The Journalist’s Toolbox

What are the core competencies of journalism and how do we develop the journalist’s toolbox in order to support our democracies in the future?

These are the questions that journalist and independent researcher Janne Aagaard Jensen will investigate over the coming years. The Journalist’s Toolbox is a research project into the Future of Journalism Education and in an era of fake news and a decline in press freedom this is more important than ever.

Journalists toolboxJanne has received funding for the project’s Future Journalist’s Toolbox from several organisations including the Aarhus Foundation’s Fund and the Family Hede Nielsens Fund.

Enhance Journalism Skills

The project aims to ensure the best education of journalists in the future. This is essential so that we can better involve the whole population, and strengthen anemerging and healthy business media that can successfully evolve in the current climate of growing digitization.

“I got the idea a couple of years ago when I helped a public relations agency to map the editors’ biggest fears and challenges in six different countries. Journalism is no longer as attractive as a profession.For example, there has been a large drop in wages for newly educated journalists and an increasing deterioration of working conditions for an ever-growing group of freelancers,” says Janne Aagaard Jensen.

Other competencies are needed, especially digital skills, business know-how, and how to use social media for both developing stories and checking facts.

Supported by journalism schools

A number of Danish universities have supported the project, as well as the Danish Journalists’ Association and Danish Media.

Janne Aagaard Jensen graduated from Denmark’s Journalisthøjskole in 1998 with a Bachelor in Journalism. After years of being a newspaper reporter, she went to Australia in 2004 to get a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Queensland. A full resume can be found here or on her LinkedIn-profile.

Since returning to Denmark, Janne Aagaard Jensen have worked as an external lecturer at the Danish School of Journalism in social media strategy and at the IT University in Copenhagen in Communication Design. She currently holds a position as a domain expert at the Innovation Fund Denmark’s InnoFounder education for entrepreneurs and she teaches at the Business Academy in Kolding in cross media communication.

Design thinking

“For several years, I have helped ITU students to develop new digital platforms for Danish media, and the processes have given me insight into methods that few journalists use, such as design thinking and the NABC model. It is crucial that our journalists think in a far more interdisciplinary manner,” says Janne Aagaard Jensen.

She is the founder and manager of Mediekursus.dk, a company that specializes in digital courses for journalists and communication professionals. Today, she does her research from Lisbon, Portugal with frequent visits to her home country.

The Journalist’s Toolbox project will be published as a white paper and – Janne Aagaard Jensen hopes – in the long term, become the subject of a conference for educational institutions, media industry leaders and owners, journalists, researchers and professionals interested in continuing education and basic education both in Denmark and Europe.