Journalistic Internship - Germany, Frankfurt
|Datum:||14 juli 2020|
With the kind help of the Groningen University Fund’s grant for outstanding students, I was able to complete a three month long journalistic internship in the newsroom of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” and was lucky enough to work and learn in one of Germany’s most traditional and prestigious news outlets. The experiences gained in this work placement were some of the most vital and instructive elements of my entire master’s degree and have opened doors for my further career path.
Due to my upbringing in Southeast Asia, my long-term goal and dream has always been to become a foreign correspondent in this area. However, before becoming a correspondent, I would first have to gain experience in the job of journalism. Thus, to purse this long-term goal, I planned to first set a good basis and ideally begin my career in a powerful outlet, with a large international network, which would allow me to get a first glimpse of both the job in a newsroom and the international element of the journalistic occupation. Due to the immense competition and few permanent workplaces, entering the journalistic industry in Germany is extremely difficult. Thus, next to learning hard skills, internships are the most essential step to place a foot in the door of the highly contested journalistic industry and build a network that may later help to find a workplace. The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung” (F.A.Z.) was the ideal workplace, which ticked all of these boxes. The F.A.Z. is one of the most prestigious daily newspapers and one of Germany’s few national newspapers. Additionally, with more than 300 journalists and 90 correspondents, the F.A.Z. has one of the words largest network of correspondents, making it an ideal outlet for someone like me, interested in foreign correspondence.
I completed my internship at the F.A.Z. during a very eventful and special time, in terms of national and international news. During the three months of working in the newsroom, I experienced the news coverage of hurricane Sabine in February, two terror attacks in Germany, the Hanau terror attack in February, followed shortly by the attack on a carnival crowd in Volkmarsen and lastly, I was able to witness the rise of and actively partake in the coverage of the Corona crisis. The F.A.Z. provided me with great support, experienced mentors and allowed me the freedom to travel around the country to write and publish about topics that particularly interest me or that I am passionate about, such as social topics and the arts. Next to the professional aspect, the internship also strengthened a number of soft skills. One of my main weaknesses is my own perfectionism, that has often caused me to underrate my own skills and talent for writing. The professional guidance of my colleagues and the trust that I have been rewarded with has bestowed me with more confidence in my own skills in writing and helped me to feel more like a “real journalist”. During my time in the newsroom, I was able to actively contribute and can now walk away with a portfolio of work, published by one of Germany’s most prestigious news organizations – overall a perfect start for my dream of a successful journalistic career.