June 7, 2008

Ceremony for the RIAS BERLIN COMMISSION Radio, TV and New Media Awards 2008 for outstanding radio, TV and new media contibutions for the mutual German-American understanding. Hotel Adlon, Berlin.




Hosts of the evening: RIAS Fellows Katja Schlesinger and Bernhard Kempf

Welcome of the 450 guests by Dr. Helena Kane Finn, Chairwoman of the RIAS Berlin Commission

Welcome address by the distinguished guestspeaker H.E. William R. Timken Jr., Ambassador of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Germany and Honorary Chairman of the RIAS Berlin Commission.

Music Entertainmant by „a-live”— a-capella singing performances

The Return of the US Embassy to Pariser Platz 2 – A short documentary about the changing history of American missions in Berlin

Presentation of the Radio, TV, New Media Awards 2008 of the RIAS BERLIN COMMISSION by RIAS jury members Dr. Melinda Crane and Dieter Schröder



1st Radio Award
Tom Noga


For a better World

Tom Noga takes us to the US-Mexican border and gives us a deeper inside view of America’s immigration dilemma as seen through the eyes and works of members of a local church who provide emergency aid to migrants, who brave the hot dry Arizona desert to reach their “better world” in the United States. He uses the local reality to explain the complexities and the dimensions of a problem that Europe also faces on its southern boundaries.

2nd Radio Award
Paul Nellen


Out Of Oil

A comprehensive look at the history of petroleum exploration and production in the US, whose once rich oil wealth is now exhausted. Now dependent on a growing demand for foreign oil, Americans face a new reality: the exploding cost and diminished availability due to fast growing consumption in countries like China and India. Paul Nellen shows how this new situation has forced a new kind of conversation about energy in the US.

3rd Radio Award
Marcus Tepper


40 Jahre für eine Dauerkarte — ein Besuch bei den Green Bay Packers

An entertaining, short look at an American sports institution and its many rabid fans, some of whom are willing to wait 40 years to buy a season ticket. Marcus Tepper successfully introduces his audience to the history, importance and the uniqueness of the Packers and their followers.

1st TV Award
Alex Gibney


Taxi to the dark side / Taxi in den Tod

In “Taxi to the dark side” producer Alex Gibney and his team present a meticulously documented study of one Afghan detainee while in Bagram prison. Using military documents and interviews with American soldiers who were his guards, the film details the treatment of Dilawar from his arrest until his death after “special methods” were used in the prison. The author draws parallels with treatments of prisoners in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. The piece raises disturbing questions about US adherence to core values of “liberty and justice for all.”

2nd TV Award
Thomas Berbner


Spiel mit dem Tod — Häftlingsrodeo im Staatsgefängnis

In “Prison Rodeo — a Game with Death,” Westdeutscher Rundfunk and reporter Thomas Berbner take us inside Louisiana’s Angola prison and its annual rodeo put on by inmates. The film team went behind the scenes to show the prisoners as men with personal lives, hopes and the fear of surviving prison only to die as old men still behind prison walls.

2nd TV Award
Steven Rosenberg


“Angela Merkel — Miss World” and other reports from Germany

The jury wished to commend reporter Steven Rosenberg for four short pieces shown on BBC’s new newscast aimed at American audiences. He demonstrated great command of the short television style in his depiction of subjects as different as the opening of Germany’s Nazi archive and the chess boxing world championship.

New Media Award
Dr. Johannes Bohnen, Jan-Friedrich Kallmorgen



This year’s prize goes to Dr. Johannes Bohnen and Friedrich Kallmorgen for their website www.atlantic-community.org. It is an example of a platform for convening transatlantic exchange, possible only with the availability of the internet. We want to encourage it’s growth and hope the site will expand to include audio and video resources.