After spending nearly two years of writing local news in a small, smidgen isolated Danish island of Bornholm, 40 km south from Skåne, Jesper Gynther, 26, has relocated to the student town of Utrecht in the Netherlands. He is about to enter an intensive 10-month program of journalism called Europe in the World, which focuses on European politics, culture and economics.
The course is taught in two well-reputed faculties, and towards the end, students will be flown out to cover European affairs all around the continent. Jesper talks about the forthcoming experience with a disillusioned tone and great curiosity.
“Before coming here, I completed an 18-month long internship in Bornholm, where I published all kinds of news about the community, like local commerce and industries, schools, and sports,” he says.
“I now have a full-time job lined up in the island, but before graduating, I wanted to experience something completely different and go somewhere new. When I heard about this course in a similar but lower level class in Denmark, I decided to give it a try.”
After giving up on his childhood dream of becoming an electrician due to his lack of interest in mathematics, Jesper developed an affinity for reporting. Talking to sources and digging into subjects that he wasn’t acquainted with seemed like an ideal career in which he could thrive. In 2013, he took journalism courses at Rønde Højskole, a preparatory institution directing young people to higher-level studies. He was then admitted to the Danish School of Journalism and moved to Aarhus.
Despite years of taking media courses and working in newsrooms, reporting on EU affairs had never occurred to Jesper, and it is hard for him to imagine the outcome of the incipient academic year.
“I had previously anticipated working at national news, so I was surprised to see how much I actually enjoyed local news. Maybe I’ll have a similar realisation here and end up doing something related to EU,” he says.