Against all odds: Trainees produce TV-show "Calypso 2020" | Traineeship | DW | 01.07.2020
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Against all odds: Trainees produce TV-show "Calypso 2020"

With masks over their mouths, plastic bags covering their microphones and standing two meters apart from their interview partners, DW trainees tackled this year’s "Calypso" project.

Every year DW trainees put together a TV show called "Calypso" that focuses on a specific topic. The focus this year was hope, but frankly, the group wasn't too hopeful they’d be able to film during the pandemic. 

Surprisingly, it worked out.

The "new normal": Editing via video chat 

After a month of online seminars, the group jumped back into the commotion of TV journalism – always keeping safety measures in mind. 

This meant bridging the distance between the Berlin-based trainers and the trainees in Bonn. It meant getting film permissions when most businesses didn’t want outsiders interfering with mandatory hygiene rules. And it meant fine-tuning pieces with the editor sitting on the other side of the room, at times even via video chat. 

The trainees are proud of the resulting TV show that they’ve produced with the help of a creative and supportive team of VJs – Evgenij Dubnov, Magda Kiesberg, Benjamien Bischof, and Cem Springer – and instructed by trainers Melanie Matthäus, Ulrike Bratke and Cem Springer.

Where to find hope during the pandemic

Looking for examples of hope, trainees Jennifer Pahlke and Beatrice Christofaro visited an outdoor swimming pool that gives a taste of a normal summer in times of the coronavirus. 

Calypso: Hopes for a normal summer

Delali Sakpa and Olivera Zivkovic met the owner of a craft beer bar and hotel to see how he is revamping his business after weeks of closure. 

Calypso: Cheers to reopening business

The coronavirus has also served as an inspiration for artists. Emily Gordine and Nehal Johri followed a group of actors in Bonn who look at absurd situations people faced during the lockdown. 

Calypso: Make way for artists

A global pandemic is probably the worst time to plan a trip half-way across the globe. But not for Jörg, a former automotive engineer. He’s planning to travel thousands of kilometers from Germany to China in a van. Tatiana Kondratenko and Killian Bayer spoke with him. 

Calypso: Safe travels

Meanwhile, Monir Ghaedi hoped to survive a bike ride, navigating through Bonn’s poor cycling infrastructure. Trainee Serdar Vardar was her partner in crime. 

Calypso: Bonn by bike

Prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dieter Popp spent 20 years leading a double life as a spy for East Germany. He was then sent to prison. But Popp says he was unfairly treated and only wanted to prevent the Cold War from turning into a hot one. Grzegorz Szymanowski and Anna Carthaus spent a day with him. 

Calypso: Hope for rehabilitation


"Calypso" – a constant in DW’s trainee program 

The module "Calypso - From the idea to the finished program" is an integral part of DW’s traineeship for journalists. In this project, they get to showcase all the skills they have learned throughout the seminars - from visual storytelling to interviewing to writing scripts. We hope you enjoyed it!

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