By Chris Carl, RTDNF Chairman
I am by no means a world traveler.
I’ve been to Europe twice. The first time I was in high school. That trip was followed by an almost 30-year period where I had an irrational fear of international travel. (What about the language barrier? What about the different currency? Most importantly, what about the food? What will my unrefined, American palate find acceptable?)
But earlier this month, I was invited by the RIAS Berlin Commission to be in Germany for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, and I have to tell you the people of RIAS were excellent and gracious hosts.
The RIAS Berlin Commission is a bi-national organization which works with American and German broadcasters. There will be two opportunities in 2015 for American journalists to travel to Germany. The first program runs June 8 thru 20, 2015. The application deadline is Feb. 1, 2015. The second runs Sept. 28 through Oct. 10, 2015, and it coincides with the 25th anniversary of German reunification. The application deadline for the second program is May 1, 2015. RIAS provides participants with air travel, hotel accommodations and many meals. You can learn more about the program and how to apply on our German exchange page.
Both two-week programs begin in the German capital of Berlin and end in Brussels – home to NATO and the European Union. Participants will learn about political, economic, cultural and broadcasting issues through interesting speakers and sight-seeing.
But here’s an additional benefit that I learned first-hand during my trip: The opportunity to network and converse with fellow journalists is invaluable. A presentation on a German issue often led to discussions amongst ourselves about similarities at home and gave us a chance to reflect on American life, not to mention the chance to compare notes – and commiserate – about our newsrooms.
Upon your return, there is also an opportunity for American broadcasters to host German journalists.
If you are interested in either program, I would encourage you to contact Jon Ebinger, who administers the program for RTDNF, at firstname.lastname@example.org. It truly is an amazing opportunity to see the world in a different light and to learn about another culture, making you a more worldly journalist.