The 5th class of ambassadors for the future of journalism have now been selected and will begin their fellowship program at Constructive Institute in August 2021.
The 12 journalists from Brazil, Finland and a broad variety of Danish media will get access to courses at Aarhus University for one academic year, and will spend 10 months finding new ways of doing responsible journalism. At the end of their fellowship program they will return to the media world with new energy, new hope, news insights, new understanding, new tools and new ways to report critically and constructively with more inspiration to solutions to society’s problems with more nuances in their reporting and with better tools of engaging with the readers, the listeners and the viewers.
The fellows have a wide range of experience and cover TV and radio as well as print and online storytelling. They have been picked from a large group of qualified applicants and they are in the age span from 28 to 65. The new class brings the total of constructive fellows to a total of 50 since the launch of the independent Constructive Institute in 2017.
CEO and founder of Constructive Institute, Ulrik Haagerup, have high expectations for the 2021/2022 class of the fellowship program:
“We live in a time where neither democracy nor independent and trustworthy media can be taken for granted. We are humble to see that some of the best in our profession choose to invest their time and talents with us to try to reinvent journalism.”
The new Danish fellows are financed by grants to Constructive Institute from three philanthropic Danish foundations, i.e. TrygFonden, Realdania, Novo Nordisk Fonden. The fellow from Finland has received a grant from the Finnish Helsingin Sanomat Foundation and the fellow from Brazil from the Danish Cultural Institute in Brazil.
Each fellow will work on a certain journalistic project during the fellowship year. See the bios and the project of the fellows listed below.
The new class of fellows at Constructive Institute 2021-22:
Beatriz Miranda is a 28-year-old Brazilian freelance journalist from Rio de Janeiro. She covers the intersections of culture, arts, and social issues in Brazil for global audiences – her work has appeared at The New York Times, The Guardian, New Internationalist, Ozy, OkayAfrica, Ms. Magazine, among other publications.
During her fellowship Beatriz aims to investigate the stereotypical representations of Brazil’s culture in the media – both domestically and internationally. She believes that, by providing a more complex and responsible picture of Brazil’s culture, the media can work as a great ally of democracy in her country.
Anja Thordal is an experienced journalist at DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. She has been working as a radio and television host from the day she graduated from the Danish School of Media and Journalism.
For the last 12 years she has been working in Aarhus on DR P4 (Østjylland) the largest radio channel in Denmark. Anja has a special interest in what it takes to bring people together.
During her fellowship Anja will focus on the housing and living conditions in geographically peripheral areas in Denmark with a special focus on the eastern part of Jutland. Her goal will be to try to identify what could make people live the life they dream of. What is good life is to people living outside the big cities. And can a regional radio station give them a voice.
Kenneth Lund has been working at Politiken since 2009, the last seven years as opinion editor and journalist at the opinion desk. Previously, he was a political reporter at Christiansborg (2012-2014) and online opinion editor at Politiken.dk (2009-2012). Kenneth has a master’s degree in Journalism and a BA in Philosophy from Roskilde University.
During his fellowship at Constructive Institute, Kenneth will examine the rapidly changing job market and the challenges it poses to ‘Generation Z’ in terms of e.g. precarious jobs, increasing automation and lack of meaningful work. At the same time, he will look for new ways of engaging more young people in the debate about tomorrow’s work force.
Jesper Larsen is a Danish journalist and correspondent, editor and editor-in-chief with wide experience, not only from media but also from central administration as Head of Media, Press and Communications. Jesper has been part of the management in two of the largest Danish media houses, one privately owned, Berlingske, as foreign editor and one owned by the state, Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR, as an editor of current affairs and debate. He has also worked as anchor on DR2 Debatten and Deadline, has been an EU correspondent in Brussels and political editor at Christiansborg, the Danish parliament. Jesper was educated at The Danish School of Media and Journalism and Jyllands-Posten, where he also started his career as a political reporter.
As a Fellow at Constructive Institute, Jesper will work on describing the past half century’s social housing policy in Denmark, focusing on if and how Danish media contribute to maintaining the picture of inhabitants in vulnerable housing areas and so called ghettoes, with high unemployment and low income and a large number of people with a different ethniticity that Danish. The goal will be to find a bearable and journalistically constructive way forward.
Jeppe Kyhne Knudsen has been working as a science journalist at DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation for the past four years. He mostly writes for the website dr.dk, but occasionally produces radio for P1 as well as explainers for DRs science channel on YouTube. He has a BA in history from the University of Aalborg and a MA in analytical journalism from University of Aarhus.
During his fellowship at Constructive Institute Jeppe will examine how we journalists can cover important breakthroughs in the world of genetics without evoking fear or unfounded optimism of the new technologies.
Simone Terndrup is a journalist and a storyteller who has been working at TV 2 Nyhederne since 2015. At her job she produces news stories for the 18, 19 and 21.30 o’clock news broadcasts. She covers a wide range of different areas but over the years she has focused mostly on stories related to health and the constructive concepts of TV 2. Simone is a graduate of the Danish School of Media and Journalism and has studied at Missouri School of Journalism, USA.
