Alongside working as a reporter for almost two decades I have been working with independent media organisations worldwide to make them more sustainable and robust in a rapidly changing media landscape.
Building communities and harnessing crowd support has been a lifeline for many journalism organisations I worked with. I raised over €1.5 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.
I am also the co-founder of the Constructive Journalism Project , changing news values across the industry to include solutions-focused reporting. 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. I’ve covered the work of countless changemakers across the world.
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 a decade working as a journalist and media consultant in the UK, I returned to the Netherlands, where I continue to be inspired by changemakers everywhere.