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March 2014 Newsletter
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Vol. 23 No. 1
Featured Stories
New York Alumni Dinner:
The New York Times and the Future of Foreign Reporting

By Heather Struck (Burns 2011)

 

Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, tackled a range of media issues including foreign reporting and government leak investigations during a lively question and answer program at the New York Burns Dinner on March 3.

According to Abramson, international reporting is the largest piece of what makes a reader well informed -- or "good to go," as she said at the annual dinner at Goldman Sachs' New York City headquarters.
 
Marcus Brauchli hosts a Q&A with Jill Abramson.
Marcus Brauchli, the new chairman of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship and the former editor in chief of both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, hosted Abramson and asked her questions about new media, cyber security and whether or not a "paper of record" can even exist anymore. The landscape in the United States has changed so markedly in the past decade that people are less informed on a broad range of subjects than they used to be. The difference, Brauchli pointed out, is that now people can find streams of information through new media if they merely dare to sign in and look.

Trustee John Rogers of  Goldman Sachs.
For Abramson, this is a good sign, but not an optimistic one for the future of traditional journalism. "A lot of the oxygen of journalism is eaten up in political argument," she said. Cable television rivalries and spit-acid-in-your-eye partisan blogs represent this. But what about the sites that are doing a good job of eating the Times' bread and butter? POLITICO now covers New York politics in-depth enough to make Abramson feel the competition. Buzzfeed garners three times the online traffic that the Times sees. An alumnus in the audience asked whether this makes Abramson nervous. Can the Times perhaps learn from popular sites like this?

"Not really," Abramson said. "We don't think of commissioning stories in the same way." But she tips her hat to Jonah Peretti, the founder of Buzzfeed, with whom she meets occasionally for coffee. He has hit upon a business model that works, she says; one of "emotional content," or stories that make you want to click. "But that, in general, is not what the news is about."

 

Former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy, Trustee J.D. Bindenagel and Kai Hennig.

Peppering cat pictures over a solid file of political and international reporting -- which is the reality at Buzzfeed today -- is not entirely disreputable. Abramson seemed to admit that the model could encroach on the Times' territory, particularly with younger readers, and this is concerning. 


If international news is the crown jewel of the Times, journalists only have more incentive to cross borders. However, the challenges that traditional newspapers face are numerous enough to give one pause. Not only do they struggle against online media for daily readers, they face legal challenges as well; like the Obama administration's seven criminal investigations into government leaks -- many of them related to the National Security Administration. These are "terrible for journalism and even more terrible for the public's right to know about a war on terrorism that has been launched in their name," Abramson said.

Trustees Jim Hoge and Stan Warshawsky.
Abramson's challenge at the Times every day is to achieve a mix of foreign policy stories with articles about life in New York. The web offers, she says, unlimited space onto which she can post the news the moment that it is ready for readers, and its servers can hold and protect vast documents, like it did with WikiLeaks material after the British paper The Guardian ran into trouble with UK authorities. Despite these developments, however, the Times operates in much the same way it always has. Abramson takes solace in this and acknowledges that "there is no magic formula" for how news should be presented.

When she is challenged by critics who say her newspaper model is dying or that nobody wants to read the news anymore, Abramson says, "I think about a free and robust press as being the foundation of our society." She may not be alone in not wanting to live in a society where the Times does not or cannot exist. But indeed a challenge that future Burns fellows will face is how to keep it alive.

Alumni Christine Lagorio (2007), Gina Pace (2010) and John Dobosz (1997).
The atmosphere among Burns alumni is not pessimistic. "Foreign reporting is more available to more people than ever. Anybody with a smart phone can be a foreign correspondent," said John Dobosz (Burns 1997), over coffee and apfelstrudel in Goldman's 43rd floor observation room. "Even information that needs to be translated, you can do on the fly."

Heather Struck is a web editor at Reuters in New York City. She spent her Burns Fellowship in 2011 at Zeit Online in Berlin.

Alumni Steven Valentino (2013) and Mark Garrison (2011).
The Honorable Frank Loy Steps Down and New Chairman Takes Helm of Burns Board of Trustees 
 

The Honorable Frank Loy, former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, has stepped down from his position as chairman of the U.S. board of trustees for the Burns Fellowship.

 

As the former president of the German Marshall Fund, he hit the ground running when he joined the board 10 years ago and provided strong, cohesive leadership for the Burns Fellowship. He is deeply respected for his depth of knowledge on transatlantic affairs, his diplomacy, and his warm and approachable leadership style.

