Mykkänen has been a reporter for Helsingin Sanomat since 1995

The story I tell most often is about Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, a former Finnish president who, as a spy for the Russian military, rode horseback to China during expeditions from 1906–1908. I was especially interested in documenting his story as I had been posted in China before beginning my year as a Fellow. I had already contacted a friend in Finland to get some material that I needed for my research. Then I decided to see if Harvard’s libraries had anything on Mannerheim, obviously not expecting too much. The online Hollis catalog found more than 100 results for him, many of them in Finnish. Not only was I within shouting distance of some of the leading scholars on China, I was a mere five-minute bicycle ride away from Mannerheim’s China travel diary.

From Nieman Foundation 2007 annual report

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