American journalists and students tour Germany, Brussels on RIAS exchange program

May 10, 2019 10:00

24 American broadcast journalists and 15 journalism or international relations students will visit four European cities for briefings, interviews and talks with movers and shakers in the fields of politics, media, sports and the arts during three RIAS Berlin Commission exchange programs this summer.

The Americans will meet with station managers, reporters, producers, executives and anchors at German TV networks in Berlin, Dresden, Prague, Cologne, and Erfurt during the tour of important broadcast and political centers in Germany. They will also meet with senior officials from NATO and the European Union in Brussels to learn more about how those two institutions work and what challenges they face.  
The fellows will spend a week in Berlin meeting political leaders and German journalists as well as a German-Iranian artist who helped create the famous East Side Gallery open-air art exhibit painted onto about a one-mile long stretch of the Berlin Wall just after it opened in November 1989.  They will also visit the former Stasi prison along with the Reichstag parliament building. 
The U.S. broadcast journalists come from 11 different states – reporters, producers, anchors and digital specialists from Texas, New York, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Colorado, Oregon, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC.  Many are members of RTDNA, which has had a close partnership with RIAS since 1994.  
They are part of a growing network of more than 1,700 German and U.S. journalists who have taken part in the RIAS Berlin Commission fellowship programs that were inaugurated in 1992 after the Cold-War era radio and TV network in West Berlin known as “Radio in American Sector“ (RIAS) was switched off.
These are the fall 2019 RIAS Berlin Commission Fellows:
June 2-15  program in Germany, Prague and Brussels 
  • Susana Castillo, reporter KTSM-NBC, El Paso, Texas
  • Jeremy Chen, reporter KESQ TV, Palm Springs, California
  • Leah Donnella, NPR, Washington DC
  • Heather Dorf-Dolce, freelance TV producer ARD and others in Washington DC
  • Rosanne Gerin, Radio Free Asia, Washington DC
  • Dean Kurth, Fox news TV in New York
  • Larry Miller, USA9 TV in Washington DC
  • LaCrai Mitchell, 60 Minutes, CBS News in New York
  • Michelle Morgante,  freelance journalist, Los Angeles,
  • Gina Presson, WEDU radio, Tampa, Florida, and instructor, East Carolina University
  • Ryan Prior, CNN, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Roxanne Scott, Georgia public radio, Atlanta
  • Kathy Walker, KOA News Radio, Denver, Colorado (and RTDNA board member)
 September 15-28  program in Brussels, Cologne, Erfurt and Berlin 
  • Perla Lopez Baray, WFMZ TV, Allentown, Pennsylvania
  • Jordyn Siemens, KTVZ TV, Bend, Oregon
  • Shirley Zilberstein, MSNBC TV, New York
  • Ryan Delaney, St. Louis Public Radio, Missouri
  • Jessica Moskowitz, CNN, New York
  • Mounia Touzani, Fox TV, New York 
  • Erik Runge, WGN, Chicago
  • Emanuel Secci, CBS News, New York
  • David Wagner, KLST TV, San Angelo, Texas
  • Monica Quintero, Fox KPEJ, Odessa, Texas
  • Alex Presha, NBC7, San Diego, California
The three-week summer exchange student program in Germany includes Berlin with visits to Leipzig, Hamburg and Cologne. Most of the student fellows are studying journalism and working at their campus TV and/or radio stations, or studying German/international relations. The student participants are:
  • Jude Ahmed, Western Washington University
  • Michelle Ailport, Arizona State University
  • Juliana Amos, Queens College, North Carolina
  • Jillian Carafa, Syracuse 
  • Jen Cartwright, Western Washington University
  • Jasmine Frazier, Northwestern State University, Louisiana 
  • Sinclaire Jacobs, University of Oklahoma
  • Molly Kruse, University of Oklahoma
  • Ariana Lasher, University of New Haven
  • Michael Makowski, University of Wisconsin
  • Christian Nunley, University of Oklahoma
  • Kingsley-Reigne Pissang, University of Wisconsin
  • Nick Scheffler, University of Minnesota
  • Erin Snodgrass, Loyola, New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Alison Walker, Emerson University, Massachusetts 

Since 1994, RTDNF has administered this media fellowship as part of its German/American Journalist Exchange Program with the RIAS. The next application deadline for the 2020 program in Europe is November 1, 2019.  For information on the RTDNF Germany fellowship or the RIAS Awards program, contact Erik Kirschbaum at  Or visit the RIAS Berlin Commission booth at Excellence in Journalism 2019, Sept. 5-7 in San Antonio. 
RTDNF, a 501(c)3 educational foundation, offers education and leadership development around the country to empower journalists with the tools they need to be news leaders. The Foundation awards scholarships and fellowships to help grow and strengthen the next generation of journalists. We train and equip local journalists and journalism students to know their rights and seek and report truth ethically in support of a free and vibrant press. Make a gift to RTDNF to contribute to training journalists today and ensuring journalists can pursue the constitutional duty to seek and report truth in perpetuity.
About RIAS Berlin Kommission
The RIAS Berlin Kommission is a bi-national organization established in 1992 to promote understanding between the United States and Germany in the field of broadcasting.  Each exchange program is fully financed by the RIAS Berlin Kommission, a non-profit, non-governmental organization.



2019 Research