 

He genuinely cares about each of the fellows and their careers and always spent his time at the ambassador's reception getting to know the new class. He also made the time to share his own expertise with fellows. For example, while he was working as an advisor for the Obama campaign, he and fellow trustee J.D. Bindenagel, a senior advisor at Strategy XXI Partners, hosted an off-the-record roundtable with Burns alumni at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

 

He is highly respected by leaders in the German government who awarded him the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The award was presented by former German President Christian Wulff on Nov. 2, 2010, at the German ambassador's residence in Washington, DC. The Order of Merit is awarded to Germans as well as foreigners for achievements in the political, economic, social or intellectual realm and for outstanding services to the nation in the field of social, charitable or philanthropic work.

 

His participation and thoughtful leadership added to the prestige and effectiveness of the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship and we are grateful for his hard work.

 

Marcus W. Brauchli, a board member since 2008, will take over the chairmanship position. He brings a wealth of journalism expertise, having served as editor of The Wall Street Journal and executive editor of The Washington Post. He is currently a consultant with the Graham Holdings Company, formerly the Washington Post Company.

 

 

New German Ambassador to Take Post in Washington

Dr. Peter Ammon's service as the German ambassador to the United States will end shortly, and Dr. Peter Wittig will take over his position. Ambassador Ammon has been a stalwart supporter of the Burns Fellowship during his tenure as patron and we wish him all the best in his new posting as ambassador to the United Kingdom in London.

 

Dr. Peter Wittig is currently Germany's permanent representative to the United Nations, where he has served since December 2009. Previously, he served as Germany's ambassador to Lebanon and Cyprus, and twice as the president of the United Nations Security Council. He will take up his new posting in Washington, D.C., as well as becoming a Burns patron, in the spring.

 

Trustee Garrick Utley, a longtime foreign correspondent, dies at 74
 
Photo credit: Grace Villamil
Burns Trustee Garrick Utley died on Feb. 20 at his home in New York City. He was a former anchor for NBC News and a foreign correspondent for many years, reporting from about 75 countries during his career. He was fluent in Russian, German and French, and served as a bureau chief in Paris and London. He covered the Vietnam War, the Prague Spring in 1968, the 1973 Yom Kippur war, the fall of the Berlin wall, the Persian Gulf War in 1991, and the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, among many other historic events. Recently, he was president of SUNY's Levin Graduate Institute of International Relations and Commerce, and taught journalism at the State University of New York at Oswego. He did graduate studies at the Free University in Berlin in the early 1960s, and his wife Gertje, an art historian and author, is from Germany. He served on the Burns board of trustees since 2002. He was a kind and thoughtful board member who cared very much about U.S.-German relations and the future of journalism. He will be deeply missed.

 

31st Annual German-American Conference

The 31st Annual German-American Conference was held in early March in Berlin. The conference also doubled as an informal selection meeting for the 29 German Burns Fellowship finalists.

Alison Smale, German bureau chief of The New York Times, and Matthew Karnitschnig, senior European editor at The Wall Street Journal, participated in a media panel at the conference. 
 
U.S. Ambassador and patron John Emerson hosts the 2014 finalists and Berlin alumni at a closing reception at his residence.
Washington, D.C., Alumni Gathering


Washington area alumni met for a night of networking and fun on February 26 at The Front Page in Dupont Circle.

Holbrooke Research Grants - Call for Applications


Christian Salewski (Burns 2010) interviews the second officer of a car transporting vessel in Rhode Island as part of his Holbrooke Grant researching the transatlantic free trade agreement.

Internationale Journalisten Programme (IJP) and the Arthur F. Burns Fellowships are providing a special opportunity for journalists with a passion for research and storytelling around the globe.
 
The Holbrooke Research Grants offer stipends of up to €4,000 to as many as 10-15 print, broadcast and new media journalists. Grantees will be selected by an advisory board, including professionals and trustees working in journalism.
 
The grants were recently renamed to honor Richard Holbrooke and his outstanding service in the field of international relations and specifically the German-American relationship. Holbrooke was an American diplomat, magazine editor, author and investment banker. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany from 1993-1994 and the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs from 1994-1996. He also helped form the American Academy in Berlin and was its founding chairman. Most recently, he served as the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. He died in December 2010. These travel and research grants honor his legacy of cross-cultural exchange and diplomacy.
 
Who: All IJP and Burns alumni are eligible-both newsroom staffers and freelancers.
 
What: The grants support ambitious journalism projects including, but not limited to, the global economic crisis. Joint projects between journalists from different countries are encouraged, but individual projects will also be considered. A transatlantic perspective should be part of the project.
 
When: The deadline is ongoing throughout 2014 until funds are exhausted.
 
