International Traineeship at Deutsche Welle / Volontariat bei der Deutschen Welle
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International Traineeship at Deutsche Welle / Volontariat bei der Deutschen Welle


The acting training to me is something that’s really cool. It’s always fantastic to be able to just think about how you can present yourself, or come across to other people, or help to switch your mindset suddenly. In your real life as a journalist, you can never be prepared. Like you work with the news, you can never know what will happen tomorrow. So you have to always be ready to embrace the adventure , and I think that’s what we are doing here at the Volontariat. People consume the news very differently. and that is means as a journalist, you are not just expected to write about stuff, but to be able to give users the material they want in all sorts of different ways. And you need to be able go out somewhere and shoot footage on a mobile phone or to be able to do a live broadcast right from where the action actually is. Or just write an online article. But using all these skills together is something that the traineeship really teaches you. I think there’s a strong understanding at DW that the future is digital and in the traineeship we really learn to think in terms of user. Always think what medium do I need to tell the story and there’s always a way we can tell the story on digital platforms. One thing that’s really appreciated in DW is creativity. There is a strong culture of experimentation and that means as a trainee you are not just expected to fail, you are encouraged to fail. Because that means you’ve tried something out. All of the topics that we are introduced to, it’s always, this is how it’s beeing done at the moment. But always think about how you apply this and how you could change it. How you could do it differently in the future. There is plenty of room for innovation at DW. We’ve even got a DW lab now, so everybody can come along and they can pitch ideas for some sort of crazy new format or a new approach to journalism. And that is the same sort of attitude we had in the traineeship. It seems like they give you a big tool box. Of course we learned the classics: storytelling, writing, or whatever. But we had fancy stuff as well. And I think the combination can lead us to a new way of journalism. Find a good story, there is a good story in everything. You just have to be a bit more patient. And maybe digg deeper than other people did before. I still remember that before writing something, or before going out for shooting, we had to write storyboards. Similarly, we had to have an “Erzählsatz”. And I still, when somebody is going from my department or my team, i tell them, you know: What is your “Erzählsatz”? And this is still there! I was a learning-by-doing-guy but it always felt like something was missing. And doing that traineeship was like lifting a curtain. Learning the basics, learning how to tell a story, learning how to make it interesting. That made all the difference, I still rely on that today. And of course, I also made a lot of friends back then. And it was fun! Deutsche Welle is not about spreading this idea of something, of a country, or ideology, or things like this. Its about constructive journalism You can ask people from South Africa, from Colombia, from Russia, about their expertise when it comes to the countries. It makes you so much more open to other questions. You can develop another angle of things. It makes your life richer. Everybody has been to different countries, people have worked in different countries, they have multiple passports, they speak so many languages, they know a lot about different countries. And that is very useful in the daily work that we do and it is just very inspiring as well. It’s extremely important to work with people, who know what they are doing. And who’ve been in this profession for a long time. I always felt welcome to talk to people, be it the “Chefredakteurin” or head of department. They were super open, and super talkative. We are really seen as vehicles to bring innovationen into the “Redaktionen”, which makes us really responsible and which is great, because we feel like we belong to Deutsche Welle. We are part of the evolution of Deutsche Welle. And that is really exciting. Our ethical rules are very important for DW. True reporting, really serious fact-checking. Really make the distinction between reports and opinion pieces, which really is important for the future of the credibility of journalism. So this is what DW really stands for and this is in the core of our education. It’s about telling stories, it’s about taking an issue and having a deeper look into it. Because it tells you the human side of a story, representing not only yourself but also the public. So you are allowed to ask uncomfortable questions. At Deutsche Welle, they have a very strong sense of values. And I think this is really important to drill into people. that Germany has a very particular history. This matters in a world today, where we are seeing populism rising across Europe and the wider world. And where a lot of the values that we take for granted are under threat. The most important thing at DW is that actually it’s value driven. And being a journalist really makes sense. It fulfills you. Right now, everyone is trying to fight for your attention. So, you’ve got to have something really attention-grabbing and I think this traineeship really prepares you for that.

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