Thirty-one aspiring journalists and media experts from around the world began their Master’s studies on September 15 at DW Akademie in Bonn.
The students come from 21 different countries, including Bangladesh, Pakistan, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia and Germany, and all have experience working in the media sector. Some have been involved in media development projects such as at BBC Media Action or the German development agency, GIZ, while others have worked as reporters or editors at various media companies. Many have also worked in their home countries in areas such as environmental journalism and women’s rights.
This diversity is reflected in the International Media Studies (IMS) program. The goal is to give students extensive insight into the interaction between media, politics and development issues as well as media management skills and a deep understanding of digital media (production). The knowledge they acquire at the IMS will enable them to later work as media professionals and contribute to strengthening media development and freedom of expression in their home countries.
"Some of you have left your own country for the first time," said Professor Dr. Christoph Schmidt, Head of Academic Education and Training, as he welcomed the new students at the opening ceremony in Bonn. He said the degree program offered them an interesting, intensive and informative time.
The IMS team and instructors introduced themselves using a "World Café" format, and a "digital table" was set up for those students unable to be at the event in person due to visa delays.
The students were then asked to get together in smalls groups and reveal their top talent. They pointed to various skills, many of which complemented each other, such as tolerance, flexibility, communication expertise, solution-oriented thinking and the ability to really listen.
"The next two years will show the additional skills the students acquire or learn from each other," said Professor Dr. Schmidt. "Because learning from each other is at the core of this unique Master’s Program."