News man and communications professional
Every journalist knows that there is more to covering news than simply chasing the latest headlines. During the six-plus years that I led the news coverage for The Copenhagen Post and single-handedly ran The Local Denmark, I churned out countless news articles but the stories I really enjoyed writing were those that went beyond the headlines. In this section, you will find a small selection of feature articles that dug beneath the surface of current events, explored Denmark's rich history, attempted to tell stories that weren't being told elsewhere or brought some levity in the form of fun lists.
Plea to foreigners mixes politics and philosophy
Throughout town, amongst handbills and flyers promoting upcoming concerts and performances, a bright orange poster grabs the attention of passers-by.
“Foreigners, please don’t leave us alone with the Danes!” it says in large block letters.
It’s a message that’s bound to draw the eyes of Copenhagen’s sizable international community, as well as make Danes wonder what the message says about themselves and their culture. READ MORE
The new face of Denmark's immigration debate?
The "inhumane" and "degrading" treatment received at the hands of Denmark's Immigration Services had long been a complaint of the country's international community. But when media insider Ralf Christensen used those words to describe the process of applying for family reunification for his Turkish wife, suddenly the cultural elite took notice.
I spoke with the Information journalist in the midst of the furor caused by his scathing op-ed, Tak til Udlændingestyrelsen, and asked whether more humane treatment should be expected by all family reunification applicants and not just those who have easy access to the media. READ MORE
Five burning questions after Denmark's EU 'no'
Denmark was granted four opt-outs from the 1992 Maastricht Treaty: defence; justice and home affairs; the maintaining of the kroner rather than the euro; and an opt-out on citizenship rules that was cancelled out by the Amsterdam Treaty that took effect in 1999.
After Danes solidly rejected the idea of dropping one of those opt-outs in a referendum held in December 2013, I took a close look at at the possible ramifications. READ MORE
Cannabis supporters take to the streets of Copenhagen
The mayor of Denmark's largest city has pushed unsuccessfully for the national government to agree to a trial that would see marijuana legalized in Copenhagen.
While the city's weed smokers wait for the mayor's plans to come to fruition, they have become more vocal and visible about their rights. On April 20, 2013 (420 Day), hundreds turned out for a rally and parade to lend support for Copenhagen's plans. READ MORE
Ten tips for surviving a Danish Christmas party
Ah, the julefrokost. There's really nothing like it. A Danish Christmas party is a one-of-a-kind mixture of holiday cheer, excessive drinking and the release of a year's worth of pent-up feelings.
The traditional party can also be a potential minefield for non-Danes, which is why I threw together an insider's cheat sheet on how to get through the night relatively unscathed. Whether it's mastering the fine art of fighting over useless trinkets to knowing which plate is for what, these tips will help turn you in to a real julefrokost pro. READ MORE
The Dane whose story travelled the world for 80 years
In 1928, Palle Huld boarded a train in Copenhagen and set off on his journey to the adulation of Dannebrog-waving fans. He crossed Denmark by train, sailed to England and then headed north to Scotland. From there, the 15-year-old crossed the Atlantic into Canada, which he crossed by rail before sailing to Japan, where his shock of red hair was the subject of much bemusement.
The story of his young adventures quickly spread. Inspired by Huld, Belgian artist Hergé created 'Tintin', one of the most popular comics of the 20th century. Huld, who became an actor, died in 2011. READ MORE
A super, if not perfect, alternative
Copenhagen's famed bike culture received a major boost in 2012 with the addition of new 'cycle superhighways' promising easy commutes from the outskirts to the city centre. The superhighway system will ultimately consist of 26 routes in the Greater Copenhagen area that collectively measure around 300 kilometres. The entire project is estimated to cost as much as 875 million kroner.
Upon the opening of the first route, Albertslundruten, I hopped on my bike for a ride into Vesterbro to see if the paths lived up to their promise. READ MORE
Student's English speech breaks 500 years of tradition
When Gwen Gruner-Widding addressed the University of Copenhagen’s (KU) annual ceremony in November 2013 in the presence of Queen Margrethe II, she did something that no-one else has done in the 500-plus year history of the event. She delivered a speech in English.
“The simple answer is that I am going to speak in English because there will be international guests present, so I find it the correct and polite thing to do,” she said. “It also seems obvious at a time when there is so much focus on internationalisation.” READ MORE
From sailors to kings II: Tattoos move beyond Nyhavn
In the 1950s and 1960s, the Copenhagen tattoo scene was still populated by the same band of one-named tattoo artists whose personalities were as colourful as the work they put on their customers. But things changed in the 1970s with the emergence of artists like Tattoo Svend and Roxy Helle.
Within the capital, tattoes expanded from Nyhavn to the seedy scene of Istedgade. At the same time, new shops and exciting artists began popping up outside of Copenhagen. Part two of my story chronicles tattooing rise from the underground to mainstream success. READ MORE
The absolute worst words in the Danish language
Throughout my time in Denmark, I developed something of a love-hate relationship with the Danish language. I'm probably not as good at speaking it as I should be, yet I'm also a lot better than I tend to let on.
Despite my progression, however, there are certain words that just drive me absolutely crazy, either because I can't say them, can't spell them or because I'm simply amazed that they exist. READ MORE
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