Read Journalists' Reactions to their Fellowships

Sep 302009

Fellows' Feedback

"When you're living your dream, as it was my experience at the Times, then time flies by much too fast. At that moment when one of your stories suddenly makes it onto page 1A or 1B, you don't immediately know what that means. It only dawned on me later, maybe not even until my flight back home. What I realized right then and there already, however, was how this time on the fellowship has changed me. I was confronted with my own prejudices (including those I had on America, its society and its politics), many of which didn't just turn out to be flat wrong, but completely contrary to reality."

-2009 Fellow Stefan Jaeger, Kleine Zeitung (hosted by the St. Petersburg Times)

“I was not a guest on the sidelines looking over the fence, but I was part of the team."
“I was incredibly lucky to being able to cover the election campaign up-close and personal. I went to stump speeches by Barack Obama, John McCain and Sarah Palin, and I wrote a story for SN about a Joe Biden event in Pennsylvania. Furthermore, I was able to compare how those rallies were covered by the Inquirer and other U.S. media in print and online.”

-2008 Fellow Lisa Helmreich, Salzburger Nachrichten (hosted by the Philadelphia Inquirer)

_“I got the chance to implement immediately what I learned at USA Today and washingtonpost.com – on reporting standards, on media convergence models and on managing dozens of staffers and correspondents. As far as I can tell, I have had a pretty successful performance on that job so far. What’s for sure is that without the experience of my fellowship in the U.S. I definitively wouldn't have had such a good time transitioning into this new role.” _

-2007 Fellow Christoph Prantner who was promoted to foreign editor at Der Standard five months after his return from his fellowship spent at USA Today.

“Being able to live in Vienna for six weeks was a gift. I would return to that city in a heartbeat."
“I don’t think I could have come to Austria at a more interesting time. I arrived in Vienna at the start of the campaign season for the Austrian election and just as the U.S. presidential candidates were being officially nominated at their party conventions. A few weeks later, Black Monday started a financial crisis that would become increasingly dire for the U.S. and the global markets in the coming weeks. What a fascinating time to be a journalist and to travel abroad.”

-2008 Fellow Melissa Coulter, Quad-City Times, Davenport, Iowa (hosted by Der Standard)

“Vienna is now my favorite city in the world. It’s big yet small, alive yet laid back, its cuisine is rich and varied, and it’s a great place to be a journalist. It's an amazingly easy city for reporting. It’s the capital of a country and the seat of several international organizations, and yet it feels like a small town in many ways. It has amazingly friendly and down-to-earth residents for a city of more than 1 million people.”

-2008 Fellow Chris Bagley, North County Times, Escondido, Ca. (hosted by Format)

“I got everything out of my fellowship I dreamed of. I met idols like Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper, even spent days working with on-air stars like Kyra Philips, Rick Sanchez and Jim Clancy, made friends in nearly every journalistic department at CNN Center - from the special investigative unit to the hurricane center and the cnn.com-studios. They showed me how to be a better TV anchor and even made it possible to do live shots for my station back home in Austria when there was news from the U.S. election campaigns.”

-2008 Fellow Florian Danner, Puls4 TV, Vienna (hosted by CNN International, Atlanta)

“I can't overstate how much I enjoyed this opportunity. Returning to Saranac Lake, more than once I've had a conversation with a townsperson about Austria, who – without realizing it – parrots back to me something he had read in one of my articles.”

-2007 Fellow Jacob Resneck, Adirondack Daily Enterprise, (hosted by Salzburger Nachrichten in Salzburg and Vienna)

“We live in a global world, and quality journalism is more critical than ever. Journalism exchange programs can transform the outlook of young journalists and offer professionals an unprecedented opportunity to practice their craft overseas. That’s what happened to me.”

-2007 Fellow Sheila Lalwani, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, (hosted by Die Presse in Vienna)

“After a couple of years with the same radio station I found it sometimes quite hard to leave long standing working patterns. That's why this fellowship gave me the chance to get rid of the blinders of daily grind and get new ideas – and it really did. Moreover this also was an amazing opportunity to forge interesting contacts. So my excitement before the program started was indescribable.”
-2007 Fellow Michaela Roithmayr, Life Radio, Linz (hosted by WCBS, New York, NY)