Studying Development Studies from the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Klaartje joined external courses in fields like tropical ecology & environmental management at the Institute of Environmental Sciences, Africa Studies at the University of Leiden and medical anthropology at the University of Amsterdam. To be able to roam the world as an independent journalist, covering the world from a variety of perspectives, she followed up with a post-academic degree in newspaper journalism, before she took off to combine her love for travelling, writing & the arts as a correspondent in Southern Africa. Since her return to Europe in 2006, she’s been seen to roam around the natural sciences as well.
A daisy might not seem that uncommon, unless you find it in the desert. To understand the news, you’ll need to put it in context. This is where good stories often get crushed: lack of time or money often prevent journalists from being able to tell stories one can relate to. To present a narrative with a lot of contextual data that can be understood in a minimum of time, Klaartje learned data driven journalism. Turned out, training yourself in the methodologies of the social sciences or in data journalism is really not that different. You’ll look at what data is used, where it came from, how it was established and with what intentions it was spread. By the time you figure that out, you probably know how to position yourself: can you use this material, or will you look for alternative sources? Perhaps that daisy in the desert was a fake after all, and it’s time for you to go and see.
Some things are simple. most things are not.
The more you research a story, the more you find it’s not as black-and-white some like to suggest. Some situations are so clear – for instance from a moral point of view – you won’t mind writing it down as a firm one-liner, and that will indeed be the best way to confront your audience with your conclusions. However, at Klaartje Jaspers & Co., we like debate, and sometimes we like to confront the public with the complexity a story carries. Understanding the wide variety of factors that the characters are dealing with, will help you better understand their situation and avoid simplistic solutions. In journalism, we have the golden principle of fair hearing, but what if there are more than two parties involved or if you want to show the influence of the non-rational? You might be better off using theatre, a poem or a novel. That why’s Klaartje Jaspers & Co. does not restrict us to traditional journalism, but sometimes seeks a truth using the arts or using fiction.
Klaartje Jaspers & Co. might be able to do a lot of things, but it’s not an opera house, a theatre company or an event organiser. That’s why we collaborate with trusted external parties when executing our projects. The concept might be drawn in consultation between the customer and an individivual creator – once we know what we want, we invite our friends. Salut!