Solana Larsen is a Danish-Puerto Rican journalist and digital activist.
What I believe in:
I believe if we listen more to each other across borders, cultures and experiences the world can be a better place. I believe in the transformative potential of the Web as a tool for citizen movements, education and open governance. I believe in good journalism and free speech for all.
What I worry about:
I really worry for the future of the Internet and the way digital surveillance is creeping in to practically every aspect of our lives. It’s hard to be optimistic, don’t you think? I also worry about the overwhelming flood of “noisy” content on the Web that seems to serve no good purpose.
Current and previous jobs:
At the moment I freelance. I write, research, help with web strategies, speak at conferences, and chip in on various Internet advocacy initiatives. If you’d like to collaborate on something, contact me!
In 2014, I stepped down as managing editor of Global Voices after seven years. I’m extremely proud of everything we accomplished in the Global Voices community and the role I was able to play as a kind of enabler or supporter of citizen media movements worldwide. We were the first to recognize blogs and citizen reporting as a crucial component of serious international journalism, and we dedicated years to working with correspondents, producers and editors, helping them to figure out which way the future was pointing. Global Voices is my favorite website ever. It presents a worldview that is inclusive, caring and optimistic about humanity. And the people who write, edit and translate for the site are among the smartest, bravest and most interesting people you’ll ever read online.
Earlier, I fulfilled various editorial roles at openDemocracy.net for around five years, at a time when there was still very little serious journalism or blogging on the Internet. We were pioneers of a kind of high level global exchange of ideas that still continues on the site to this day. It was while I was at openDemocracy that I became a visiting scholar at New York University’s Department of Culture and Communication and also taught a postgraduate class in the Department of Journalism (2005/06). There were several early experiments in blogging I get nostalgic thinking about — about elections in Iran (2005) and in the United States (2004). And I’m pretty sure I was the first person to ever liveblog a UN General Assembly in 2005. The UN had an open wifi connection back then, imagine that!
I also used to freelance semi-regularly for Denmark’s Public Radio (DR) in particular for the technology program, Harddisken.
I hold an MA in International Journalism from City University in London and a BA in Communications and Sociology from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
I live in Berlin with my daughter Nalani and husband Jan after many years flying back and forth between New York and Germany. My father, Dan Larsen, passed away in April 2015. My digital inheritance includes two novels he wrote in Danish that can be downloaded for free.
I speak English, Danish, Spanish fluently and have reasonably good command of French, Brazilian Portuguese and German.
Here’s an archive list of interviews, no longer updated.
Net gains and pains for journalism, BBC News, April 2008
Real News: Ethan Zuckerman & Solana Larsen, Open Source, March, 2008
Top 100 Talent, Berlingske Nyhedsmagasin, Marts, 2008
The Storytellers: Solana Larsen, Contribute Magazine, February, 2008
An interview with Global Voices, BBC 5, Pods & Blogs, January 2008
Global Voices: Gratis nyheder fra hele verden, MediaWatch, December, 2007
Mediehack Podcast # 1: Solana Larsen, Global Voices, September 6, 2007
Anti-immigration policies across America, Indymedia, May 2007
“Website støtter miljøpolitik i Kina” (Audio), Harddisken, DR P1, April 2007
“Webdebat om global politik” (Audio), Harddisken, DR P1, Oct 2006
Mennsker og Medier (Audio), DR P1, interview with Lasse Jensen, Oct 2006
“Sæt de globale nyheder fri”, Information, Oct 2006
Interview med Solana Larsen (Audio), Jacob’s Podcast, Oct 2006
Cuba Libre?, Slate /Today’s Blogs, 2006
Cuba: Fidelwatch, Global Voices, 2006
Blogs por justicia social, APC, on seminar at WSF 2006 (+ Portguese)
Paris bloggers arrested (Video), BBC News 24
Iran Report: Blogging the election (Audio), PBS/BBC 2005
Net gets anti-terror talk going, BBC News 2005
openDemocracy goes Creative Commons, interview 2005
World finds voice on US vote online, BBC News, 2004
Net activism offers lessons for ministers, BBC News 2002 (+ Vietnamese)