About us

We are a group of journalists with different backgrounds and a strong common passion for the powerful stories in journalism. We aim to be an arena that brings together several of the foremost forces in narrative journalism in Norway and abroad through the conference Fortellingens kraft, which means The Power of Storytelling.

The conference will offer the best lecturers who contribute to strengthen skills on how we can become better at the most important thing in journalism: Telling true stories well.

Through the conference, we want to increase journalists’ understanding and knowledge of narrative journalism, the one that at its best creates reflection and corrects imbalances in society.

The conference will have a clear and distinct focus on journalistic stories, reports, documentaries and the actual dissemination, whether it is sound, image or text.

We seek to raise the human voice in journalism, and to promote the essential journalism in the media.

The conference is purely non-profit, and dedicated to promoting storydriven journalism.

The conference Fortellingens kraft arose in the winter of 2016, when the crisis hit our industry with great force and seriousness. In the midst of the worst downsizing and cuts in Bergens Tidende’s history, Bergens Tidende’s Bjørn Asle Nord was contacted by Professor Mark Kramer from Boston, one of the gurus in «narrative journalism» in the USA. Together they laid out the plans for the first meeting place on narrative journalism in Norway. It was held in April 2016 in Bergen. The sequel came in May 2017, and the conference went to full halls in June 2018.

Read more on our facebook page.

Meet the

Board

Bjørn Asle Nord

Bjørn Asle Nord was the founder of Fortellingens kraft in 2016. He is an award-winning journalist, non-fiction author, and lecturer. Nord works at the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) with digital and investigative climate and nature stories. For 28 years he was a journalist for the newspaper Bergens Tidende and from 2004 until 2019 he worked with feature and in-depth journalism for their magazine. He has written two books: Five Feet Under - A Father, a Daughter and the Struggle to Survive (Skredet), and Gi meg heller livet (Give Me Rather Life), a documentary about mentally wounded veteran soldiers, co-created with photographer Håvard Bjelland.

Anne Jo Lexander

Equal access to the trade secrets of how to tell a story and general knowledge is important for Anne Jo Lexander, who hails from a local newspaper. She attended some of the gatherings by the founder Bjørn Asle Nord long before the conference became reality, before she in 2018 became part of the board of Foreningen Fortellingens kraft. She has previously worked at the regional newspaper Bergens Tidende, and you can currently find her at the local newspapers Askøyværingen and Vestnytt.

Elise Kruse

Elise Kruse (29) is Editor of Religion and Feature in the Christian daily newspaper Vårt Land, that focuses on faith, belief and existential questions. She has also worked in Bergens Tidende together with fellow board members Bjørn Asle Nord and Kristine Holmelid. Through them she became involved in Fortellingens kraft in 2017. As a journalist and editor she is passionate about the art of storytelling and in 2020 she wrote Vårt Lands best read story ever, They gave up their own son. Then they buried him, that was nominated for The Great Journalist Award in Norway and got an honourable mention from the jury of the storytelling award (Fortellerprisen) in 2021.

Kristine Holmelid

Kristine Holmelid is an editor at Center for Investigative Journalism at University of Bergen, Scandinavias only center of its kind. She is also a lecturer at the university, teaching and coaching the master students in investigative journalism. Holmelid has 25 years of experience as a journalist and news leader at the daily newspaper Bergens Tidende. For eight years she was in charge of the newspapers award winning feature- and in-depth stories. She has been a member of the board of Fortellingens Kraft since the beginning.

Terje Angelshaug

Terje Angelshaug has a long career from Bergens Tidende (BT) where he worked as a reporter, night editor, news editor and reader’s ombudsman. He is the only ombudsman Norwegian readers have ever had. When he retired from BT, the position was terminated. After his years in BT, Angelshaug was recruited by the University of Bergen where he played a crucial role in developing the practical courses of a bachelor in journalism. He joined the board of Fortellingens Kraft in 2018.

Ove Sjøstrøm

Ove Sjøstrøm has extensive experience as a journalist in TV, newspapers and digital media. During his time in TV 2, Bergens Tidende and Discovery he covered both domestic and international news. He has worked as a reporter across the globe, often in challenging conditions like war zones and catastrophe areas. Today he is working with start-ups and mediatech companies as an advisor.

Thomas Ergo

Thomas Ergo (b. 1971) is a journalist at the Norwegian daily Stavanger Aftenblad, where he works with investigative and narrative journalism. His stories often look critically at areas such as child welfare, psychiatry and other parts of the welfare state. Several of the documentary projects, such as The Glass Girl (2016), have triggered comprehensive measures at the system level. Ergo has won the Norwegian Great Journalism Award and several other awards for his journalism. He has been a board member of Fortellingens kraft since the beginning.

Mark Kramer

Mark Kramer is the founding father of our Fortellingens kraft conference. He also was founding director of the Nieman Conference on Narrative Journalism at Harvard. He has co-edited two leading texbook/readers on narrative nonfiction: Telling True Stories: a nonfiction writers’s guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, and Literary Journalism. He’s finishing a handbook for storytelling journalists. Among his books are: Mother Walter and the Pig Tragedy, Three Farms, Invasive Procedures, and Travels with a Hungry Bear. Kramer has written for the NY Times Sunday Magazine, National Geographic, the Atlantic Monthly and other periodicals. He’s been writer-in-residence at Smith College and Boston University for a decade each, and writer-in-residence and founding director of the Nieman Program on Narrative Journalism at Harvard University. Kramer leads a “kitchen workshop” for professional writers from all over the world (let him know if might want to join) currently at work on longform projects. He’s also founded ongoing narrative conferences in Amsterdam and London. He has two sons, Will and Eli, and played for years in contradance bands.