The Essential Edge is part of Crosslines Essential Media (UK) Ltd and is based out of Geneva, Switzerland, London, United Kingdom, and New York, USA. We are all editors, journalists and media consultants working in collaboration with the Media Action International Journalism Network, a non-profit association.
Our work with The Essential Edge is voluntary. It is part of an effort to promote quality reporting and to develop The Essential Edge into a global web magazine of good writing, both non-fiction and fiction. The purpose is to provide writers with a broader global platform to make their work better known. The site already has a growing number of contributors and is gaining global attention. Once we have established a significant mass of writers and content with sufficient circulation, we shall seek sponsorship and other forms of support to begin paying for original writing and to develop the magazine accordingly.
Our network consists of local, regional and international editors, journalists, producers, photographers, film-makers, social media experts, communications’ representatives and others interested in the quality reporting of humanitarian relief, development, conflict/post-conflict, situations, environment, climate change, human rights, media, social entrepreneurship, and private sector activities relating to global themes. Our aim is to help organizations, whether public interest or private, improve their public outreach in a credible and effective manner.
Tim Weaver, London
Areas of expertise: Media & sustainable business strategy, editing, writing, reporting
Media Strategy Co-ordinators
Edward Girardet, Geneva
A journalist, editor, author and media consultant, Girardet has reported widely from humanitarian and conflict zones in Africa, Asia and elsewhere since the late 1970s. He is currently a volunteer editor with The Essential Edge. As a foreign correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor, US News and World Report, and The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour based in Paris, he first began covering Afghanistan several months prior to the Soviet invasion in 1979. He has worked on numerous television current affairs and documentary segments on subjects ranging from the war in Angola to lost tribes in Western New Guinea and environmental issues in Africa for major European and North American broadcasters. Girardet is a specialist in developing media strategies and advising organizations on effective public outreach. He is a co-founding editor of Crosslines Essential Media Ltd (UK). Girardet has written widely for publications such as National Geographic Magazine, International Herald Tribune, Financial Times and other media. His latest book is Killing the Cranes – A Reporter’s Journey Through Three Decades of War in Afghanistan. Girardet has written and/or edited Afghanistan – The Soviet War (1985), Somalia, Rwanda and Beyond (1996), Populations in Danger (1996), and The CROSSLINES Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan (1998, 2004, 2006 and 2014). Girardet has a Master of Studies in Law/Journalism from Yale Law School and regularly lectures at key European and North American universities.
Areas of Expertise: Media strategy, writing, editing, reporting, broadcast voice-over, moderator, media & journalism training
William Dowell, Geneva
William Dowell is a US-born writer and journalist, based in Geneva, Switzerland. His most recent book is In the Shadow of the Dragon, co-authored with Winter Nie. The book describes the impact of major Chinese corporations on global business. He also translated The Islamic Movement in North Africa , by French Arabist, Francois Burgat, for the Middle East Studies Center at the University of Texas, Austin. The book became a primary source for Middle East studies in the US. Dowell does frequent freelance assignments for the World Economic Forum and for The International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, and he co-edits The Essential Edge, an Internet magazine on contemporary affairs for the Greater Lake Geneva area. From 1971 to 1989, Dowell worked for NBC News, ABC News, and for TIME Magazine in the Paris bureau (1975-1989), as a staff correspondent for TIME, he covered the Arab world and Iran (1989-1993), and served as Southeast Asia Bureau Chief for TIME, based in Hong Kong (1993-1995). Following that, he worked in TIME’s New York bureau, covering the Northeast USA (1995-2001). Dowell taught graduate courses on journalism in the Middle East, and an undergraduate honors course on the literature of journalism for New York University (2001-2005), and he also edited The Global Beat, a web-based magazine focusing on foreign policy analysis. He was the Media and Information Coordinator for CARE Emergency Group in the International Secretariat of Geneva from 2005 to 2008. The job involved personal reporting on the ground following floods in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, the 1995 earth quake in Pakistan, and Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, and he also spent considerable time covering droughts in the Horn of Africa.
