Vol. 21 No. 3
Orientation Week 2012
By Moritz Küpper (Burns 2012)
Jonathan Stock, who had never fired a gun in his life, hit the first five skeet in a row without even realizing it while at the shooting range at the Airlie Conference Center in Warrenton, VA. When he missed the next two and then hit another, he turned to the other fellows and proudly exclaimed, “Look, I got one!” The rest of our group, standing or lying in the grass nearby, burst out laughing. He didn’t even realize that he had hit six out of eight—a remarkable rookie performance!
Jonathan’s skeet shooting triumph was one of many highlights at the legendary Airlie weekend about which we had heard so much. Besides skeet shooting, Airlie also saw an intense football—sorry, soccer—match that left one player with broken toes; a highly competitive tennis match; some relaxing hours at the pool; Germans learning a traditional American party game called “kings;” but most importantly, seven Americans and twelve Germans having a great time together.
Just a few days before, no one was thinking about skeet shooting, drinks and broken toes when we gathered on a Tuesday night in the lobby of The Beacon Hotel to head to our welcome dinner at the DACOR Bacon House. Wearing fancy dresses and suits, we were looking forward to our orientation week and the next two months as Arthur F. Burns Fellows. As the class of 2012, our orientation booklet let us know that our class is historic: “Burns 25 Years—Transatlantic Dialogue: A Quarter Century of Journalism Exchange,” it said on the front page.
|Jonathan Stock takes aim while skeet shooting at Airlie.
But it was not only our milestone class that made our meetings, receptions and discussions exceptionally interesting, but also the upcoming presidential election. Obama vs. Romney, Democrats and Republicans, the polarization in American politics, the question of whether a third party could be founded… These were only a few of the topics we discussed in meetings at the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) or at the German Marshall Fund. Jackson Janes of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies gave us a detailed overview of transatlantic relations and Alec Phillips explained the differences between Republicans and Democrats. Former Democratic Congressman Glenn Nye gave us a good insight into the role of money in the election.
In terms of the transatlantic relationship, it was interesting to see, especially for the Germans, how sensitive American politics have been this election year following the Euro-crisis. Jonathan Rauch, an author and guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, had a particularly clear message for all of us, especially the Germans. At the end of our discussion, he declared empathically, “Go home and tell Merkel that it is a crisis and she should do something about it!”
Having tackled these topics pretty well, Elliott Abrams, the former Deputy National Security Advisor for Middle Eastern Affairs under George W. Bush, gave us deep insight into American policies in the Middle East with a remarkably frank discussion about Iran.
|Senator Michael Bennet (left) with German Ambassador Peter Ammon.
In addition to politics, we also talked at length about the state of the media on both sides of the Atlantic with author and Burns Trustee Elizabeth Becker and Rem Rieder of the American Journalism Review
. Both speakers pointed out the importance, and also decline, of foreign reporting.
Finally, we enjoyed a stunning Burns 25th Anniversary Dinner at the residence of the Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Peter Ammon. Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado delivered the keynote speech and discussed the situation in Aurora only a few days after the horrifying shooting there.
Sitting in the newsroom of the NPR-affiliated WAMU 88.5 and looking through my notes from the orientation week, I realize that these six days fulfilled their purpose quite well. We received a broad orientation of the transatlantic relationship that prepared us for the following two months, but we also had a great time and made new friends. We thank the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program, ICFJ, IJP, Frank Freiling, Emily Schult, and everyone else who made our D.C. orientation and two-month fellowship experience so superb.
Moritz Küpper has worked at the national public radio in Germany, Deutschlandfunk, in Cologne as an editor, reporter and presenter since April 2010. He is based in the sports department. Previously, he worked as an editor for the business magazine Capital. He is spending his Burns Fellowship at the NPR-affiliated WAMU 88.5 in Washington, D.C.
