Young journalists and media experts from 23 countries began their master's program at DW Akademie in September.
On September 14th, media workers from 23 different countries came together in Bonn to become the fourteenth cohort of the International Media Studies master's program.
In his welcome speech for the 33 journalists and media experts, master´s program head Prof. Dr. Christoph Schmidt emphasized the success of IMS. He also pointed out the unique opportunity to gain insight into the practical workings of a vast broadcasting house like Deutsche Welle, as well as chances to explore the field of media development through DW Akademie.
“We are proud that by now we have had more than 250 graduates, many of whom have returned to their home countries, sharing the knowledge and skills they have obtained during their stay in Germany,” Prof. Schmidt said in his speech to the new class.
The new students were welcomed by the lecturers and the administrative team of the IMS program, together with their fellow students. The IMS team introduced themselves to the students in a "World Cafe" icebreaker activity. A "digital table" was also set up for the students who were unable to attend the kick-off event in person due to visa delays.
Before presenting the master's program in detail, the students were asked to discuss their personal strengths, or “superpower,” in small groups and present them to the others.
During the orientation weeks, a variety of activities were held to give students a sense of arriving in their new environs and to support group cohesion, as well as to discuss current topics in the field of media.
One of the highlights was an exchange with Carsten von Nahmen, managing director of DW Akademie. The discussion focused on various fields – from DW Akademie's varied approaches to media development to the influence of AI on journalism to the future role of journalists.
The students then got a chance to become familar to the mission and activities of DW. In addition, the new cohort received a guided tour to the Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) studios and offices in Cologne.
The uniqueness of this study program is the diversity of countries represented. Students from the new IMS intake come from all over the world, including Mexico, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia. For the first time, students from Latvia, Lithuania, Zimbabwe and Albania are also participating.
All students already have professional experience working in the media sector for media development projects, or as investigative journalists, reporters or editors at various media companies. Many students are also socially engaged, for example in environmental journalism or in supporting human rights in their home countries.
One hurdle the cohort faces in the program is the heterogeneous academic and professional backgrounds of the students. However, this challenge can also be seen as an opportunity for the students to learn from each other.
The aim of the program is to give students a solid insight into the interdependencies of media, politics and development, to provide in-depth knowledge of digital media production and comprehensive journalistic expertise, as well as the development of competencies in the field of media management.
The international program will enrich the students with new skills over the next two years. Students will grow together and, upon the completion of the program, function as media experts worldwide and contribute to strengthening media development and freedom of opinion in their home countries.
The IMS staff and lecturers are looking forward to guiding the students during this formative time.
The students had the chance to learn about the processes and goals of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk in Cologne
More information about the program, admission requirements and the upcoming application period is available under the "Application" tab.
The International Media Studies program is offered through DW Akademie, Bonn University and the Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences.