Fellowship 2024/25: New Cohort of Fellows Announced!

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The Constructive Institute offers an annual fellowship program to around 10 media professionals to spend an academic year at the Constructive Institute in Aarhus, Denmark. The fellows are expected to return to their newsrooms to share their insights with their colleagues and implement constructive reporting into their daily work.

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We are proud to present to you the talented constructive journalism fellows of 2023-2024.

Amalie Thieden

Novo Nordisk Fonden Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Amalie Thieden is a journalist at Dagens Medicin, where she writes about the current and future challenges facing the healthcare sector. Previously, she covered a wide range of domestic and foreign issues for the newspaper Berlingske – including covering Russia from Moscow in 2019. She is a graduate of the Danish School of Media and Journalism in 2019 and got her MA in journalism from The New School of Social Research in New York in 2022.

Fellowship project

During her fellowship, Amalie will focus on how the media reports on life sciences including research advances in fields such as medicine and biology. She plans to investigate how to better convey complicated research through journalism in order to gain more transparency and understanding within life sciences. Furthermore, Amalie plans to examine to what extent the principles of constructive journalism can be applied to the covering of health issues.

Asbjørn With

Trygfonden Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Asbjørn With has told local and regional stories for almost 20 years. Always focusing on the relation between problem and solution in the best interest of the reader. Currently he is working on two new locally based, jfm.media; NorddjursLIV and SyddjursLIV. During the years, Asbjørn has been covering every story in the book, from local goatmarkets to award winning investigative reporting and meet thousands of people and told their stories.

Fellowship project

During his fellowship Asbjørn will investigate a new, journalistic narrative focusing on local and region reporting: How do we tell journalistic stories in the future and reclaim a trustworthy, fundamental, important and constructive part of local democracy?

Dagmar Eben Østergaard

Trygfonden Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Dagmar Eben Østergaard is a journalist at Radio4 focusing on live broadcasting. During the past four years she has hosted several national news-based programs at the radio station covering a wide range of subjects. Before that she was at Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR P4 Østjylland as a reporter and live-reporter broadcasting from every corner of the region in Eastern Jutland. She was educated from the Danish School of Media and Journalism in 2019.

Fellowship project

Dagmar joins the fellowship program from January to April 2024 to examine the constructive ideas of journalism and to explore how to implement the constructive approach in her day to day work at the radio station. Furthermore she will be in a process of developing new radio concepts and programs based on her findings and the ideas of constructive journalism.

Frank Hvilsom

Trygfonden Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Frank Hvilsom’s primary subject area is crime, legal development and civil rights. His everyday life as a journalist at the largest Danish newspaper, Politiken, is sometimes blue flashes, other times investigative series. He has worked with legal policy restrictions, court reports, in areas of unrest, in extremist environments, gang environments, Pusher Street in Christiania and so-called ghetto areas. Frank has been employed at Politiken since 2005 and has covered a number of subject areas and events both in Denmark and abroad. Before that, he worked with magazines, DR-TV (Danish Broadcasting Corporation) and radio and he is used to participate in collaborations in the development of angles, stories, editorial discussions and decisions.

Fellowship Project

During his fellowship Frank will examine the distance between the system, political decision-makers, citizens and the media. He will investigate the mechanisms behind the distance and what significance they have for the concepts of equality and priorities, and he will look at what the development mean in the future for the democratic conversation and for the state of the Danish trust society. In particular, Frank will look at what responsibility the media assume to maintain the social conversation, as well as to what extent the journalistic profession undertakes to play a far more constructive and engaging role.

Hannu Tikkala

Helsingin Sanomat Foundation Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Hannu Tikkala is an experienced Finnish journalist who has been working for The Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) for nine years. Before that he worked for different newspapers: Helsingin Sanomat, Kaleva and Pohjolan Sanomat. Hannu covers mainly domestic politics in Finland, but he has been working as an economic journalist as well. Every now and then Hannu produces Television News and he is concentrating now on Yle’s Voting Advice Application in parliamentary elections April 2023.

Fellowship project

Hannu will concentrate on constructive journalism during his stay in Aarhus. He tries to find ways to implement a constructive approach to political journalism. One particular example of this are VAAs which help voters to be part of democratic process and build trust in different institutions.

Kåre Rysgaard Møller

Novo Nordisk Foundation Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Kåre Rysgaard Møller is an experienced analytical journalist at DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corporation. He covers national news stories for TV-Avisen, Radioavisen and dr.dk and has done investigative journalism for 21 Søndag, DR Dokumentar and Kontant as well. For about 16 years Kåre has worked fulltime as a data- and analytic journalist and can use various tools in the research such as surveys, web-scraping and analyzing millions of data when necessary. The aim of his journalism is to find news stories based on facts and research appealing to a wide audience.

