Jul 16, 2020
The Berlin Capital Program is an intensive, week-long seminar for young U.S. journalists that allows them to take a closer look at the German media landscape and gain a deeper awareness of the political, economic and cultural environment in Germany and Europe.
Although this year's program unfortunately had to be postponed due to the global Coronavirus pandemic, where there's a will, there's a way! This year the BCP, which was to happen May 23-30, was instead complemented by a virtual version of the program from June 3–11, 2020. The “Virtual BCP” provided participants with a taste of what they will experience during the rescheduled, in-person program, as well as an opportunity for the journalists to come together and establish group rapport in times of physical distancing.
Virtual BCP Hollywood Squares: BCP participants; Die Welt Foreign Desk Editor, Jens Wiegmann; Fulbright Executive Director, Dr. Oliver Schmidt and other staff members during a live online conversation on June 11.
The heart of Virtual BCP was a series of three synchronous Zoom conversations with two journalists and a media literacy expert (all Fulbright alumni/ae) on topics ranging from practicing journalism in Germany to how the COVID-19 crisis in Europe and the U.S. is affecting those democratic societies. The conversations sparked ideas for initial research on German society and media, and were book-ended by small, independent projects and an accompanying shared logbook, in which participants recorded reflections on and offered suggestions for topics to be covered during the in-person program.
It's been gratifying to discover that even a virtually held seminar - with some participants only cities apart and others an ocean away - can attain a high degree of trust and solidarity in aspiring to the program goals of promoting better understanding on transatlantic issues, expanding professional perspectives and networks, and helping to better “translate” the news on this side of the Atlantic.
Check out the videos produced by the participants of the BCP virtual in the first ever Fulbright Germany Journalism Slam!
And the winner is...