Petra Sjouwerman, Dutch freelance journalist in Denmark

Since 2000 I have worked as a freelance journalist and Scandinavian correspondent, based in Denmark, alternately in Copenhagen and Aarhus. One of my most important clients is the Dutch daily newspaper Trouw. I also work the other way round: for Danish media, with reports on Dutch society.

Regularly I work as a researcher and fixer for various Dutch TV and radio programs. Moreover, I give lectures on Denmark and the Netherlands and I assist in organizing study tours to both countries.

As I have lived quite long in Denmark, I have deep insight in Scandinavian societies. To keep up with what is going on in Dutch society, I regularly travel to my motherland the Netherlands.

Publications in Dutch, English and Danish.

How I became a journalist
After I completed my master's in French at the University of Amsterdam University (minor: cultural anthropology), I had several jobs as a translater and interpreter and worked among others for Air France in Amsterdam. I started selling articles when I lived in Canada on an Cree Indian reserve. There I kept a diary. I wanted to share my experiences with other people, so that they got to know about life on the reserve and the loving Cree (extended) family that adopted me. The Dutch women’s magazine Viva published my first article, about life on the reserve.

After this, more articles were soon to follow on other subjects from Canada, for other Dutch magazines and a Dutch newspaper. Years later, when I moved to Denmark, I decided to create my own job as an independent journalist. In 2000 I wrote my first article for Dutch daily newspaper Trouw. My kind colleagues at the newspaper helped me progress in my career....

My base camp
In Aarhus I work in an inspiring office in an old industrial building. I share this workspace with twelve Danish journalists, a photographer and graphic designer. We all have our own company, but often work together on assignments, act as sparring partners for each other and develop ideas together. Have a look here: Periskop.

In Copenhagen I work from the International Press Center (IPC), where I am part of a network of international journalists. 

Member of the Netherlands Association of Journalists (NVJ) , the Danish Union of Journalists (DJ) and of the Foreign Press Association in Copenhagen.