As a fellow Simone will investigate how media coverage of the elderly care sector is affecting the perception and the recruiting of care workers. She will also look into the fact that the elderly population is growing rapidly and what impact that will have on the health prioritizing of the future.
For more than 20 years Kristoffer Frøkjær has strived to bring the latest knowledge from science and research to a Danish audience in writing, on television and radio – e.g. as editor and radiohost for 10 years at the Danish Broadcast Corporation. Furthermore, he has participated in the creation of the scientific webmedia Videnskab.dk, lectured about science and media on The University of Copenhagen, and written several books in the field of popular science, e.g. “Eske Willerslev – brings life to the dead” (Gyldendal, 2015). Lately he has participated as an editor and idea developer in the realization of the onlinemedia Sciencereport.dk, regarding with the world of science. He graduated as cand. scient. in biology with a minor in film- and media science from The University of Copenhagen.
During his fellowship he will examine how constructive journalism and scientific research and facts, when it comes to the climate issue, can be brought together to facilitate better informed decision making among citizens.
Kurt Strand has anchored and produced radio and television broadcasts for more than 35 years. He has been working with news and current affairs in several formats at DR, Danish Broadcasting Corporation 1985-2010. Since then, he has been working as an independent journalist, anchoring formats on media criticism as “Presselogen” TV2 News and “Mennesker og medier” DR-P1. Also, he has conducted courses and coaching sessions on interviewing skills. Kurt is a graduate from the Danish School of Media and Journalism 1980.
During his Constructive Institute fellowship Kurt will research new ways for public debates; less focus on conflicts and trench digging, more focus on dialogues and solutions.
Bettina Szücs has been employed at TV2/Nyhedernes national desk for the past five years. Here she has worked with a large number of TV2’s major agenda-setting stories. In January 2021, she won the TV-award for the best news story of the year, for a feature in a series about loneliness in Denmark.
Bettina has had a long career in broadcast journalism. She is an experienced TV reporter and has worked both with news and magasin programs for many years. In addition, she has worked just about 10 years as an editor at TV2/Nyhederne and TV2/NEWS.
During the fellowship Bettina Szücs will study and develop her understanding of the nature of the challenge to our mental health and examine how constructive journalism can help ensure a more nuanced coverage of this issue.
Bjarke Calvin is an entrepreneur and journalist developing media startups. He is currently involved in two projects centered around digital health: Duckling, a publishing platform for visual storytelling, and TimerKid, a wifi-box and app that helps families balance screen time. In the past, Bjarke worked as executive editor with Magnum Photos in New York City and as a journalist at Dagbladet Børsen. He is an alumni fellow of MIT and a frequent speaker at conferences and universities worldwide, such as MIT, Harvard, TEDx, and SXSW. He is also author of the book “The Digital Storyteller (Den Digitale Fortæller).
Bjarke Calvin will examine how the use of personal data in places like social media and online games impact our digital health, and explore solutions that make our digital lives healthier.
Jecaterina Mantsinen is working as a crime journalist at the Finnish News Agency STT i Helsinki. Since starting there at 2016 she has also worked in a news desk and covered politics. In 2017 her team won Bonnier’s journalism price for their article about sexual harassment in a Helsinki drama school. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Tampere University and has also studied social sciences in Ljubljana University in Slovenia.
During her fellowship at Constructive Institute she will study the benefits of constructive approach in crime journalism.
Kamilla Gamborg Isaksen works as a reporter at the youth desk “Bemærk” of the regional tv station TV 2 Fyn. She has been a part of “Bemærk” since it was created in the summer of 2018. Kamilla has a background working with children’s television and youth-radio for the national Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Prior to her current job, she spent a year in Auckland, New Zealand, studying and working with social media in a marketing perspective. Besides her professional experience, she has a big personal interest in new medias and their impact on journalism.
During her Fellowship at Constructive Institute she consequently wishes to investigate and develop how news medias can use constructive journalism on different social media platforms in the future, particularly with a focus on reaching and engaging young people.
The current class of fellows from the academic year 2020/2021 will return to the media world this summer. They have different journalistic backgrounds, ranging from P1 Morgen and 21 Søndag at Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR, to JP Finans, TV2 Fyn, TV2 Nord, TV2 Østjylland, DR Ung, Euroman, Koncentrat, The Danish School of Media and Journalism, German Deutsche Welle and Finnish YLE.
Head of the Fellowship Program at Constructive Institute, former investigative reporter, Orla Borg, believes that the fellows, leaving the fellowship program will be ambassadors for better journalism.
“The general idea of the fellowship program is that the fellows will now return to their newsroom being able to contribute to a renewal of the conversation about the reporting that is being done there. They will have learned to add a new layer of critical and constructive journalism to the classical news reporting and investigative journalism that is already there.”
About the fellowship
The fellowship program aims to give talented media professionals, with a potential to influence the future of journalism, access to an academic bank of knowledge at a top class university for the duration of an academic year.
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