Elisabetta Tola appointed chairperson of Arena board

Senior science journalist Elisabetta Tola is the new chairperson of Arena for Journalism in Europe.

Elisabetta is an Italian science, technology, and data journalist with extensive experience in cross-border investigative projects. She holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and is a 2019 Tow-Knight fellow from the Entrepreneurial Journalism Program at the Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Elisabetta is the co-founder and CEO of the science communication agency formicablu and the co-founder and President of Facta, an Italian independent media.

The work of Arena for Journalism in Europe is crucial for fostering cross-border investigative journalism. These last few years have also seen the consolidation of many new brave independent media in countries where democracy is at stake and journalism is even more crucial in defending the people’s right to information. With this challenge in mind, I am honored to continue working with such a dedicated team to strengthen journalists’ roles and capabilities,” says Elisabetta.

Her appointment follows Nils Hanson’s decision to step down as chairperson. Hanson, a Swedish journalist and editor, held the role since Arena’s founding in 2019. Previously, he was the editor of the investigative journalism program “Uppdrag Granskning” (Mission Investigate) on Swedish national public service television for 15 years.

Thank you deeply for the years of collaboration. I did not anticipate such rapid growth and success, and I’m happy to see the remarkable progress we have made,” Nils remarks.

Big thank you to Nils Hanson for his great support. With his background in thorough, agenda-setting investigative journalism in Sweden, he was an obvious candidate to turn to when we planned to set up Arena in 2018. Nils generously donated his time, experience, and international visions for our journalism. The encouragement Nils gave to the team as we developed Arena’s niche in the European journalism landscape was invaluable!” says Brigitte Alfter, Arena’s managing director.

Additionally, in June 2024, Arena welcomed Frank Gander as a new addition, joining treasurer Daniel Simons on the board.