, USA. 

Jacob visits Dickinson from the American University of Nigeria, where he, among other things, has led the implementation of several meaningful projects in support of peacebuilding and P/CVE (Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism) in North-East Nigeria. One of these projects concerned peace journalism; a network of journalists, editors and influencers were trained to facilitate a more nuanced media coverage of the Boko Haram insurgency. Jacob is the author of Convincing Rebel Fighters to Disarm: UN Information Operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ulrik Haagerup Photo shop 

Ulrik Haagerup, Founder & CEO of Constructive Institute, former Executive Director of News at the Danish Public Broadcasting Corporation.

Ulrik Haagerup is an award-winning journalist and international public speaker on leadership. He is the author of the books A Good Idea – Did You Get It? (2004) and Constructive News: A Confrontation with the Negative Worldview of the Press (2012). In 2008, he was a Member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Journalism. 

See the slide here.

Jackie Harrison 

Prof. Jackie Harrison is UNESCO Chair on Media Freedom, Journalism Safety and the Issue of Impunity and Chair of the interdisciplinary Centre for Freedom of the Media (CFOM) at the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom. 

Harisson researches and publishes on the civil power of news journalism; the conflict between civil diminishment and civil resistance across different forms of news journalism; the application of media regulation, policy and freedom of expression and policy prescriptions that can be used to militate against threats to free and independent journalism and the increasing use of violence and intimidation against journalists. 

Mark Rice-Oxley, Head of special projects, the Guardian.

Mark Rice-Oxley is a journalist and author. After stints as a foreign correspondent and news editor, he now heads up the Guardian's special projects team, working on investigations, exclusives and news packages on big global themes. In 2018, he launched the Guardian's constructive journalism stream, the Upside, a series focusing on innovation, enterprise and solutions. He also writes on mental health and psychology, and is the author of a memoir about depression and recovery, Underneath the Lemon Tree.

See the presentation here.

Nina Fasciaux

Nina Fasciaux is representing Solutions Journalism Network in Europe.

Graduating from 3A School of Business and Development, Nina was first involved professionally in humanitarian work as a trainer and manager in France and abroad. Her research in the field questioning engagement and altruism conducted her to work as an editor, writing articles. From 2011 to 2015, she worked in Russia as the web chief editor of a French newspaper. She’s now based in France and works as a freelancer on several projects, including trainings on solutions journalism and Media decoding. She’s representing SJN in Europe since October 2016, which conducted her to train journalists in Denmark, Moldova, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Palestine, Germany, and Belgium, and give presentations to several newsrooms.

See the presentation here.

Bastian Berbner 

Bastian Berbner works as a reporter for the German weekly „Die Zeit“.

In 2017, the paper launched the project ‘Germany Talks’ bringing together readers with opposing political views for face-to-face conversations. Previously, Berbner worked as a freelance journalist in Hamburg, including for the public broadcaster NDR. Berbner’s work has been awarded with the German Reporter Prize and the Axel Springer Prize.

Jacqueline Coté 

Jacqueline Coté is Director of Public Relations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.

Coté holds a civil law and a common law degree from McGill University in Montreal and has undertaken doctoral law studies at the University of Freiburg in Germany. She held senior legal and management positions within international law firms and multinational companies. Before joining the Graduate Institute, Coté was the Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and, prior to that, served as Senior Advisor Advocacy & Partnerships to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

See the speech here.

Nick Wrenn 

Nick Wrenn is head of Facebook’s News Partnerships team for EMEA, based in London.

Nick and his colleagues collaborate with publishers, broadcasters and journalists across the region. Nick joined Facebook in December 2014 after 24 years in newsrooms. He began his career as a newspaper reporter in England before moving to the UK Press Association and also working for Reuters. Nick was a member of the team that launched and grew the BBC News website, then spent 14 years at CNN. During his time there he was in charge of the London bureau, overseeing CNN’s newsgathering and programming for EMEA. Then he spent six years at CNN HQ in Atlanta as the VP in charge of international digital services. 

Emma Tucker 

Emma Tucker joined The Times in 2007 as associate features editor and became editor of T2 within a year.

After five years she was appointed editorial director where she helped foster a much closer working relationship between the editorial and commercial teams, before being appointed deputy editor in 2013. She is also previously a reporter for the Financial Times and editor of FT Weekend.

Achim Wennman 

Dr. Achim Wennmann is Senior Researcher at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, and Executive Coordinator of the Geneva Peacebuilding Platform.

The Geneva Peacebuilding Platform is a network that connects the critical mass of peacebuilding actors, resources, and expertise in Geneva and worldwide. Achim is an expert on economic perspectives on violent conflict, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding and author of over 80 publications. He is also co-founder of Geneva Peace Week and of the Peace Talks Initiative

EBU_Noel Curran_22 (002) Noel Curran is Director General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

The EBU's mission is to defend the interests of public service media and to promote their indispensable contribution to modern society. Noel is the former Managing Director of Television and Editor of Current Affairs of RTÉ, Ireland's national television and radio broadcaster. Before taking on these senior management roles, Curran was an award winning investigative journalist and producer. As an editor and producer, Noel's programming won numerous international awards for journalism.

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Constructive Institute

C/O Aarhus University
Bartholins Allé 16
Bygning 1328, 1. sal
8000 Aarhus C

+45 601 38 600

Constructive Institute

C/O Aarhus University
Bartholins Allé 16
Bygning 1328, 1. sal
8000 Aarhus C

+45 601 38 600

Constructive Institute is situated at: