Nice to meet you! I am an independent journopreneur, which essentially means I take an entrepreneurial approach to journalism. I am also the co-founder of the Constructive Journalism Project which aims to change news values across the industry.
Over the last 17 years in journalism, my work has largely focused on social change and ideas that work. I lived in the Netherlands, South Africa, Namibia, Denmark, Australia, Scotland, Wales and England and reported from many more countries, including India, Brazil and Greece. I am grateful to have witnessed the birth of the nation of South Sudan and to have interviewed the Dalai Lama.
As an entrepreneur and consultant, I am constantly looking for ways to innovate journalism itself. I raised over £1 million in media crowdfunding projects. I helped a documentary photographer crowdfund the entire print run of her book. And I led campaigns to successfully re-invent the business models of legacy print media, including New Internationalist and Positive News, converting them to co-operatives owned by readers and journalists. As External Assessor of Google’s €150 million Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund, I was part of the team selecting the most innovative projects from legacy publishers to prototyping start-ups across Europe.
How I got here…
I graduated from the Utrecht School of Journalism (the Netherlands) with a BA degree specialising in newspaper reporting. I moved from regional to national publications until I realised that both the ‘news’ and ‘paper’ parts of the medium were dying out. It was time to broaden the horizons.
After some years in newsrooms, I completed a Master’s degree in Journalism and Media within Globalisation (Aarhus University/ Swansea University), specialising in War & Conflict studies. My MA thesis ‘SW Radio Africa and the challenges of operating a Zimbabwean exile radio station in London’ earned me a Distinction and was published by the Journal of African Media Studies.
For the next three years, I was the Editor of INSP, a network of 120 street papers sold by homeless people, with a readership of 6 million in over 40 countries.
After switching languages, tools, platforms, jobs, countries, genres and skills, I eventually settled on a journalistic mix that looks something like this:
After a decade in London I recently returned to the Netherlands, but I continue to be inspired by changemakers everywhere.