Fellowship project

During his fellowship at Constructive Institute Kåre will examine the ethical dilemmas that society and the health care sector face in a time with advanced treatment methods and innovative medical discoveries. Furthermore, he wishes to discover how journalists can cover these dilemmas in a constructive way.

Karen Hjulmand

Industriens Fond Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Karen Hjulmand is working as a reporter at the Climate editorial at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR). Since 1990 she has specialized in climate, energy, and sustainability issues with a national as well as a global perspective. Before the DR Newsroom, Karen worked as anchor and producer at Orientering P1, a daily current affairs radio program. Karen graduated from the Danish School of Media and Journalism in 1984.

Fellowship project

During her Fellowship, Karen will examine possible solutions to a growing gap between research-based knowledge about the climate crisis and the perception of the necessary green transition – especially what motivates changes in peoples’ behaviour.

Louise Abildgaard Grøn

Novo Nordisk Foundation Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Louise has worked as editor-in-chief and director of Børneavisen in JP/Politikens Hus and was the driving force behind the newspaper concept and business plan. She has headed app and podcast development for children and young people. During her 14 years at JP/Politikens Hus, she was also responsible for the CSR project aimed at school students. Louise has always held great interest in journalism from a learning perspective with user involvement and engagement at the fore. She and her former teams have won several media awards. 



Fellowship project

During her fellowship program Louise will examine the aspects of equal access to psychiatric services and treatment, and how this is challenged by economic, demographic, and geographical circumstances. From this, she will gain further insights on general media coverage of the current challenges and ultimately a constructive approach for communicating solutions and pathways to the public.

Mette Buch Jensen

William Demant Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Mette Buch Jensen has been a freelance journalist with “Buch Kommunikation” since April 2011, primarily with journalistic assignments for Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) and is also an appointed censor at the Danish School of Media and Journalism in the period 2022-2026. She is a graduate from the Danish School of Media and Journalism (1998), holds a diploma in analytical journalism (2005) and a master’s degree in journalism, society, culture and media (cand.public) from Aarhus University (2011). The common thread in her journalistic career has been to involve and engage listeners and viewers who have not necessarily been able to see themselves represented in traditional journalistic coverage. At DR, Mette has continuously worked to engage new target groups, primarily in the areas of debate and news.

Fellowship project

During her fellowship at the Constructive Institute, Mette Buch Jensen will be investigating the subject of news avoidance, analyze the existing research and try to transform national and international research into tools that Danish media can use. The aim of this project funded by the William Demant Foundation is to address a democratic challenge like news avoidance by developing new solutions to counter news avoidance in order to secure and strengthen our democratic conversation.

Mette Davidsen-Nielsen

Trygfonden Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Mette Davidsen-Nielsen has held leading positions in Danish media for over twenty years. Since 2016, she has been Culture Editor at Politiken. Before Politiken, she was Managing Director of Dagbladet Information and Informations Forlag. Previously, she was Commissioning Editor and Channel Controller at DR2 (Danish Broadcasting Corporation). She has also sat on the board of, among others, Aalborg University, Golden Days and Aarhus Festuge.

Fellowship project

During her fellowship, she will explore how the hierarchical workflows of news media affect the selection, development and angle of journalistic content. Can new thinking and theory about organization and agency inspire news media to organize themselves in ways that increase the diversity of ways we tell stories? And can we, through a less conformist and more constructive approach, increase citizens’ trust in journalistic media?

Pia Thordsen

Trygfonden Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Pia Thordsen has extensive experience with local and regional news coverage in southern Denmark. She has covered social, political, cultural, business and labor affairs for TV and web at the Danish regional TV station, TV SYD – at the news desk and as part of the TV SYD’s in depth / investigative reporting unit. Pia Thordsen is a founding board member of Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism – ARIJ – (since 2005), where she among other things has trained and coached local journalists in investigative methods. She is a graduate of the Danish School of Journalism and studied European and Middle Eastern studies at Aarhus University and at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU).

Fellowship project

During her fellowship Pia Thordsen plans to explore the potential of constructive journalism in engaging users with our news content and attracting them to seek it out on our online streaming platform. The goal is to address the problem that users who are leaving traditional TV often choose not to stream news online. The hypothesis is that a constructive and solutions-oriented framing of important challenges in society, instead of a problem-oriented approach, can help attract and engage users to and in well-researched, critical and balanced journalism content. The goal is – if possible – to test the findings in real life after the fellowship year.

Tommy Kaas

Trygfonden Constructive Journalism Fellowship

BIO

Tommy is an editor on the Danish local newspaper Bornholms Tidende and the head of the project for constructive journalism. He works with the newspaper’s long transition from paper to web. A year ago he got reunited with Bornholms Tidende after having worked for the regional tv-station TV2/Bornholm.

Fellowship project

Tommy joins the fellowship program to make Bornholms Tidende an even bigger part of the society of Bornholm. The newspaper wants to create a stronger relationship to the readers in order to be the center of discussion and debate.