Areas of Expertise: Media strategy, writing, editing, reporting, voice-over, media & journalism training, video production.
Programme Associate Editor
Christopher Woodburn, Geneva
Armed with a Masters degree in International Relations, Chris Woodburn is currently working as a journalist for the Swiss-based regional newspaper, Le News. Chris is bilingual in English and French and equally fluent in Spanish. He also contributes to the content and development of the Essential Edge (essentialgeneva.com) website.
Nick Cumming-Bruce, Geneva
A British journalist currently based in Geneva, Switzerland, Nick Cumming-Bruce is a correspondent for The New York Times International edition and has worked as a reporter for The Guardian and Asian Wall Street Journal. Cumming-Bruce is also a writer and editor for various international organizations such as the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining for which he has undertaken assignments researching mine action in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. He has worked with Norwegian People’s Aid as a Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor mine action editor since February 2006.
Areas of expertise: Writing, editing, reporting, workshop moderating, training.
Jeff Danziger, New York
Jeff Danziger was born in New York and is a renowned syndicated political cartoonist and author. He served in the United States Army from 1967 until 1971. An intelligence officer and linguist during the Vietnam War, he was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Medal in 1970. In 1971 he began teaching English at Union 32 High School in East Montpelier, Vermont where he taught specialized classes in journalism and expository writing at an advanced level, and worked for the Christian Science Monitor between 1987 and 1997. As of 2009, he has been published by the Los Angeles Times syndicate. He now lives in New York City.
Areas of expertise: Cartoons, political drawings.
Claire Doole, Geneva
A former BBC correspondent, Claire who brings journalistic rigor to communications – helping you boil down your message to the essential and deliver it with confidence. She is also a former UN spokeswoman and head of media at WWF International. Given her experience on both sides of the fence, Claire offers a unique perspective on how the media works. A commissioned feature writer, she can hone your writing skills and advise on how to generate media interest. Claire is also a video producer and conference moderator able to coach aid representatives and others on how to deliver a memorable presentation or speak to the press. Fluent in English and French, Claire is a communications specialist whose work always exceeds client’s expectations.
Areas of expertise: Media Training, Presentation Training, Video Production, Communications Consultancy, Voiceovers.
Anne Glusker, Washington, DC
Anne Glusker is a writer, editor, and communications strategist with a wealth of experience. A former Washington Post editor, she has also worked in magazines, digital, and radio. Her communications work includes strategy-shaping, speechwriting, and op-ed writing for UN agencies and NGOs. Her areas of expertise include gender issues, education, and health. Her great strengths are brainstorming ideas and honing text. Based in Washington, DC, she speaks fluent French.
Areas of expertise: Strategy-shaping, speech-writing, oped writing for UN agencies and NGOs.
Katherine Mann Jackson, Geneva
As a communications professional, Katherine has more than 20 years of research, writing and communications’ experience on a wide range of topics. She is regularly asked to work on different subjects and different tasks, often at very short notice. Her work has included numerous international and non-governmental organizations in the fields of environment, human rights and development with a focus on advocacy and communications. For the last decade she has also worked as a consultant-advisor, including for academic and research institutions as well as the private sector. Much of this has focused on research and writing (articles, annual reviews, corporate social responsibility reports, and advocacy documents) as well as meeting and conference reporting, both for print and online platforms. More recently, Katherine has begun to advise on and write for social media (Facebook, Twitter, blogs). She also assists companies and organizations with communicating their messages to wide and diverse audiences.
Areas of expertise: editing, including technical editing, writing, reports, research and social media advice.