Selection Criteria: When choosing, we consider each candidate's professional accomplishments and potential; his or her individual and organizational commitment; and the potential impact of the proposed journalistic project. For collaborative projects, each applicant should submit a separate application that incorporates the jointly developed project proposal. Click here for details on what to submit.
 
Requirements: The program will only review completed applications endorsed by a news organization. Stories must be published or broadcast within four months of grant award date. Eighty percent of the amount of each grant will be paid at the outset of the project, with the remaining 20 percent to be paid upon publication or broadcast.
 
Where: Please send your application to burns@ijp.org or researchgrant@ijp.org.
 
Sponsored by: The Holbrooke Research Grants are financed by contributions from Goldman Sachs and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding comes from the transatlantic program of the Federal Republic of Germany with funding from the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).


The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship News is published four times a year by the International Center for Journalists.
 
Burns Program Staff
Frank-Dieter Freiling, Director, IJP
Emily Schult, Program Director, ICFJ
Lyndsey Wajert, Program Officer, ICFJ 
Leigh Burke, Burns Fundraising Consultant 
Maia Curtis, ICFJ Consultant
 
Named in honor of the late former U.S. ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany and former Federal Reserve Board chairman, the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program fosters greater understanding of transatlantic relations among future leaders of the news media.
 
The Burns program was established in 1988 in Germany by the Internationale Journalisten-Programme (formerly the Initiative Jugendpresse) and was originally designed for young German journalists. In 1990, the fellowship expanded to include American journalists, making it a true exchange. In 2013, it expanded to include Canadian journalists. 
 
Each year 20 outstanding journalists from the United States, Canada and Germany are awarded an opportunity to report from and travel in each other's countries. The program offers young print and broadcast journalists from each country the opportunity to share professional expertise with their colleagues across the Atlantic while working as "foreign correspondents" for their hometown news organizations.
 
Fellows work as part-time staff members at host newspapers, magazines and radio and television stations. In addition to covering local news, fellows report on events for their employers back home, while learning more about their host country and its media.
 
This competitive program is open to U.S., Canadian and German journalists who are employed by a newspaper, news magazine, broadcast station or news agency, and to freelancers. Applicants must have demonstrated journalistic talent and a strong interest in North American-European affairs. German language proficiency is not required, but is encouraged.


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Frankly Speaking

Dear Alumni,

 

Spring is in the air and with that, the selection process for the 2014 class is well under way. A fresh new group of journalists from Germany, the United States and Canada will soon be choosing where they want to be placed and planning for an amazing media experience later this summer. After the success of expanding into Canada last year, two Canadian fellows and two Germans to be placed in Canada have been selected this year. A new chapter for Burns has opened and we are looking forward to building up an alumni community in Canada.

 

East Coast alumni had the chance to attend the annual New York Dinner on March 3, where new board chairman Marcus Brauchli hosted Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, as guest of honor. A few days later, the 31st Annual German-American Conference took place in Berlin, with 29 German journalists attending as Burns finalists. They had two days of intensive political briefings and discussions, dominated by recent developments in the Ukraine. On Saturday evening, March 8, they were fêted by U.S. Ambassador John Emerson and his wife Kimberly in the ambassador's residence.

 

The next Berlin Dinner will take place on June 4. The winners of the Arthur F. Burns and George F. Kennan Awards will be announced on that occasion, after the selection jury makes its choices this month.

 

We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the various alumni events over the course of the year. Nothing can substitute for personal contacts, so we will not stop in offering you many opportunities to reunite with former classmates, as well as other alumni and new fellows.

 

Stay in touch and all the best,

Frank

 

Alumni News

1990

Michael Paulson is now a national religion reporter at The New York Times.

 

1991

Olaf Kische started a new job last year as the executive editor for television programming at MDR Landesfunkhaus Sachsen.

 

1992

Kara Swisher and the technology news outlet that she co-founded, All Things D, have left Dow Jones and launched in January under the new name Re/code. The new site is supported by Revere Digital, a partnership between Swisher and co-founder Walt Mossberg, NBCUniversal News Group and Windsor Media.

 

1995

Matt Johanson has penned his fourth book, Yosemite Adventures, a guidebook of 50 hikes, climbs and ski treks, that will be published this spring by Triumph Books.

 

1996

In late December, Nicola Kuhn, the culture editor at Der Tagesspiegel in Berlin, received the critics award from the hbs Kulturstiftung for her piece on the Kippenberger exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum.

 

1997

Gregor Peter Schmitz, Der Spiegel's correspondent in Brussels, published a book of interviews with George Soros, titled George Soros im Gespräch mit Gregor Peter Schmitz: Wetten auf Europa - Warum Deutschland den Euro retten muss, um sich selbst zu retten (DVA). The book will soon be translated into five languages, including English.

