cross-border journalism



Brigitte Alfter is a senior German-Danish journalist, founder and editorial director of Arena for Journalism in Europe and lecturer at the University of Gothenburg. Having practiced journalism on local, national and European level, she realised the need for cross-border collaborative journalism structures. Since 2008, she develops European support- and infrastructures for cross-border journalism and advises on all aspects of collaborative journalism. She combines journalism practice, entrepreneurial activities, teaching/training and academic research.

Detailed CV:

Born 1966 in Germany, daughter of graphic designers Elisabeth and Gert Alfter.

Education / Journalism / chronological

1985 Abitur from Rudolf-Steiner-Schule Wuppertal, Germany

1991 Car mechanic, Århus Technical School & Piero’s Auto, Åbyhøj, Denmark

1993-1997 Danish School of Journalism, Århus, Denmark.

2014 Master of Art in European Journalism, University of Southern Denmark

1994-1997 Horsens Folkeblad, Århus Stiftstidende, local daily newspapers, Denmark

1997-2001 Flensborg Avis, daily bilingual newspaper, local reporter, later regional editor, Germany/Denmark

2001-2003 Notat, weekly on European affairs, editor-in-chief, Copenhagen, Denmark

2003-2004 freelance journalist, Copenhagen, Denmark

2004-2008 Brussels correspondent for Danish daily Information, Brussels, Belgium

2008-2012 freelancing, based in Copenhagen, cross-border collaborations with Investigative Reporting Network Europe and International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, ICIJ

2008-2018 Managing Editor at Journalismfund, building an infrastructure for independent, in-depth and crossborder journalism in Europe. Including work grants for crossborder collaborative journalism (since 2008), the European Investigative Journalism Conference & Dataharvest (with Journalismfund from 2011-2018) and assistance to crossborder teams such as Investigate Europe and the

2019 – Founder and director at Arena for Journalism in Europe, a non-profit under Dutch law to support crossborder, collaborative journalism in Europe. As of 2022 Editorial Director.

1985 – Abitur from Rudolf-Steiner-Schule Wuppertal, Germany

1985 – Moved to Skals, Denmark, chocolate worker.

1987-1991 – Car mechanic apprentice at Viborg and Århus Technical Schools and Piero’s Auto, Denmark.

1991-1992 – Car mechanic at Piero’s Auto, Århus, Denmark.

1993-1997 – Danish School of Journalism, Århus, Denmark.

1997-2001 – Local reporter, special reporter and the last two years editor of South Schleswig desk, Flensborg Avis, the Danish minority daily newspaper in Germany.

1999 – 2004 Co-founder and deputy editor-in-chief at Eurolang, a European news agency about language minorities.

2001 – series of articles about Albanian virgins, reconciliation, Albanian hospitality and not least about medieval law “Kanun” in Northern Albania with photographer Lars Salomonsen.

2001-2003 – editor at Notat, a weekly about European affairs. Parted when editorial independence concept was changed towards campaign journalism.

2003-2004 – freelance journalist in Copenhagen. Focus on European affairs, media and minorities.

2003 – 2012 Part of the volunteer core team in the start-up years, later manager at the Scoop project, a support structure for investigative and cross-border journalism in the Balkans, the Ukraine and Moldova carried out by the Danish association for investigative journalism FUJ and International Media Support. The project continued – with a new geographic focus – until 2018.

2004-2018 Part of the core team in the start-up years, reporter, network member and later responsible for the project, a pioneer project in cross-border collaborative journalism in Europe unveiling the beneficiaries of EU’s 60 billion Euro annual farm subsidies. In 2018 the project was fully taken over by Open Knowledge Foundation Germany.

2004-2008 – Brussels correspondent of Danish daily Information.

2007-2016 – Co-founder and co-editor of Wobbing, a European network of journalists, who use the method of freedom of information requests.

2008-2012 – Freelance journalist in Copenhagen. Own cross-border collaborations, participation in ICIJ cross-border collaborations and contribution to documentaries.

2008 – 2018 Co-founder of the European activities of, roles included project development of European cross-border collaborative grants, program responsible for the European Investigative Journalism & Dataharvest Conference for several years, chairperson of the board 2013-2016 to oversee the generation change, managing editor 2016-2018 including strategic work, fundraising, development and the annual conference.

2009 – 2014 Blogging occasionally on journalism and accountability in Europe for the, (old and current blog).

2012-2016  Lecturer in Journalism at Roskilde University (external lecturer 2015-2016).

2014 Master of Art in European Journalism, University of Southern Denmark

2015 Handbook on cross-border journalism published in Danish language.

2017 Handbook on crossborder journalism published in German language.

2019 Crossborder collaborative journalism – a step-by-step guide published in English.

2019 – Co-founder and director at Arena for Journalism in Europe. As of 2022 editorial director.

2020 – Lecturer at the University of Gothenburg.

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