cross-border journalism

Handbook on cross-border journalism

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2021 at 4:00 am

Front page

Cross-Border Collaborative Journalism. A Step-By-Step Guide

The Handbook on crossborder journalism is the first of its kind. The book provides a step-by-step introduction to the method of cross-border journalism from idea to publication and beyond. It builds upon own experience of the author and a long series of interviews with the pioneers of crossborder journalism.

The work process of the practitioners is enriched with insigths by scholars of various disciplines of relevance. The book includes numerous examples.

Reviews and quotes:


Earlier versions of the book were published in 2015 in Danish and in 2017 in German:

Grenzüberschreitender Journalismus – Handbuch zum Cross-Border-Journalismus Deutsch

  • Press release for the launch lecture December 2017
  • Review by European Journalism Observatory Januar 2018: “She provides valuable suggestions, how journalists can succeed in collaborating across countries’ borders.”
  • Review by Drehscheibe April 2018: “Why not start by crossing borders also in local journalism?
  • Review by Global Media Journal, August 2018: “Newsrooms who want to look beyond the national realm should invest in this book”.
  • Buy the book at Herbert-von-Halem-Verlag, Cologne

Journalistik over grænser – håndbog i crossborder journalistik

In short

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2021 at 3:55 am

Journalist, author, lecturer.

Director of Arena for Journalism in Europe, the organisation behind the annual Dataharvest – the European Investigative Journalism Conference.

Lecturer at the University of Gothenburg.

Foto: Thomas Tolstrup

Current fields of interest:

Cross border and collaborative journalism; innovation in journalism; digitalisation of societies; European affairs and regulation; political economy.

Some previous positions:

2008-2018, a support structure for in-depth, innovative and independent journalism in Europe. Initially invited to develop the European activities, later chairperson and managing editor.

2008-2012 Freelance cross border journalism with teams of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ICIJ, own initiative teams and filmmakers; developing the growing European activities of

2004-2008 Four years in Brussels working as EU-correspondent for Danish daily Information.

Co-founder of several European journalism and data journalism projects, including the follow-the-money project – that for the first time in the history of the EU brought to light beneficiaries of the annual billion Euro subsidies to the farming industry,  and the annual European Investigative Journalism & Dataharvest Conference, where some of the most courageous and innovative journalists from all over Europe meet to learn from each other and to collaborate across borders.

Detailed CV

What I’ve been up to recently

In Blog news on March 2, 2021 at 3:50 am

March 2021: Cross-border journalism community as gathers at Dataharvest – the European Investigative Journalism Conference is becoming the object of acadamic study! Annett Heft from the Free University Berlin has interviewed “journalism pioneers” – Dataharvest participants and others to study cross-border journalism “from below”. In her article in the highly respected academic journal Journalism Studies, she looks at the why, the how, the advantages and disadvantages of cross-border journalism.

February 2021: Find myself in excellent company of co-authors with a chapter in the 3rd edition of Hugo de Burgh and Paul Lashmar’s Investigative Journalism text book by Routledge. My chapter is on journalism in and about The European Union and the rise of collaboration.

February 2021: Trying to make the point that reflection about the journalism we do is an integrated part of the work process in the last chapter of the N-Ost Playbook: The Importance of Following Up.

February 2021: Is foreign reporting in Germany  too superficial? That was the question at the annual gathering of the journalists in North-Rhine-Westphalia/Germany. My argument: We’re in an era of massive change, in media and in journalism. There is a major renewal through #crossborder #collaborative #journalism, and rather than trying to adapt reporting about a given country, journalists now collaborate about topics of shared interest – such as tax evasion, for example.

February 2021: Cross-border journalism experience and inspiration is now being handed over to the next generation! I dearly enjoy accompanying precious and promising students at MIJ/University of Gothenburg and a big thank you to Bastian and Frederik Obermay/ier from Süddeutsche Zeitung for presenting their work with the Panama Papers investigation. Bastian and Frederik kindly agreed to an inspiring talk initiated by students themselves! In great collaboration with Ulla Sätereie and the rest of the MIJ-team.

