News man and communications professional
From 2010 to 2017, I covered the daily happenings in Denmark as editor of The Copenhagen Post and The Local Denmark (I also expanded to Norway when I took over The Local's Norwegian edition in late 2015). During that time, I wrote hundreds of news articles, often putting out as many as seven stories per day. Below is a small sampling of articles that stuck out from the pack, whether it was a topic that is particularly dear to my heart, an article that garnered significant international interest or merely a story that for me captures that particular time in Scandinavian society. For stories that go beyond the headlines, be sure to check out my feature articles, and if you are interested in my subjective take on some of these issues, you may want to look at the opinion section.
Seeing for two
It was my great pleasure to take part in the 2015 Impact Journalism Day by highlighting a Danish app that allows sighted volunteers to help blind people all over the world just by using their smartphones.
I spoke with the cofounder of the Be My Eyes app and met with one of the app's many blind users to see how she benefits from it in her everyday life. READ MORE
Romanian workers systematically exploited in Zealand
Now back in Romania, one family says they were threatened by a subcontractor of cleaning giant Forenede Service, received no payment for their work, and lived in a Helsingør apartment that had no electricity or water. Other Romanian workers have been reduced to eating food they found in the trash, while many lived in a basement apartment with a non-functional toilet.
"If you try to do anything, escape or go to the police, you will not make it back to Romania alive. I’ll break your legs." READ MORE
What the US could learn from Denmark about elections
In November 2016, Americans elected Donald Trump president in one of the ugliest, most divisive elections in the nation's history.
For American voters disenchanted with the process and the outcome, it seems like there must be a better way. There is: the Danish way. In Denmark, elections last a mere three weeks, campaigns focus on the issues, TV ads are basically non-existent and over 85 percent of the electorate turns out to vote. READ MORE
Poet's Vollsmose event goes off without a hitch
Young poet Yahya Hassan rose to national prominence after an initial column in Politiken newspaper critical of his parents’ generation of immigrants and a widely-seen subsequent appearance on ‘DR Deadline’. The attention he received led to an explosion in book sales, official recognition, speaking engagements and profiles in the international press.
It also led to death threats, bulletproof vests and what was arguably the most hyped poetry reading in Denmark's history. At an event that was initially cancelled over safety concerns and resulted in the use of enormous police resources, Hassan's reading at a library in Vollsmose was democracy and debate without fireworks. READ MORE
City, driver charged with manslaughter in tourist's death
American tourist Carl Robinson was struck and killed by a runaway lorry in Copenhagen in August 2012. After charges were filed against the city and the driver of the vehicle, the victim's nephew said he was "appalled that the city would use the driver as a scapegoat".
According to Jason Schoenfeld maintains that the City of Copenhagen botched its investigation into the accident and has been "horrendous" at communicating with the family. READ MORE
American in Denmark 'bins' passport after Trump win
Emotions ran high after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in November 2016, also in Denmark.
In the week after his surprise victory, I spoke to an American expat in Aarhus who turned to dark humour to deal with his shock. But as so often happens on social media, a lot of people didn't get the joke. READ MORE
Copenhagen launches anti-radicalization plan
In August 2015, the Danish capital became one of the first major cities to present a comprehensive plan to combat radicalization.
The plan came as Denmark was still reeeling from a terror attack six months prior, in which a Danish man of Palestinian origin shot and killed two men. I spoke with the plan’s architect, renowned terror expert Magnus Ranstorp, about the need to “stick your hand in the fire” to reach radical youths. READ MORE
Online activists take on police in Christiania
Despite an ongoing push by Copenhagen's mayor to legalize marijuana, and growing public support for doing the same, city police turned up the heat on buyers in and around Christiania. While the police racked up a large number of arrests, locals and visitors alike have complained about the tactics, which include police stopping anyone they'd like and making them submit to a pat down and in some cases an on-the-spot saliva test using their new 'narkometer'.
The police actions quickly led to complaints of harassment and accusations of wasting taxpayer funds. In response, movements popped up online to protect cannabis customers and document police action at 'Staden'. READ MORE
Ministers aim to clean up unregulated tattoo industry
While government officials look to institute controls over a largely-unregulated industry, a Copenhagen tattoo artist dismissed the proposals as "just for show".
But it's not just artists who are skeptical. The volunteer registration system was also criticised by a leading dermatologist.
“To put tattoo artists in charge of it themselves is akin to having the fox guard the henhouse." READ MORE
The strangest Danish political story just got stranger
A nation-wide advertising campaign from the anti-immigration Danish People's Party was the talk of Denmark during the summer of 2016, being assailed by critics for its lilly-white portrayal of the country and for its terrible Photoshop work.
The whole thing took a turn toward the absurd when DF spokesman Søren Espersen attempting to defend the ad against racism claims but did so by using a word that many in Denmark find racist. If that weren't enough, his wife then threatened to sue the makers of two popular counter-campaigns. READ MORE
Time running out for jailed human rights activist
In the spring of 2012, Denmark embarked on what the then foreign minister called the “largest Danish consular effort ever” to have Bahrain release jailed human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja to Denmark.
Al-Khawaja, a dual Danish and Bahraini citizen, held a high-stakes hunger strike that would ultimately last 110 days. Despite Denmark's efforts, al-Khawaja remains in a Bahraini prison to this day, serving a life sentence for protesting against the local regime. He has been subjected torture, violence and sexul assault. READ MORE
Easier driving licence exchange for foreigners
Among Denmark's expat community, one of the biggest complaints is the difficulty and costs associated with obtaining a Danish driving licence. Business leaders have also long lobbied for change, arguing that the current rules are an annoyance to their foreign employees and a hindrance to recruiting international talent.
In October 2013, the government announced that it had heeded these concerns and rolled out plans to make it easier for foreign drivers to legally hit the streets. READ MORE
Copyright © 2014 – All work written/designed/produced by Justin Cremer. All Rights Reserved