Washington Dinner at Ambassador Peter Ammon's Residence
The 2012 Arthur F. Burns Fellows
|2012 Fellows Sonia Kennebeck and Rieke Havertz are joined by 2011 Fellow Catherine Cheney and Trustee Christian Lange
|Guests enjoy a dinner celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Burns Fellowship at the German ambassador's residence.
Burns Alumni Crash the Republican National Convention
By Steffi Dobmeier (Burns 2010)
I think I speak for the whole ICFJ delegation to the Republican National Convention in Tampa when I say: What a crazy spectacle, what an enthusiastic and committed crowd, what a special and nevertheless weird adventure!
We experienced a part of U.S. politics that is hard for non-Americans to understand, and yet so informative for the election season in this country. This carefully orchestrated performance, the overdose of patriotism and pathos, celebrating politicians like rock stars—we definitely have a new view of American politics now.
|Björn Winter (not pictured) interviews a convention attendee for Puls 4 TV from Austria.
Maybe the best way to explain those days in Tampa is to share some anecdotal stories.
Manuel Unger (Burns 2000) did not make it to Tampa on time because the airlines cancelled all flights leaving Miami due to Hurricane Isaac. Unfortunately, Manuel had to spend a day at a golf and spa resort owned by Donald Trump! It would have been perfect for him, a passionate golfer who even brought his equipment, but he could not even leave the hotel because of the storm. He arrived one day later, though, without missing anything since the convention was delayed for a day.
Schmitt-Roschmann (Burns 1999) came back from the convention center one evening and told us about a delegate from Kansas who spoke with her on the shuttle bus to the hotel. “President Obama is an Islamist, who allows babies to be killed and promotes homosexuality,” the delegate declared. “We have to get rid of him or this country as we know it now will never be the same.” Verena had simply no response.
|Delegates from Texas on the convention floor.
Fabian Löhe (Burns 2008) accompanied the protestors of the Occupy movement on their march to the RNC and witnessed all the policemen blocking streets with their horses, bikes and cars. To say that the streets surrounding the convention center had been safeguarded would be a major understatement. It was funny to listen to the delegates inside the forum talking about how much the Obama administration interfered in people’s lives and left them with too little independence, while the Republicans put a massive effort into securing and blocking their meeting from disliked visitors.
I had a hard
time finding senior citizens in Tampa for a story that I was planning to write. All the people I met on the streets were delegates, journalists or policemen. It took me two hours and a sweaty stroll through hot and humid Tampa before I finally spotted someone inside a bookstore and at a park. The whole city seemed more like a Republican television advertisement than a real town.
|An interview takes place in the busy hallway of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
Finally, we cannot forget the food. It was simply not possible to find something healthy. We were served fries, burgers, pizza or chocolate bars. It sounds like a stereotype, but it was true. After two days, we realized that we had to buy supplies at a grocery store and take it with us in order to avoid the food at the Tampa Bay Forum or the convention center. We stocked up on apples, bananas and cereal bars as a start, but then discovered that bananas and apples are seen as a weapon at the security check. At least we had the cereal bars.
Experiencing the RNC was something we’ll never forget. Thank you, Emily, for handling the credential process, updating us on changes to the program, supplying us with different badges each day, making sure we didn’t miss the bus, setting up the meeting with Texas State Representative Tan Parker, and overall making the days seem smooth and easy, and not as stressful as we know they must have been.
that this trip will forever have a place of honor in our journalistic diary. We certainly agreed. Even if we hope never to hear the following statements again:
|Balloons fall to the floor signaling the end of the convention.
- “We fulfilled the American dream by building our own family business.”
- “My ancestors came to this wonderful country with nothing more than four/five/ten dollars sewn into their underpants.”
- “We can do better.”
- “Obama brought us down. He really brought us down!”
Steffi Dobmeier works as the managing editor for Die Tageszeitung in Berlin. She spent her fellowship in 2010 at The Oregonian in Portland, Oregon.
Holbrooke Research Grants - Call for Applications
|Ulrike Langer (Burns 1994) used her Holbrooke Research Grant to report on new business models for the digital media age.
