I am embarking on an immersive learning opportunity that I suspect will become the standard by which all others will be measured in my life.
On September 16, I’m flying to Europe, to participate in a fellowship with the RIAS Berlin Commission, a partnership with the Radio Television Digital News Foundation. I’ll be part of a small group of American journalists spending three weeks learning about the German government, the country’s history, and the people shaping its vibrant future.
The RIAS Berlin Commission was established in 1992 to promote understanding between the United States and Germany in the field of broadcasting. More than 1,500 American and German journalists have participated in this unique trans-Atlantic exchange which continues to build bridges of understanding, professionally as well as personally.
The program is named for the radio station RIAS (Radio In the American Sector) which was founded by the U.S. in 1946. After World War II, Berlin was divided into four sections, each controlled by a world superpower. For nearly a half-century the American-funded radio and later TV stations provided independent information, culture, and entertainment programming to German citizens. After the country’s reunification, RIAS was transformed into the national radio station Deutschlandradio in 1994. “RIAS Berlin fulfilled its task of being the free voice of the free world with style,” according to the commission’s website.
Following in that tradition, this RIAS fellowship will provide an opportunity to explore the historic relationship between the two nations. Over the course of three weeks, the program will feature briefings with top-level German political and media players, meetings with international journalists and with officials at the European Union headquarters and NATO headquarters. The trip also coincides with Germany’s federal election on September 24, when Chancellor Angela Merkel will battle for a fourth term.
Interacting with European journalists will allow for idea-sharing on best practices and advances in technology, as well as the challenges presented by coverage of world events on a local level.
In between meetings and visits to historic sites, we’ll also take in the culture, interacting with American ex-pats, sampling authentic cuisine, and attending a German Bundesliga soccer match. Some of my stops will include: London, Brussels, Berlin, Hamburg, Potsdam, Wittenberg, Cologne, and Frankfurt. I also plan to visit the church where Martin Luther posted his 95 theses 500 years ago and tour the largest cathedral in Europe as part of my Power of Prayer series.
I’m so fortunate that KLTV is supporting my participation in this fellowship. It is my desire that this will nurture my personal and professional growth, but also serve a purpose for KLTV’s broadcast and digital audiences will benefit as well. I hope that sharing this experience with our viewers will encourage them to seek opportunities to understand and embrace cultural differences in their own communities and learn how those traits can be used for the benefit of all.
I plan to document every leg of my travels. As my schedule permits, I’ll file reports for KLTV’s newscasts and KLTV.com, blog on LaneLuckie.com, and share photos and videos from my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. I hope you’ll share in this experience and offer any suggestions for traveling abroad.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KLTV/KTRE-TV or Raycom Media. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2017 Lane Luckie