“We Will Miss a Friend” ... A John Bones Obituary

May 17, 2024

The news was very sad. Hearing about the passing away of John Bones, managing director of SKUP, filled us with sorrow. John passed away peacefully on Monday, 13 May, 2024 at the age of 69.


He was born on September 7, 1954, in Trondheim, Norway and lived a life marked by love, kindness, and dedication.


“Working with John was such a pleasure. He was one of the few people in our domain who believed in the full synergies between investigative journalists and fact checkers, in both training and content creation. He was also one the few people in our domain who strongly fought for in person training combining global south and global north,” says Rawan Damen, ARIJ Director General.


John Bones of SKUP with Rawan Damen of ARIJ


“When conducting a meeting, it is always short, precise, lovely and fruitful. I remember him in our SKUP-ARIJ masterclass in 2022 in Jordan, where he was using the most recent technologies for translation live from Arabic to Norwegian. He loved journalists everywhere, and was keen to give from his heart and mind. He was one of the best planners, who will host 700+ people with a big smile. I will miss him”. Damen concluded.


Bones had been the managing director of SKUP since 2016, but had been on sick leave in recent months.


Bones worked at VG from 1993 to 2016, holding roles as journalist, head of the news desk, project manager, and department head.


Bones also has a background as a journalist and editorial manager at Adresseavisen, where he started in 1979.


Bones Has education in history, statistics, nordic languages and french, and offered training at several conferences and with several organizations worldwide.


John Bones of SKUP in a training workshop in Norway


John has a special relationship with ARIJ. He was a strong believer of cross border collaboration especially with the Global South. He attended several editions of the ARIJ forum. The last one was in 2022, when he moderated a panel about creating the International Fact Checking Network and attended SKUP-ARIJ masterclass. He communicated with us that he was sick and fighting the sickness and hoping to come back to SKUP and to join us at ARIJ’s forums.


“I met John at a number of events. He was an energetic and positive person. We owe it to John for training a lot of journalists from around the world with SKUP. We lost a big supporter and advocate of investigative journalism.” says Ahmad Ashour, ARIJ’s coach and investigative journalist.


“John Bones believed in the Arab Fact Checkers Network from the very beginning, supporting its efforts in capacity building for the Arab fact-checking community. In the workshops he organised, he also participated as a trainee, committed to continuous learning. We lost him as a dear friend and a dedicated media supporter.” says Saja Mortada, ARIJ’s AFCN (Arab Fact Checkers Network) manager.


John Bones of SKUP with a number of journalists and fact checkers in Norway


John Bones was diagnosed with cancer last summer, and he leaves behind five grown children.


John will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. All ARIJeans. Though he is no longer with us, his spirit and the love he shared will forever remain in our hearts.