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 2012 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.
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).
Grants for German Journalists Reporting on Global Health Issues
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting is offering grants to German journalists and German news organizations for reporting projects on global health issues. They are particularly interested in funding cross-platform, multimedia reporting projects dealing with water and sanitation, non-communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS and reproductive health issues in the developing world.
The Pulitzer Center is a non-profit journalism organization based in Washington, D.C. Since their founding in 2006, they have been giving grants to journalists to undertake independent reporting projects on important international stories that are sometimes overlooked by news organizations with tight budgets. In the United States, reporting from their grantees has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, Foreign Policy, The Atlantic, National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting’s NewsHour. In Britain, this work has appeared in The Guardian and The Economist, among other outlets. They are now hoping to extend their model to Germany and elsewhere in the European Union.
Their grants typically cover the hard costs of reporting the story—travel, hotels and meals, translators, local transport, etc. There are no strings attached to this funding; they exercise no editorial control over what is written. Their agenda is to promote quality journalism on under-reported topics. To learn more about the Pulitzer Center, please visit their website at
www.pulitzercenter.org. If you are interested in applying for a grant, or if you have any questions, please contact senior editor Tom Hundley at
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 Manager, ICFJ
Maia Curtis, ICFJ Consultant
Leigh Burke, Burns Fundraising 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 German–U.S. 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.
Each year 20 outstanding journalists from the United States and Germany are awarded an opportunity to report from and travel in each other’s countries. The program offers 10 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. 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 U.S.–European affairs. German language proficiency is not required, but is encouraged.
1616 H Street, NW, Third Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006
The Burns Fellowship program is
administered jointly by:
Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling
The 25th class of Burns fellows is nearly ready to return home—with new ideas, insights and friendships. It seems like only yesterday that we all met in Washington in late July for the orientation week. The dinner at the German ambassador’s residence kicked off a special year dedicated to the 25 classes of Burns fellows. Colorado Senator Michael Bennet was the guest of honor and speaker in Washington at what is usually an embassy reception, but this July was a full additional Burns Alumni Dinner.
A San Francisco Dinner in October at the German consul-general’s residence and the New York Dinner on February 25 or 26, 2013, will complete a year of celebrations and dedication to the nearly 470 Burns alumni living and working across the globe. I sincerely hope that we will have a chance to meet you at one of these events in the United States or at the Berlin Dinner next June.
Looking at the list of alumni, many of you in senior editorial positions or working as correspondents across four continents, influencing your country’s opinion on so many topics, one cannot help but be impressed by the diversity and dedication of you all and your support of the transatlantic dialogue. Let’s make sure that the Burns network stays dynamic and continues to produce great experiences and friendships that last for decades!
P.S. So far nearly 300 have joined the
Burns Facebook page for alumni, but some are still missing. If you haven’t signed up, do it now to stay in touch with all of us.
Sibylle Thelen left Stuttgarter Zeitung and now works for the Landeszentrale für Politische Bildung in Stuttgart.
is using her background in radio as creative director of
, a company she started four years ago with her husband, Jason Reinier. They create mobile apps and tours for museums, historical sites and other cultural institutions.
Katharine Schmidt has moved back to Stuttgart. Her husband is nearing the end of his assignment in Washington, so she moved back earlier in time to settle in before her children started school this month. She will start freelancing again soon and would be happy to get in touch with other Burns alumni in the region.
Julia Naumann will return from maternity leave at the end of the year to once again head the press department at Amnesty International in Berlin.
started his new job as Frankfurter Allgemeine’s political correspondent for the United Kingdom and Ireland, while still also covering India for the time being. He is based in London.
launched his new bi-monthly talk show on public broadcaster ZDF on September 2 in Berlin. The show is simply called “Precht.”
Michael Sahm (Streck) is the director of public relations and communications at the Forest Carbon Group AG in Frankfurt. Adrienne Woltersdorf has been head of the Kabul office of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung since the beginning of the year.
