2019

RIAS RADIO, TV, AND DIGITAL MEDIA AWARDS 2019

May 24, 2019

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RIAS more important than ever, according to speakers at Media Prize Awards ceremony

About 200 RIAS Berlin Commission alumni, board members, former employees and friends of the legendary Cold War-era radio and TV station celebrated the 2019 RIAS Media Prize awards at a gala ceremony in the RIAS building on Thursday evening hosted by Helge Fuhst, program manager at Phoenix TV and a RIAS alumni himself. RIAS chairman Peter Limbourg, the Director-General of Deutsche Welle, and co-chair Christina M. Higgens, the Minister Council for Public Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, spoke about the important role that the bi-national organisation continues to play. RIAS Berlin Commission Executive Director Erik Kirschbaum paid tribute to the work of newly created alumni chapters in Cologne, Hamburg, Berlin, Washington DC and New York that have helped keep the spirit of RIAS alive.

“If the RIAS Berlin Commission didn’t already exist, it would definitely have to have been invented by someone by now,” said Limbourg, who was filling in for RIAS Berlin Commission honorary chair Monika Grütters after the Federal Government’s Commissioner for Culture and the Media was held up at a European Council meeting in Brussels. “It’s enormously important.” Limbourg also urged journalists to report as accurately and factually as possible in an era that has become increasingly polarised. .

Higgins said that disagreements in some areas between the United States and Germany should not harm the transatlantic friendship between the two countries: “There are no easy answers to the many tough challenges that we face, and that’s why the free debate between our countries is more important than ever before…The willingness to debate and even disagree it is therefore not a negative. it is a sign of partnernship. And that’s why you may find the US government has been very vocal about asking all NATO members, including Germany, to ensure the safety of our energy supply, telekom networks and our national defence.”

Higgins added that Rick Grenell, the U.S. ambassador who is also an honorary chairman of RIAS, has stressed that Germany and the United States are “on the same page”.

“In the United States and Germany our societies do allow for this free exchanges of ideas,” she said. “And when it comes to liberty, human rights and freedom of the press we are on the same page. It’s important that we continue to fight together for freedom of the press as a fundamental right and RIAS is absolutely part of that story and part of that shared commitment.”

She added: “RIAS has stayed true to its mission. The Commission reaches a broader audience and a wider selection of media outlets and platforms than ever before. RIAS journalists cover a broad range of political social and cultural topics from all possible angles. It represent a diversity of opinions to a diverse audience and that promotes accountability and it does indeed spark public debate. if you follow our twitter feed, we like to spark public debate at the US embassy.”

In his speech, Kirschbaum noted that 737 Americans since 1992 have now taken part in one to three week fellowships in Germany, many of whom were in Europe for the first time. Also 885 German journalists have taken part in the fellowships in the United States, some of whom for the first time. There were 78 fellows on six programs in 2018, which was 24 more fellows than in 2017.


May 20, 2019

RIAS Media Prize Awards Ceremony takes place on May 23

The RIAS Berlin Commission will hold its annual RIAS Media Prize Awards ceremony on May 23. The annual awards ceremony celebrating 27 years of the German-American exchange program and the best of transatlantic broadcast journalism will take place at 7 p.m. at the RIAS Funkhaus.

Professor Monika Grütters, honorary chair of RIAS Berlin Commission and the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, will hold the keynote speech and Helge Fuhst, a RIAS alumni and member of the Media Prize jury, will serve as master of ceremonies. There will also be a reception after the ceremony. RIAS alumni are also invited to take part in a panel discussion and alumni gathering on May 24 at 4:30 p.m. at the RIAS building.

This year’s prize winners are:

Rias TV Award

Barbara Biemann, James Jacoby, Anya Bourg, John Goetz: „Facebook out of control?“

https://www.daserste.de/information/reportage-dokumentation/dokus/videos/facebook-ausser-kontrolle-video-102.htm The documentary “Facebook Out of Control” shows just how much power the company wields over its 2.2 billion users. The filmmakers have brilliantly put together previously unpublished material to take a deep dive into the psyche of its founders and the question of whether the world’s most powerful company is bringing people together or driving them apart.

Rias Radio Award:

Tom Schimmeck „ Fake-factories – making profit with false reports”

https://www.ndr.de/info/sendungen/das_feature/Fake-Fabriken,sendung828226.html

Donald Trump has been shrugging off criticism as “fake news“ ever since his first press conference as President-elect. He has used that term often to discredit the media. But now it has led to a larger debate about what is true and what is fake. The documentary “Fake factories” impressively illustrates that debate and offers viewers insights into the business of truth.

Rias Digital Media Award:

Roman Lehberger, Alexander Epp, Roman Höfner: “The ‘Atomwaffen Division’. Insights into America’s most dangerous Neo-Nazi group”

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/neonazi-zelle-atomwaffen-division-das-hass-netzwerk-a-1225341.html This chilling story explores how the violent American Nazi terror group Atomwaffen Division is making ominous in-roads into other countries, including Germany.