 

1999

Albrecht Metzger started a master's program in criminology at the University of Hamburg in October. Margaret Rankin relocated from Colorado to the DC area and is now with The Webster Group, an event planning and production company. As a director in their government division, she works with trade missions and delegations, writes proposals and pitches new clients, and does communications, media, and public relations work. Guy Raz, the host of "TED Radio Hour," a co-production of NPR and TED, will be the keynote speaker at InsideNGO's annual conference in July in Washington, DC.

 

2000

Oliver Becker is still working on his six-part documentary series on the world's most dangerous roads. The series was contracted by VOX TV to air as part of their popular car show VOX auto-mobil. The latest segment, on Afghanistan's Salang Pass, aired on VOX on Sunday, Feb. 9. The segments on Bolivia's "death road," Georgia's Tusheti Road, and Bangladesh Highways have also aired previously. 

 

       

2001

Andreas Tzortzis is the editor-in-chief of the U.S. edition of The Red Bulletin, published by Red Bull Media House.

 

2003

Andrew Curry and his wife Jennifer had a son, Ian Avery Porto Curry, who was born in Berlin on Feb. 27.  

 

   

Aaron Ricadela relocated this January with Bloomberg News to Frankfurt. He has spent the past 14 years living and working in San Francisco, where he covered technology for Bloomberg. In his new position in Frankfurt, he will be covering SAP and the German tech landscape, plus retail and sports marketing including Adidas, Puma, and the selling of the World Cup.

 

2005

Benno-Falk Fuchs

became the executive producer of META productions, a member of the Endemol group, on January 1. He is now in charge of content for all programs and shows produced by META. These shows include akte 20.14, now in its 20th year on air; a documentary on abused children in Germany that aired on ZDFzoom in February; and LANGE Undercover, a serial investigative program that will be released soon. Benno also had a fourth daughter, named Lotta. The whole family is in love with the baby and very happy.  

  

null

 

2007

Sabine Muscat gave birth to a son, August, in Washington on Dec. 22.

 

2008

Tony Ganzer is now the afternoon drive-time host for "ideastream," the NPR/PBS media outlet for Northeast Ohio based in Cleveland. 

 

2009

Fredy Gareis'

book, Tel Aviv - Berlin: Geschichten von 1001 Straße, will be published on May 12 by Piper München. 

 

 

2010

Justus Bender married Tameka this past December. Shant Shahrigian was recently promoted to associate editor of The Riverdale Press in the Bronx after working for about six months as a reporter covering politics and education. He looks forward to the challenge of helping run a community newspaper, along with continuing to report on a fascinating swath of New York City.

 

2011

Stephan Seiler was appointed the new editor-in-chief of DBMobil, published monthly by G+J Corporate Editors in Hamburg.

 

2012

Last year, Rieke Havertz won a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to research gun violence in Chicago. She spent nine weeks in Chicago (and two on research in Germany) writing a five-part series on gun violence for her paper taz.die tageszeitung. Moritz Küpper published his second book, Die Joker: Warum unsere Gesellschaft Generalisten braucht, together with Prof. Tilman Mayer and Burns alumnus Dr. Gregor Peter Schmitz (1997). 

Kristina Shevory won a 2014 Alicia Patterson Foundation fellowship to write about the future of American warfare and the role contractors and special operations forces will play. Fellows are awarded $40,000 for a 12-month grant and spend the year traveling, researching and writing on their topic. The fellowship was established in 1965 in memory of Alicia Patterson, who was editor and publisher of Newsday for nearly 23 years. Rachel Stern is currently living in Berlin as a 2013-2014 Fulbright Journalism Fellow. She is working for NPR Berlin and freelancing regularly about German politics and affairs for The Christian Science Monitor

 

2013

Anna Sauerbrey gave birth to a son, Theo, in December. Ana Ward and her husband Will are expecting their first child, a girl, in mid-July. 

