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Media Forum

Journalism in the isolation times


The pandemic ran an unexpected for humanity planet-wide social experiment. People of different countries can now see each other through the fence only. Private contacts happen online now. How did the isolation influence our ideas about life in other countries? What problems of our neighbours are most relevant now? Who is forming the images of the people in foreign countries for the home audience and how? How do journalists help to maintain friendly relations between the neighbouring countries? These are the topic for discussion at the Journalism in the isolation times media forum. A videoconference will connect the studios with participants and audience in Murmansk (Russia) and Tromsø (Norway).

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Moderator in Murmansk (Russia) - Timur Shafir (Moscow)
Timur Shafir, international journalist, political science expert. He is the head of international department of Russian Journalists Union. At the X congress of RJU he was elected Secretary of the Union. In June 2019 at the World Congress of International Journalist Federation he was elected Vice-President of the Federation.

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Moderator in Tromsø (Norway) - Nora Thorp Bjørnstad
Nora Thorp Bjørnstad - foreign affairs reporter in the nationwide Norwegian newspaper VG with the background from Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK). Was Europe correspondent for VG, based in Berlin and Paris until 2019. Having Tromsø as her hometown, OR: Originally coming from Tromsø, Nora has lived, studied and worked in Russia on several occasions, and therefore her heart beats for the Barents region.




Alexander Bolonovsky - editor-in-chief, Profile, federal weekly. He worked at RBC for 13 years, where he made all way from unit head to the vice director general on information policy of the holding and a board member. He worked in Kiev as one of the directors of the largest Ukranian mediaholding UMH group, and was a member of the supervisory council. Starting from summer 2017 he worked as the editor-in-chief of Izvestia multimedia portal. Since February 2018 he became editor-in-chief of the Profile weekly magazine.

Angelika Gurskaya, director of North-West branch of the Russian Newspaper (St.Petersburg), board member of St.Petersburg branch of Russian Journalists Union, winner of the Golden Pen of Russia – 2020 in Professional craftsmanship category.


Anna Kireeva - Arctic environmental journalist based in Murmansk. Author and co-author of numerous reports about environmental problems of the Russian part of the Arctic. Chairperson of Barents Press Russia.


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Terje Karlsson - Filmmaker Mr Terje Carlsson is a freelance journalist based for many years in Jerusalem, working mostly for Swedish National Radio and Television. He currently lives in Göteborg, Sweden. In 2008, his first feature documentary Welcome to Hebron was released. The film won several awards at festivals all over the world. TV-broadcasters from more than 10 countries all over the world acquired the broadcasting rights. Israel vs Israel was released in 2011. This is his second feature documentary from the Middle East. The film won several awards around the world and has been featured on numerous TV-channels. Mr Carlsson has also directed several documentaries, and theatre plays for Swedish Nation Radio. He was the chairman of the Swedish Association for Investigative Journalism from 2013-2017.


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Jan Espen Kruse - NRK's correspondent in Moscow, joining the debate digitally from Moscow. Russia. Initiator and host of the first live broadcast between Norway and Russia (Tromsø and Murmansk) in 1989, towards the end of the Cold War, when the borders were closed. Now the wheel has come full circle, the border is closed again and the neighbors can only meet digitally. Jan Espen Kruse will bring in interesting perspectives on this, providing a status report from the "inside" of Russia as well.

Gunnar Sætra - Experienced journalist and presently Chief Editor at the local newspaper Sør-Varanger Avis in Kirkenes; bordering town to Russia. Living and working in this borderland, having lived and worked in Russia, too, Gunnar Sætra knows Russia well and has a lot of knowledge about Norwegian-Russian relations. North-West Russia and the border regions belong to his main area of work.

Carl Christian Lein Størmer - Young Tromsø-based filmmaker&musician - and doctor as well. Carl Christian made a documentary about the Lockdown in Tromsø during the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020. He is currently working on a project for Barents Spektakel 2022, recreating the historic live-broadcast between Norway and the Soviet Union; Tromsø-Murmansk from 1989, where Jan Espen Kruse, NRK's correspondent in Moscow, was both initiator and host.

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