Stefan Schirmer is head of the Dresden bureau of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit. At the beginning of the year, Robert Zeithammel became head of media production at PLAZAMEDIA GmbH.
Oliver G. Becker is writing a book entitled The History of Germany’s International Sports Promotion, on behalf of Germany’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The book deals with various examples from more than 1,600 projects across Africa, Asia and Latin America. One of many examples that will be covered in the upcoming book is of Torsten Spittler, a German football manager currently working as technical director in Mozambique.
Robert Jacobi is developing a web community for mountain lovers called
Kerstin Kohlenberg is part of a new investigative unit for the weekly Die Zeit in Berlin, which is advised by former Burns trustee and Süddeutsche Zeitung editor-in-chief Hans Werner Kilz. On September 15, Katrin Scheib began a three-month stay in China as part of the Bosch Foundation’s Media Ambassador Program. She is based in Beijing but hopes to explore further afield as well. The program is a mix of work in a host newsroom, research for home media, background talks and university classes.
Please see Clemens Wergin’s listing under 2005.
Benno-Falk Fuchs produced an acclaimed television documentary on employment conditions at Zalando, a German online retail company. The documentary was broadcast on ZDF on August 25 and prompted a chorus of outrage that forced Zalando to pledge improvement. Fred Pleitgen of CNN and Clemens Wergin (2003) of Die Welt are joining forces at Crossmedial corporation to provide multi-platform coverage of the U.S. presidential election over the next few months. Christian Thiele is now working as a senior editor at Nido, the Stern’s new family magazine, based in Munich.
Christa Case Bryant moved to Jerusalem with her husband to begin a new position as Jerusalem bureau chief for The Christian Science Monitor.
Lara Fritzsche is leaving Zeit Magazine in Berlin in October to join the weekly magazine supplement of Süddeutsche Zeitung in Munich. Bettina Gartner’s first novel, entitled
Wie der Tod das Lieben lernte, was published in July by Emons Verlag.
Barbara Büllmann (Leidl) moved from Munich to Washington in August for her husband’s new job. Fredy Gareis finished his stint as a correspondent in Israel and is now a writer in residence in Maribor, Slovenia. Maribor is the European Capital of Culture 2012. His residency, which will last until the end of the year, will give him a break from the demands of journalism to concentrate on other projects.
Andreas Grosse Halbuer, previously at Financial Times Deutschland and Wirtschaftswoche, will join the Berlin bureau of the weekly news magazine Focus in October.
Dan Boyce submitted the stories he produced during his fellowship last year to the Montana Broadcasters Association and won the 2012 award for “Noncommercial Radio Program of the Year” for the whole series.
Catherine Cheney is now a reporter and web producer for Al Monitor, a website focused on Middle East news, while also continuing to work as a reporter for World Politics Review. She lives in Dover, Delaware, with her husband, an Air Force pilot, but also spends much of her time in Washington, D.C. Catherine is looking forward to returning to Berlin later this year as part of the Fulbright Commission’s Berlin Capital Program. Mark Garrison is now a New York correspondent for
Marketplace, covering business for programs heard on more than 500 public radio stations across America.
San Francisco Alumni Dinner:
(Exact date TBA)
2013 Fellowship Deadlines:
German Applicants: February 1, 2013
U.S. Trustees (2010-2013)
Patron: The Honorable Dr. Peter Ammon, German Ambassador to the United States
Joyce Barnathan, President, International Center for Journalists (ICFJ)
Elizabeth Becker, Journalist and Author
Albert Behler, President and CEO, Paramount Group, Inc.
