Nordic Freelance Seminar 2024

08.11.2024 - 09.11.2024
Koko päivä

Hotel Katajanokka

The Association of Freelance Journalists in Finland presents the yearly Nordic Freelance Seminar in Helsinki, Finland, 8–9 November 2024. The seminar starts 8 November at 10 am and closes 9 November in the evening.

The seminar venue is Hotel Katajanokka (Merikasarminkatu 1 a, 00160 Helsinki), in the former premises of the Helsinki County Prison. The prison was in operation from 1837 to 2002, and the hotel opened in 2007 after extensive renovations.

The theme of the seminar is safety and security. What current safety and security topics should freelancers be aware of? What should they take into account in their own safety and wellbeing?

Seminar Fee

The seminar fee for freelance members of the Nordic unions of journalists is €150 (Vat 0%) and covers the program, lunch and Friday night dinner (with couple of drinks). The attendance fee will be reimbursed for cancellations received by 31 August. The maximum number of attendees is 100.

Finnish participants: You can apply for a JOKES grant for the attendance fee and the travel and accommodation costs. This year’s first application period has already gone, but another application period will start in August.


Participants should make their own accommodation arrangements, reservations and payments. Helsinki offers a wide range of accommodation suitable for different budgets. Hotel Katajanokka has a small discount available at this link. There are also several other accommodation options in the Katajanokka area in different price ranges, for example Eurohostel, Noli Studios and Scandic Grand Marina.


Registration is now open. Each participant should register in person. The invoice for the attendance fee shall be sent by email shortly after registration. You can register here.


A preliminary program has now been published. You can find the preliminary program for the seminar here. Changes possible.


Johanna Aatsalo (photo: Sabrina Bqain / WSOY)

Johanna Aatsalo is a Finnish journalist and best-selling author of the non-fiction book Paljastus (Revelation, WSOY 2024). The book tells the story of her 14 year professional and legal ordeal against the Finnish Ski Association (including the former prime minister of Finland), due to their efforts to totally cancel her 1998 news story about doping in Finnish elite cross-country skiing and the complicity of the Association. It is also a book about personal safety and security: what happens when as a reporter you are under huge pressure and there is no latitude for error.

Jeanette Björkqvist is an award-winning Swedish speaking Finnish freelance journalist, who in addition to her long career as a news reporter has recently written long investigative stories for Long Play, the Finnish broadcasting company Yle, Hufvudstadsbladet and other media. For Yle she has also made long and award-winning TV documentaries about drug users and people living under various forms of exploitation.

Rosanna Marila (photo: Kalle Viira)

Rosanna Marila is a Finnish freelance journalist who has written many in-depth portraits and survival stories. She has published a book about mental challenges in the modern working life called Työuupumuskirja (Docendo 2020). Marila teaches journalism at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences as a visiting lecturer.

Marjo Näkki

Marjo Näkki (photo: Juha Metso)

Marjo Näkki is a Finnish freelance journalist and non-fiction writer. She has worked as a correspondent in Russia, in the Baltic States and around the Baltic Sea. She has also hosted current affairs programmes for the Finnish broadcasting company Yle. Näkki has written three books on correspondence, international relations and security policy. She will talk about the differences of the coverage of the security and defence issues in different countries by the Baltic Sea.

Jana Peltzer is a psychologist and a freelance journalist based in Germany. She will discuss why safety involves not only physical but also mental health. After a brief overview of mental challenges freelance journalists have to deal with, Peltzer will introduce the Helpline, which she coordinates – a project of the investigative journalists association Netzwerk Recherche. The Helpline is an independent, anonymous and free telephone counselling service for German speaking journalists suffering from mental stress.

Johannes Roviomaa (photo: Juho Kuva)

Johannes Roviomaa is an award-winning Finnish freelance journalist, screenwriter, author and Visiting Researcher at the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland. Roviomaa specializes in sustainability, e.g. climate change, Arctic and food security. His aim is to make Arctic research more understandable to a bigger audience in Finland and beyond. Roviomaa has written and co-produced Dear Arctic (2023), a documentary film about Arctic research. He has also co-authored non-fiction books about climate change. Roviomaa was awarded the title of the Freelance Journalist of the Year in Finland 2023.

David Sausdal (photo: Johan Persson)

David Sausdal holds a PhD in Criminology and is an Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at Lund University. As a researcher, Sausdal currently focuses on issues of organized crime, policing, and surveillance. He is Danish and an often-used expert in Nordic media, and his overall devotion to public scholarship shows, for example, in his current production of a podcast on ‘future crime’.

Virpi Suutari

Virpi Suutari (photo: Tero Ahonen)

Virpi Suutari is an award-winning film maker known for her personal cinematic style on the boundary between fact and fiction. Her films have been shown in the major festivals such as IDFA, Locarno, CPH:Dox Leipzig, Vision du Réel and Gothenburg Film festival. The Idle Ones (2001) was nominated for the Best European Documentary (EFA award) and she has won several awards as the Best Nordic Documentary in Nordisk Panorama. Suutari is a three time recipient of the Jussi, the Finnish National Academy award. Her film Once Upon a Time in a Forest (premiere 28th March 2024) is an unconventional love song to forests, biodiversity and today’s radical, environmentally aware youth.

Antti Yrjönen is an award-winning photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Finland. Yrjönen often works in challenging environments, such as conflict zones. His work has received recognition, including multiple awards from the Finnish Association of Photojournalists and the Suomen Kuvalehti Journalist Award. His photographs have been published internationally in major publications, such as the BBC, Le Temps, Bloomberg, Condé Nast Traveller, Helsingin Sanomat and Suomen Kuvalehti. Yrjönen has documented Extinction Rebellion Finland (Elokapina) since 2019.

Jonna Nummela, aka Nihkee Akka (photo: Veera Konsti)

Nihkee Akka is the award-winning alter ego of spoken word poet Jonna Nummela. Her work features queer feminist humour and questioning social norms, and her performances are a hybrid of spoken word poetry, story telling and stand up comedy. Internationally Nihkee Akka is one of the best known Finnish spoken word poets of the new generation.


General inquiries: Anna-Sofia Nieminen, Executive Director of the Association of Freelance Journalists in Finland,

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