Rias Fellow Award (Radio):

Eberhard Schade: „Co-Living in the USA – the all-inclusive apartment of your dreams?”

https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/neu-in-den-usa-coliving-die-all-inclusive-wg-der-traeume.979.de.html?dram:article_id=422034

This entertaining story, produced during Eberhard Schade’s participation in the RIAS USA program, is an insightful exploration of what happens when gentrification meets contemporary career culture – forcing people well-beyond college into dorm-style living arrangements.


February 27, 2019

The RIAS BERLIN Commission is proud to announce the winners of this year’s RIAS Media Prize Awards. The annual awards ceremony celebrating 27 years of the German-American exchange program and the best of transatlantic broadcast journalism will take place on Thursday, May 23 at 7 p.m. at the RIAS Funkhaus in Berlin. All RIAS fellows and past winners are invited to attend the ceremony and ensuing reception in the historic building.

Jury members during their deliberations at the RIAS building in Berlin. From left to right: Jamie Coughlin (US filmmaker), Anja Heyde (ZDF), Petra Gute (RBB), Christian Wilp (RTL, NTV), Susan Stone (NPR) and (via Skype from New York) Michael Garguilo (WNBC TV). Not pictured: Helge Fuhst (Phoenix).

The jury made up of seven distinguished journalists from the United States and Germany met in Berlin to pick the worthy winners in TV, Radio and Digital Media categories. An award for the best fellow story was also picked by the jury. Once again, the jury members were impressed with the high quality of entries in this year’s competition — a total of more than 70 entries were considered in the three categories.

The jury included: Anja Heyde (ZDF), Christian Wilp (RTL, NTV), Petra Gute (RBB), Susan Stone (NPR), Jamie Coughlin (US filmmaker) and Michael Garguilo (WNBC TV in New York), who took part via Skype. Also contributing to the jury’s deliberations was Helge Fuhst (Phoenix).

RIAS alumni are also invited to take part in a panel discussion and alumni gathering on Friday, May 24 at 4:30 p.m. at the RIAS building.

This year’s prize winners are:

Rias TV Award

Barbara Biemann, James Jacoby, Anya Bourg, John Goetz: „Facebook out of control?“
October 30, 2018, ARD TV, 70 minutes

https://www.daserste.de/information/reportage-dokumentation/dokus/videos/facebook-ausser-kontrolle-video-102.htm

“If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s most populous nation.”

The documentary “Facebook Out of Control” shows just how much power the company wields over its 2.2 billion users. The filmmakers illustrate the enormous influence the company has on politics worldwide yet also how Facebook takes so little responsibility for the divisions it has created. The filmmakers have brilliantly put together previously unpublished material to take a deep dive into the psyche of its founders and the question of whether the world’s most powerful company is bringing people together or driving them apart.

Rias Radio Award:

Tom Schimmeck „ Fake-factories – making profit with false reports”

November 18, 2018, NDR Info radio; 54 minutes

https://www.ndr.de/info/sendungen/das_feature/Fake-Fabriken,sendung828226.html

Donald Trump has been shrugging off criticism as “fake news“ ever since his first press conference as President-elect. He has used that term often to discredit the media. But now it has led to a larger debate about what is true and what is fake. The documentary “Fake factories” impressively illustrates that debate and offers viewers insights into the business of truth. In a thoroughly absorbing way, the feature shows how millions of Facebook, twitter and WhatsApp users can be manipulated when fed with fake news, leaving behind confused societies that are seeing the erosion of a common ground for information and debate.

Rias Digital Media Award:

Roman Lehberger, Alexander Epp, Roman Höfner: “The ‘Atomwaffen Division’. Insights into America’s most dangerous Neo-Nazi group”

August 27, 2018, RTL (Spiegel TV).

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/neonazi-zelle-atomwaffen-division-das-hass-netzwerk-a-1225341.html

This chilling story explores how the violent American Nazi terror group Atomwaffen Division is making ominous in-roads into other countries, including Germany. A gripping report on the most fanatic of right-wing groups told through innovative usage of digital media that pushes the boundaries of online storytelling.

Rias Fellow Award (Radio):

Eberhard Schade: „Co-Living in the USA – the all-inclusive apartment of your dreams?”

July 16, 2018, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 20:08 minutes

https://www.deutschlandfunkkultur.de/neu-in-den-usa-coliving-die-all-inclusive-wg-der-traeume.979.de.html?dram:article_id=422034

This entertaining story, produced during Eberhard Schade’s participation in the RIAS USA program, is an insightful exploration of what happens when gentrification meets contemporary career culture – forcing people well-beyond college into dorm-style living arrangements. This cautionary tale about the tech and real estate sectors in San Francisco and New York is relevant for other urban areas, particularly in Germany.