Jonathan Walter, New Delhi
Jonathan is a writer and editor on humanitarian and development issues. From 1999-2006, he edited the World Disasters Report, the flagship publication of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. During his tenure as editor, the Report tackled major thematic humanitarian and development issues such as climate change, disaster risk reduction, the role of information during emergencies, infectious diseases and mother and child health in war-torn countries. In 1997 he travelled across much of Afghanistan to conduct research for the Crosslines Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan, which became essential reading for aid workers, diplomats and soldiers following the events of 9/11. In 2002, Jonathan returned to Afghanistan to write the second edition with his co-author Edward Girardet. Among Jonathan’s other titles is The End of Development, an analysis of the impact of climate change on the Millennium Development Goals, published by the UK-based New Economics Foundation. Jonathan also acts as a rapporteur for the World Economic Forum at its Annual Meeting in Davos and at regional summits including the India Economic Forum. He lives in New Delhi with his wife and three children.
Areas of expertise: Writing, editing, reporting
Daniel Wermus, Geneva
Daniel Wermus is a Swiss international journalist and French editor of The Essential Edge based in Geneva. He was director of Media21, which conducted 45 workshops and field trips on global issues (climate change, human rights, peace, humanitarian aid, health, food, water, corporate social responsibility, etc.) bringing together 500 journalists from five continents with 700 international actors representing the UN, NGOs, business and universities. Wermus launched the Human Rights Tribune online in 2006. Wermus also founded InfoSud in 1988, a non-profit press agency. InfoSud, a multi-cultural network of journalists, has published 16,000 articles on North-South issues. Wermus graduated from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva and has worked with the Tribune de Genève (1976-88) and Swiss television (TSR 1978-84). He was a co-organizer of the North-South Media Forum in Geneva (1989-2003), and other forums. He has undertaken numerous reporting trips to Latin America, Africa and Asia about social, environmental, development and other global issues. Wermus has written several books on new economic order, science and society, indigenous people and “modern” world. He is now specialized in the link between media and global changes and teaches humanitarian journalism at the University of Geneva.
Areas of expertise: Media strategy. French editing and writing, reporting, conference moderating, media & journalism training
Tom Woods, Woods Media Group (Paris & Los Angeles)
Co-Founder & CEO of Woods Media Group. Tom began his career as a director/cameraman. He won several Emmy Awards before founding and operating one of Paris’ leading production companies and post-production centres. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he worked for international broadcasters producing sports, entertainment and factual programming, including humanitarian, development, environmental and conflict situations. He co-founded Woods Media Group in1988 with his brother Ian Woods to offer localization, production and programming services to the global market. Tom has worked with Edward Girardet on various projects, including Afghanistan, Kenya, Zambia, Mozambique and Haiti. Ian Woods continues to remain active in the company to develop and oversee special projects.
Areas of expertise: Offering full mainstream television production, including documentaries, promos, re-versioning (English, French and other languages), co-production.
Graham Flood-Hunt, Berne & Geneva
A security, risk and crisis adviser and trainer, Graham Flood-Hunt has served in London’s Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard), the UN international police task force in Bosnia as regional chief of local police development and training and the international police in Kosovo. Later for UN security in Kosovo he was head of the close-protection team of the UN SRSG and regional security supervisor. For the past 10 years Graham has worked as a specialist trainer for the Swiss Armed Forces preparing military and civilians for deployment and as an independent advisor. He has carried out advisory, assessment and training missions for the UN, GOs and NGOs in more than 20 countries. He has an MSc in risk, crisis and disaster management and recently has been an Associate Lecturer at the University of Northampton business school involved in the development of a new programme in Applied Risk and Crisis Management. Flood-Hunt is also a contributor on security issues for The Essential Field Guide to Afghanistan. He is a former international athlete and holds a 5th dan in karate. He lives with his wife and son in Switzerland.
Areas of expertise: Assisting organisations to keep their staff safe; security, risk and crisis management and training.
Crosslines Essential Media Consultancy can draw on the immediate professional expertise of 600 top writers, editors, producers, presenters, photographers, film-makers, social media specialists) from around the world. We also maintain through the Media Action International Journalism Network an up-to-date database of over 1,500 journalists and producers.