From SNDS Magazine 4|2014
Though twenty years ago today, I clearly remember his firm, kind question:
“Tell me – why I should hire you?”
Knud Refsing Andersen looked at me with his always curious and agile eyes, trying to figure out if I was really worth taking on for Jyllands-Posten as an infographic designer and temporary stand-in for a member of his staff, who was due for maternity leave.
I held on to my cup of lukewarm newsroom coffee, and contrary to the question I simply don’t remember what answer I came up with.
But a contract was signed, and the next ten years of my career I was in the service of Jyllands-Posten.
Not that many years, compared to Knud’s 32 years at the newspaper, first as a sub-editor and journalist, but soon settling in as chief-sub-editor and senior editorial director.
“Editors-in-chief come and go at Jyllands-Posten; but Knud got things running smoothly,” Jyllands-Posten’s current editor-in-chief Jørn Mikkelsen says:
“Knud’s profound professionalism was of the classic kind. When the rest of us took off a little too much, Knud brought things back into the right proportions with just a few concise comments. He was a genuine “Mr. Jyllands-Posten” with a secure sense of and respect for the soul and spirit of the newspaper – and how to handle this in practice,” as Mikkelsen wrote in Knud’s obituary in the newspaper.
Supporting SNDS behind the lines
Knud Refsing Andersen was always a great supporter of SNDS – he nearly never missed a conference, acknowledging the importance of staying in touch with colleagues and exchanging ideas. His primary concern was always to find ways to make the best possible newspaper and was never afraid to be the first to try new ways of organizing workflows or testing new editorial technologies, both of which are not always popular but often necessary.
Knud also made sure that as many as possible of his staff enjoyed SNDS membership – for years, Jyllands-Posten has ranked as having the most SNDS members for a single company – and still does. Knud’s support usually came quietly and discreetly from behind the lines, but he also served as a highly competent member of the jury of the Best of Scandinavian News Design competition in 2002 and 2004. For many years until 2013 Knud was SNDS’ internal accountant, elected by the General Assembly.
Knud Refsing Andersen was 66 years old when he died on Friday, December 5th. He will be missed, for his wit, his enthusiasm and professionalism. And for just being Knud.