Constructive Journalism Conference:

June 22nd, 2022

Video takeaways from the event

Constructive Explorers

We are proud to present to you our very first group of Constructive Institute Explorers. In 2022 our cohort come from different countries and professional backgrounds but all three will explore the possibilities of “Listening Louder” and the tangible formats and approaches journalists need to use to hear and amplify diverse voices.

Anne Katrine Førli
BIO

Anne Katrine Førli is an experienced debate editor at NRK, the Norwegian broadcasting corporation. She has worked as a journalist and editor at NRK’s debate program “Debatten” for 25 years, and has experience with investigating journalism and news both in TV and Radio as a reporter, host and editor. Now she is the editor of the program “Dagsnytt 18”, a daily direct program with guests discussing various topics.

Motivations for Exploration

Based on her experiences in editing debate programmes, Anne Katrine wants to know more about how to do these discussions on TV and radio even better: “I would really like to know more about how we can bring people together in a way that it’s okay that you disagree”. To Anne Katrine, doing debates more constructively by learning from each other’s disagreements is important for our democracy: “I hope that we in the future have a free, constructive and investigative press. I also hope that we tolerate disagreements in our dialogue, that we try to understand the disagreements and learn from it”.

Ewen MacAskill
BIO

Born in Glasgow, Ewen MacAskille wanted to become a journalist from the age of 15. Fast forward to the year of 2022, Ewen has been a journalist for almost 50 years now and has worked all around the world in various publications. For half of his career, Ewen worked on The Guardian starting as the chief political correspondent covering British politics. Later he became the diplomatic editor and travelled around the world covering various conflicts. After this, Ewen then became the Washington DC bureau chief and later the defence intelligence correspondent. Most famously, Ewen covered the Edward Snowden affair with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. In 2018, Ewen left the staff at The Guardian and has since then been teaching journalism.

Motivations for Exploration

When Ewen first heard about something called “constructive journalism” he had a rather sceptical stance towards it, thinking that it was about only telling the positive stories: “I was used to covering hard news, so I found the idea of constructive journalism ridiculous. I thought ‘news is news’”. Since then, Ewen has become more positive about constructive journalism and believes that we need to rethink the way we do journalism: “The truth is in the middle. The relentless diet of negative stories in the media is part of the reason why young people no longer read the newspapers. We need to have a healthier balance”. In Ewen’s own words, the purpose of the project at Constructive Institute is to look at journalism and polarisation and how we can move forward: “There is a lot to be done. One thing is to change the approach to politics and the language we use. Politics is always presented as ‘battles’, ‘war’ and so on.”. Political journalism tends to look for conflict, but maybe we should start looking for solutions?

Peter Lindner
BIO

Peter Lindner has been working for more than twenty years at the Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich. First as head of the politics sections for nearly 12 years, and for nearly six years, Peter worked as a deputy editor in chief for the online edition of the newspaper. Through his work he has dealt with various democracy issues, and has developed several dialogue formats at Süddeutsche Zeitung, one of these known as the “Werkstatt Demokratie” discourse project.

Motivations for Exploration

To Peter, it is more important than ever that journalism fulfil its role as moderator of public conversations. “At Constructive Institute, we are trying to find examples from all over the world of dialogue formats and best practice examples that help to push back polarisation.” That also means, finding out how journalists could be moderators of public conversations, and finding formats that inspire the media branch and bring them forward. How journalism remains relevant and attractive in the future is also something Peter is deeply committed to: “Journalism has to be relevant in the future, and to be relevant in the future means developing further and strengthening the dialogue. Political and social polarisation puts democracies worldwide under stress. In many places the media are part of the problem, but they can also be part of the solution: For instance, if journalists act as intermediaries who organise and moderate constructive discourse.”

Kaori Kohyama
BIO

Kaori Kohyama is a Japanese freelance journalist and has currently been a Erasmus Mundus master’s student exploring the possibility of revitalising civil society through journalism. Intrigued by the innovative methods of constructive journalism, Kaori came to Aarhus with a focus on how this new methodology can be interpreted and applied to Japan’s deteriorating democracy and political debate among citizens. Kaori is a winner for 2021 Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan’s Swadesh DeRoy journalism award.

Project Role

In this project, Kaori serves as an assistant trying to organise amazing ideas from all the journalists in the best way possible.

Nadia Nikolajeva
BIO

With a background as a digital journalist at Danish news medias such as TV 2, Ekstra Bladet and metroxpress, Nadia Nikolajeva started to experiment with dialogue journalism, where the readers become part of the story. As a social media editor and head of digital she started seeing major challenges with the comment sections on social media – the magical dialogue was harder to kickstart. The lack of knowledge and open sharing of tools in this area inspired her to create the network Ansvar for feedet (Responsibility for the feed) where journalists and social media editors share their best techniques for creating a safe and interesting debate online. With the support of the The Danish Union of Journalists, Nadia Nikolajeva was able to create a informative booklet with the best tools and techniques in moderation online. Today knowledge about this important area is available for free and also a part of the education of young journalists at Roskilde University and The Danish School of Media and Journalism.

Project Role

For the project, Nadia will share professional insights into Social Media and how journalists can moderate dialogue in cyberspace: “I am a part of this project, because there is still so much work to be done and an enormous potential in inspiring journalist to creating spaces, where citizens feel comfortable in sharing their story and opinions. These moments are the best in modern journalism, if you ask me. So I am excited to share even more interesting tools and ways to work with moderation.”

Kenneth Lund
BIO

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.

Project Role

As a fellow at Constructive Institute, Kenneth examines 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. Furthermore, he looks for new ways of engaging more young people in the debate about tomorrow’s work force. In this project, Kenneth contributes by sharing domestic examples and knowledge.

Kurt Strand
BIO

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.

Project Role

Kurt is a current fellow at Constructive Institute, where he researches new ways for public debates; less focus on conflicts and trench digging, more focus on dialogues and solutions. For this project, Kurt contributes by sharing domestic examples and knowledge.