May 16 2019

A dozen journalistic talents have been designated Constructive Journalism Fellows from September 2019.

The Constructive Institute gives the 12 journalists a unique opportunity to become the editorial lighthouses of the future in a news industry challenged by eroding financing models, distrust in the media as well as a constant struggle for attention.

“If journalism doesn’t work, democracy breaks down. And right now the media industry needs to rethink its role. It requires new knowledge and time to develop new credible narratives that can restore journalism as the credible foundation of our public conversation,” says CEO of the Constructive Institute, Ulrik Haagerup.

The fellows come to the institute from newsrooms across Denmark including: Berlingske, DR, TV2, Ritzau, Politiken, TV2 Funen and Politiken. They are joined by two international fellows from the Australian National News Agency (NNA), the Finnish news magazine Talouselämä. A further two fellows will be announced shortly.

“Helping journalism to help a democracy under pressure is the exact mission of the 12 upcoming fellows. It is a fantastic group of talent that we look forward to receive, our biggest team yet. It underlines that the constructive journalism movement is spreading rapidly in Denmark and the rest of the world,”

– Ulrik Haagerup, CEO Constructive Institute

says Haagerup, who founded the Constructive Institute in September 2017 after 23 years as news director at Danmarks Radio and editor for Jyllands-Posten and NORDJYSKE.

The 10 Danish and two international editors and reporters will spend 10 months reimagining journalism and their roles in their respective newsrooms. This coming year, they will have access to world resources of Aarhus University where they will have the freedom to explore classes and subjects unconstrained by syllabuses and deadlines. At the same time they participate in discussions with thought leaders disrupting their sectors, ranging from politicians to doctors. Without deadlines and daily demands for clicks and ratings, the fellows will have time to think and develop the constructive journalism at the independent constructive institute. The aim is to cultivate role models for a journalism of tomorrow, one that is nuanced, solutions focused and brings society together.

The fellowship program is funded by generous support from, amongst others, TrygFonden, RealDania and the Finnish Helsingin Sanomat.The program has grown from six fellows in 2017 to over 12 in 2019-2020.

The new fellows at Constructive Institute have been chosen by:

Unni From, Centre Director, School of Communication and Culture – Media Studies, Aarhus University, Henrik Berggreen, Head of Journalism Programs, Danish School of Media and Journalism (DMJX), former BBC-director, Professor Richard Sambrook,  Director of the Centre of Journalism, University of Cardiff, Jacob Kwon, Head of News, TV2, Christian Jensen, Editor in Chief, Politiken, Head of Fellowship-program Orla Borg and Ulrik Haagerup.

The 5 TrygFonden Constructive Journalism Fellows are

• Hans Davidsen-Nielsen, 56, journalist at Danish national daily Politiken

• Minna Skau, 50, journalist at Danish news bureau Ritzau

• Morten Runge, 41, journalist at Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR

• Sarah Golczyk, 39, journalist at Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR

• Friederike Felbo, 37, reporter at TV2 News

 The 2 RealDania Contructive Journalism Fellows are

• Mette Aaby, 57, editor at Danish Broadcasting Corporation DR

• Mathilde Graversen, 30, journalist at Danish national daily Berlingske

Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Journalism Fellow is

• Katja Boxberg, journalist Finnish News Magazine Talouselämä

Furthermore, we are proud to welcome two additional fellows: 

• Jakob Risbro, 45, Editor, TV2 Funen

• Joanne Williamson, deputy editor, Australian Associated Press AAP in Sydney

The names of two additional Constructive Journalism Fellows and the foundation behind will be announced later.