Mar 05, 2019
Participants in our Berlin Capital Program, which provided 15 young American journalists with a week in Germany’s capital city to garner impressions of its media landscape, have been thinking about their experience in mid-November 2018. From Berlin’s special place in history among European capitals, to considering the city’s distinctive approach to urbanism, and reflecting on a uniquely German sensitivity to privacy issues, several of the program participants were moved to write about or otherwise document the people and places they encountered.
Serena Ajbani, a Snapchat video producer at WIRED at the time she participated in the program, created a wonderfully fresh short film that tells the story of the participants’ week in Berlin (and a day in Hamburg) through her eyes. Watch the 3-minute film here, and enjoy more of her work at her website.
Benjamin Schneider, a freelancer based in San Francisco focusing on urban issues and contributing regularly to The Atlantic’s CityLab, hit it off immediately with one of the program speakers, Aljoscha Hofmann, a Berlin-based researcher on and activist for progressive urban development. Ben pursued an interview with Aljoscha, and among the questions posed: “What does the recent history of Berlin show in terms of how cities are these spaces where creativity can flourish, especially out of a super unregulated, somewhat anarchic situation?” Read the entire interview here.
Alec Cowan, a Story Lab intern at National Public Radio, was among the participants floored by a visit to the Stasi Archives. It led to further reflection on how Germans view privacy differently from their American counterparts, and he posted an insightful examination on this very timely topic as a blog. Read Alec’s full posting to see why he thinks that “… as media giants such as Facebook continue to build distrust in the value of our growing interconnectedness, the German model offers an opportunity for reflection and education.”
Steven Johnson, an intern at The Chronicle for Higher Education when he was on the program, is now a staff reporter. Following a session during the program that focused on Berlin as a hub of science and innovation, he doggedly pursued an interview to dig deeper into the role that higher education plays in creating such an “innovation hub” - and how city and state governments can help define that role within Germany and Europe’s current political climate. Steven asks, for example, “how does Berlin, and Germany, help protect freedom of research in Europe?” Read his interview with Steffen Krach, Berlin’s state secretary for higher education and research.
Read more about Fulbright Germany’s Berlin Capital Program.