December 2020: So it’s out – the big #moneytoburn collaboration. It’s the sad tale on how the rush towards green energy fuelled a European market for wood pellets to a level that threatens Estonian forrests. I feel a particular veneration for this team of 16 journalists from 8 newsrooms in 8 countries because I was there from the meeting where they first discussed the story idea and composed the team in February – kindly invited by the Töpfer Foundation. Arena provided a digital working environment to the cross-border team and I had the pleasure of being entrusted a mentoring role to the editorial coordinator, the competent Hazel Sheffield. UPDATE January 2021: Now also published in the Guardian and out there on Twitter where Greta Thunberg commented. Thanks to Hazel for crediting my role as mentor – it was a pleasure.

December 2020: Spoke at the national conference for Ukrainian Investigative Journalism #IJC20.

November 2020: Was Dataharvest Digital 2020 the longest investigative journalism conference ever? Definitely feels like it – after 149 sessions spread over 13 weeks! But participants liked it and kept registring until the last month. Also, the team gained loads of experience and is developing exciting new models of meeting and knowledge sharing in the investigative, collaborative, data, entrepreneurial journalism crowd. Do register for the newsletter to be posted.

November 2020: Spoke at a seminar of the EBU Academy on cross-border collaborative journalism. There I also learnt about the internal network to connect EBU members wishing to do collaborative investigative journalism with other EBU broadcasters. So obvious – a great pleasure to see it happen.

October 2020: 37 students from 21 countries – more than ever before – have joined the Master Investigative Journalism at the University of Gothenburg for a year of work on investigative, data and cross-border journalism. I have the pleasure of being on the teacher’s team and what a great crowd of students! We use cross-border collaboration competences proactively in times of hybrid-teaching with about 3/4 of the class on campus and 1/4 online, so they train project coordination and remote team work as they study (and as we all through the corona-time). In this article by Journalism Institute, we’re doing a first status.

September 2020: 1st of September, we started the Dataharvest Digital and participation is extremely encouraging! The coronavirus prevented us from the annual in-person gathering over 3½ days in Mechelen in May. Instead, we chose to spread the 120+ sessions over three months to avoid parallel sessions. A weekly focus on a topic or a research method makes it easier to navigate the programme. Our first rough stats confirm that this works well: the average of participants per session is significantly higher online (with no parallel sessions) than in Mechelen (with competing sessions in the same time slots). Also, the geographic spread of our participants is much wider, which we’re very happy about: We need all of Europe! At the end of September, we have 447 registered participants, close to the target of 450 we set for the entire online experiment. The other day, we even managed to laugh together online – a challenge highlighted by many journalism trainers teaching online this year! Further, we see local initiatives to gather the Dataharvest Community on local level (Berlin in late September, Amsterdam in early October) – and this is the essence of cross-border collaborative journalism: Being well-rooted at home but thinking across borders! Many lessons learnt to supplement the in-person conferences in the future.

August 2020: Preparing for 13 weeks of online gatherings at Dataharvest Digital. This gives interesting opportunities for digital meeting formats – endlessly curious how it will go! Also preparing for a new group of students from all over the world starting at the Master for Investigative Journalism at Gothenburg University.

June 2020: Dataharvest – the European Investigative Journalism Conference goes fully digital for 2020 due to the health situation. Instead of blocking people’s weekends in front of a screen, we spread our sessions over three months from September to November.

May 2020: A fresh review of my book on cross-border collaborative journalism has been published by Swedish scholar Urban Larssen from Södertörn/Sweden at Nordicom Review. He categorises the book among those working on the future of “journalistic authority” by “rethinking journalism beyond the regular newsroom and beyond national and disciplinary borders”. That’s very precise and very encouraging. Nothing against the “regular newsroom” – on the contrary! But we need to think freely and very precisely about how we work with knowledge sharing and critical thinking in our societies in order to strengthen journalism in this era of liquid media.

April 2020: First online-teaching in times of corona: My usual spring-class with the international journalism course at the Thomas More in Mechelen/Belgium. I keep believing in real life as the best way of teaching and working – but we are journalists and we’ll do our best to surmount difficulties.

February 2020: German Alfred-Töpfer-Foundation in its new European Journalism Programme offered a four day seminar for cross-border journalism in a seminar centre near the Baltic Sea. 15 junior and mid-career journalists from all over Europe gathered, because they want to collaborate across borders. And they do that already – I know, because I’m in their shared chat group. They’ll all meet again for Dataharvest – the European Investigative Journalism Conference in May in Mechelen.