The Berlin Capital Program, operated by the German-American Fulbright Commission, invites up to 15 young American journalists and students of journalism to Germany to participate in a seminar on current developments in German media and politics. The program is conducted in English and is fully funded by the Fulbright Commission.
With the goal of better understanding transatlantic issues and promoting professional and academic networks between Germany and the U.S., this intensive program offers American journalists the opportunity to gain a deeper awareness of the political, economic and cultural environment in Germany/Europe, with a special focus on German media and its role in politics and society.
Past program participants have journeyed from the bowels of the Stasi archives, where they pondered the role of privacy in German society, to the glass dome of the Reichstag, where transparency in modern German government is represented in the very structure it inhabits. A day trip to Leipzig included a briefing by a Member of Parliament representing Saxony on the overall view from the eastern side of Germany as the country tries to find common ground on issues like immigration and its place in Europe. A guided walk through Berlin's Kreuzberg district considered urban planning and public policy issues, tracing Berlin's constant struggle to grow and attract business while maintaining its unique identity and strong sense of community. Highly interactive tours of Berlin’s iconic sites, intimate meetings with entrepreneurs and media personalities, hands-on encounters and frank conversations with Germans from all walks of life, an evening of politically-tinged avant-garde theater, panel discussions with renown international journalists, and brief if poignant exchanges with German colleagues ranging from a studio manager at a college radio station to editors at a global media powerhouse – all have previously been part of the Berlin Capital Program.
In discussions with media professionals, journalists will learn about the role of the media in the political decision-making process in Germany, and will gain further insight into the transformation of the German media landscape and how these changes affect journalists' role, responsibility and dialogue with the public. The program will also investigate the challenges and opportunities related to the continuing process of European integration and offer first-hand experiences in the German capital of Berlin, with its diverse culture and ever-changing course of history. Issues to be considered with experts may include the status of Brexit negotiations, the 100th anniversary of the First World War's formal end, ripples of the U.S. midterm elections felt on German and international shores, and the looming COP24 environmental summit set to take place in Poland in December.
The award benefits cover program costs, including round-trip transportation between the U.S. and Germany, hotel accommodation (single room, incl. breakfast), several meals, local transportation and health insurance coverage during the seminar.
To be eligible for the program, an applicant must be a U.S. young professional journalist, currently employed by U.S. media in the U.S., with fewer than 5 years of work experience in the field,
or a Master’s student in the field of journalism or communications at a U.S. university,
or a graduating senior in the field of journalism or communications at a U.S. university.
The application deadline for the Berlin Capital Program 2018 has expired. Information about the next Berlin Capital Program will be available on this website in spring 2019.