Amb. J.D. Bindenagel, Vice President, Community, Government and International Affairs, DePaul University
Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Managing Editor and International Editor, The Wall Street Journal
Marcus W. Brauchli, Executive Editor, The Washington Post
Amb. Richard Burt, Senior Advisor, McLarty Associates (Honorary Chairman)
Dr. Martin Bussmann, Mannheim LLC
Nikhil Deogun, Managing Editor, CNBC
David W. Detjen, Partner, Alston & Bird LLP
Dr. Hans-Ulrich Engel, CFO, BASF SE; Chairman and CEO, BASF Corporation
Dr. Frank-Dieter Freiling, Director, Internationale Journalisten Programme, e.V. (IJP)
Prof. Dr. Ronald Frohne, President and CEO, GWFF USA, Inc.
James F. Hoge, Jr., Director, Human Rights Watch (Honorary Chairman)
Robert M. Kimmitt, Senior International Counsel, WilmerHale
The Honorable Henry A. Kissinger, Chairman, Kissinger Associates
Christian Lange, CEO, President and Co-Founder, European Investors Inc.
The Honorable Frank E. Loy, Former Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs (Chairman)
Sen. Richard G. Lugar, United States Senator
Kati Marton, Author and Journalist
Wolfgang Pordzik, Executive Vice President, Corporate Public Policy, DHL North America
John F. W. Rogers, Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Garrick Utley, President, Levin Institute, SUNY
Stanford S. Warshawsky, Chairman, Bismarck Capital, LLC (Vice Chairman)
Legal Advisor: Phillip C. Zane, Attorney at Law, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz
German Trustees (2010-2013)
Patron: The Honorable Philip D. Murphy, U.S. Ambassador to Germany
Erik Bettermann, Director-General, Deutsche Welle
Prof. Dr. Reinhard Bettzuege, Former German Ambassador to Brussels
Dr. Martin Blessing, CEO, Commerzbank AG
Prof. Maria Böhmer, State Minister, Member of Parliament, CDU/CSU
Tom Buhrow, Anchorman, ARD
Sabine Christiansen, Journalist, TV21 Media
Dr. Mathias Döpfner, CEO, Axel Springer AG
Thomas Ellerbeck, Chairman, Vodafone Foundation
Leonhard F. Fischer, Partner, RHJI Swiss Management
Dr. Rüdiger Frohn, Chairman, Stiftung Mercator
Emilio Galli-Zugaro, Head Group Communications, Allianz Group
Dr. Tessen von Heydebreck, Former Member of the Board, Deutsche Bank AG (Honorary Chairman)
Dr. Luc Jochimsen, Member of Parliament, Die Linke
Dr. Torsten-Jörn Klein, Board member, Gruner + Jahr AG
Michael Georg Link, State Minister, Foreign Office, Member of Parliament, FDP
Rob Meines, Meines & Partners, The Hague
Kerstin Müller, Former State Minister, Member of Parliament, Buendnis 90/Die Grünen
Mathias Müller von Blumencron, Editor-in-Chief, Der Spiegel
Rainer Neske, Board Member, Deutsche Bank (Chairman)
Dagmar Reim, Director General, Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg
Helmut Schäfer, Former State Minister, Foreign Office (Honorary Chairman)
Monika Schaller, Senior Vice President, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Steffen Seibert, Government Spokesman
Dr. Frank Walter Steinmeier, Former Foreign Minister, Chair of the SPD Parliamentary Group
Tobias Trevisan, CEO, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Lord George Weidenfeld, Former CEO, Weidenfeld & Nicolson
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 2012 Arthur F. Burns Fellowship program possible.
Sponsors in the U.S.
Alston & Bird, LLP
BMW Group USA
The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation
Deutsche Post DHL Americas
European Investors, Inc.
The Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation/International Institute for Education
The German Marshall Fund of the United States
Goldman, Sachs & Co.
GWFF USA, Inc.
The Ladenburg Foundation
Paramount Group, Inc.
The Hon. J.D. Bindenagel
John and Gina Despres
The Hon. Frank E. Loy
Stanford S. Warshawsky
Sponsors in Germany
Robert Bosch Stiftung Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend
Deutsche Bank AG
European Recovery Program (ERP), Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology
Goldman, Sachs & Co.