 

Upcoming Events

Berlin Alumni Dinner: 
June 4, 2014

Trustees
U.S. Trustees (2013-2016)

Patron: The Honorable Dr. Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the United States
Joyce Barnathan, President, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) 
Elisabeth Bumiller, Deputy Washington Bureau Chief, The New York Times 
Albert Behler, President and CEO, Paramount Group, Inc. 
Ambassador (ret.) J.D. Bindenagel, Senior Advisor, Strategy XXI Partners
Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, The Wall Street Journal
Marcus W. Brauchli, Consultant, Graham Holdings Company (Chairman
Ambassador (ret.) Richard Burt, Senior Advisor, McLarty Associates (Honorary Chairman)
Dr. Martin Bussmann, Managing Director, Mannheim Holdings LLC
Nikhil Deogun, Managing Editor, CNBC
David W. Detjen, Senior Counsel, Alston & Bird LLP
Dr. Hans-Ulrich Engel, CFO, BASF SE; Chairman and CEO, BASF Corporation
John Fraser, Master and Chair of Corporation, Massey College, Toronto
Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, Director, Internationale Journalisten Programme (IJP), e.V. (Burns President
Prof. Dr. Ronald Frohne, President and CEO, GWFF USA, Inc.
James F. Hoge, Jr.,
Senior Advisor, Teneo Intelligence (Honorary Chairman)
Ambassador (ret.) Robert M. Kimmitt, Senior International Counsel, WilmerHale, Former Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury 
The Honorable Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Former U.S. Secretary of State 
Christian Lange, President and CEO, EII Capital Management Inc. 
The Honorable Frank E. Loy, Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs (Honorary Chairman) 
Richard G. Lugar, President, The Lugar Center, Former United States Senator
Dr. Daniel Mahler, Partner and Head of Americas, A.T. Kearney 
Kati Marton, Journalist and Author
Michael Oreskes, Senior Managing Director, The Associated Press 
Wolfgang Pordzik, Executive Vice President, Corporate Public Policy, Deutsche Post DHL 
John F. W. Rogers, Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Jürgen Siebenrock, Vice President, The Americas, Lufthansa German Airlines

Calvin Sims, President and CEO, International House
Stanford S. Warshawsky, Chairman, Bismarck Capital, LLC (Vice Chairman)
Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America, LLC 
Legal Advisor:
Phillip C. Zane, Attorney at Law, GeyerGorey, LLP 

German Trustees

 

Patron: The Honorable John B. Emerson,
U.S. Ambassador to Germany

Dr. Thomas Bellut,
Director-General, ZDF

Prof. Dr. Reinhard Bettzuege, Former German Ambassador 

Dr. Martin Blessing, CEO, Commerzbank AG

Prof. Maria Böhmer,
Member of Parliament, CDU/CSU

Michael Bröcker, Editor in Chief, Rheinische Post

Wolfgang Büchner, Editor in Chief, Der Spiegel

Tom Buhrow, Director-General, WDR

Sabine Christiansen,
Journalist, TV21 Media

Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO, Axel Springer AG

Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman, Vodafone Foundation

Leonhard F. Fischer,
Co-Chief Executive Officer, RHJI Swiss Management

Dr. Rüdiger Frohn,
Chairman, Mercator GmbH Foundation

Emilio Galli-Zugaro,
Head Group Communications, Allianz Group

Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck, Chairman of the Deutsche Bank Foundation
(Honorary Chairman)

Peter Limbourg, Director-General, Deutsche Welle

Gesine Lötzsch,
Member of Parliament, Die Linke

Rob Meines, Meines & Partner, Den Haag

Mathias Müller von Blumencron,
Editor in Chief of Digital Media, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Rainer Neske,
Member of the Board, Deutsche Bank
(Chairman)

Ines Pohl, Editor in Chief, die taz

Dagmar Reim, Director-General, RBB

Claudia Roth,
Vice-President of the Bundestag, Member of Parliament, Die Gruenen

Helmut Schäfer, Former State Minister, Foreign Office (Honorary Chairman)

Monika Schaller,
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs AG

Steffen Seibert, Parliamentary State Secretary, Government Spokesperson

Dr. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Minister of Foreign Affairs, SPD

Tobias Trevisan, CEO, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung GmbH

Lord George Weidenfeld, Former CEO, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion Publishing, London; Member of the House of Lords

Dr. Dominik Wichmann, Editor in Chief, Stern 

Sponsors
The Arthur F. Burns Board of Trustees in the United States and Germany acknowledges with gratitude the support of the following organizations and individuals who have made the 2014 Arthur F. Burns Fellowship program possible.

Sponsors in the U.S.
Alston & Bird, LLP
BASF
BMW of North America, LLC
The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation
Comcast NBCUniversal
Deutsche Post DHL Americas
EII Capital Management, Inc.
The Ford Foundation
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
GWFF USA, Inc.
The Ladenburg Foundation
Lufthansa German Airlines
Paramount Group, Inc.

Individual Contributions
David Detjen
Stanford S. Warshawsky

Sponsors in Germany
Allianz SE
Auswärtiges Amt.
Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend
Deutsche Bank AG
European Recovery Program (ERP), Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology
Goldman, Sachs AG
Siemens AG

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