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   from the issue of February 8, 2007

COJMC students begin depth report into German-American relations


Thirteen news-editorial, broadcasting and advertising students and four faculty members from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications conducted an investigation of German-American relations last month in Berlin as part of a combined international depth reporting class.

STUDENT REPORT - College of Journalism and Mass Communication students in the international depth reporting class conduct an interview during their...
STUDENT REPORT - College of Journalism and Mass Communication students in the international depth reporting class conduct an interview during their 10-day tour of Berlin, Jan. 4-14. Courtesy photo/COJMC.

The students spent 10 days interviewing representatives from Germany's federal ministries and centers including the Federal Foreign Office, Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry for Economy and Technology, Center for Transformation of the Bundeswehr, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Federal Ministry of the Environment, Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal Ministry of Health.

Students also met with officials from the U.S. Embassy, the Goethe Institut, local public schools and universities, the John F. Kennedy Academy and the American Academy. Broadcasting students visited with representatives from the Turkish Union and interviewed the Turkish consul general in Berlin.

"We were grateful for direct contact with members of the Turkish community in Germany and were proud of the broadcasting students for taking initiative to explore issues of diversity in Berlin," said Barney McCoy, broadcasting faculty member.

Yet depth reporting students did not only interview official governmental sources while in Berlin. "We expected our students to interview both official and non-official sources to provide a balanced view of contemporary issues in Germany. Not only were students responsible for finding these non-official sources, they took the lead in contacting and conducting the interviews," said Tim Anderson, news-editorial lecturer.

In addition to interviewing sources, students and faculty were able to tour historical landmarks in Berlin.

"I think our trip allowed students to see the impact of Germany's history on its current policies," said Charlyne Berens, professor of news-editorial. "By visiting the German Parliament, Checkpoint Charlie, the Brandenburg Gate, Sachenhausen Concentration Camp, the Holocaust Memorial, and remnants of the Berlin Wall, our students experienced firsthand how the country's past and present collide."

The combined efforts of the students' interviews will include a news-magazine and an hour-long documentary that examines contemporary issues Germany faces such as immigration, education, culture and religion, changes in the military, health care, the environment, and the role of Germany in the European Union.

"It's been exciting to see students from all three sequences working together so closely on the depth reporting project. This is what media convergence is all about," said Frauke Hachtmann, assistant professor of advertising.

Past depth reports have included the Student Academy Award winning documentary "Cuba: Illogical Temple"; Pulitzer Prize nominated "Cuba: An Elusive Truth"; "U.S.A. and France: I Love You - Neither Do I"; and "Sri Lanka - In the Wake of Catastrophe."

The Germany depth-reporting course is part of the vision to position UNL as a collegiate leader in international depth reporting.



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