Which stories that you’ve reported on have stayed with you the most?
They’re stories about people. Several years ago, I interviewed a former Israeli soldier. He was part of an organisation that uncovers abuse by the military against Palestinians. It was an eye-opening talk. Speaking to Black people in Luxembourg about racism and discrimination was another story that moved me. I had always been aware that racism exists here in the grand duchy, but their accounts really shocked me.
And some stories stay with you because you cover them over a long period of time. I have been following the controversy around Luxembourg’s pension fund investing in fossil fuels for months. Luxembourg’s defence spending, military satellite and Nato commitments is another area that I’ve been looking at for the better part of a year.
What is a particular challenge in your job?
Freedom of information in Luxembourg lags other countries, such as the UK or the US. It can be unnecessarily hard to get access to documents or sources. I don’t expect officials to hand everything to me on a silver platter, but there is a high level of control over information that many media organisations have criticised.
Another bug bear is that many sources will demand to see your work before publication or even when it is published ask for changes to quotes or other material. This is highly problematic, and I wish Luxembourg’s media would present a more united front to resist this pressure and protect press independence.
How do you unplug?
It’s difficult to tune out the news cycle, but I think that’s a problem that affects a lot of people who don’t work in the media. Between the internet, and broadcast, print and social media, no matter where you turn there’s news. During the coronavirus pandemic I spoke with a psychologist who recommended limiting news intake to around 30 minutes per day to maintain one’s sanity. When I’m not working, I now try to stick to that rule.
Plus there's a big pile of books at home that I have every intention of reading eventually and an ever-longer list of shows and movies I'm behind on catching up on. There's never enough time, is there?
Cordula holds dual Luxembourg-German citizenship. She graduated with a Master in Mass Communication from the University of Leicester after obtaining her undergraduate diploma from the University of St Andrews and completing a journalism course at Harvard University. Prior to joining Delano, Cordula worked in journalism and communications in Luxembourg. You can find Cordula on Twitter @CordulaSchnuer