As the main anchor of Germany’s international broadcaster, Sarah Kelly is the face of Deutsche Welle’s coverage of the world’s biggest stories. Over the last decade, her personal and professional travels have taken her from the World Economic Forum to the G-20 summit, though, a three-week whirlwind tour of the U.S., including a week in East Texas, will certainly leave a lasting impression.
The American-born journalist came to DW in Berlin from Bloomberg TV in New York. This March, she visited KLTV in Tyler, Texas as part of an exchange program for American and German broadcasters.
For two decades, the RIAS Berlin Commission has been building bridges of understanding — both personally and professionally. More than 1,200 American and German broadcasters have participated in this unique trans Atlantic exchange since 1994.
RIAS was the acronym for Radio in American Sector (RIAS), which beamed news, information and music into East Germany during the Cold War first via radio and then from 1988 as a TV network before it was shut down after the Cold War ended.
KLTV anchor Lane Luckie joined this transatlantic tradition in 2017, when he spent nearly a month in Germany to learn about the country’s culture, politics, and practice of journalism. As an active fellow, he also hosts German broadcasters and digital journalists on visits to East Texas.
After two weeks in New York City and Washington, DC, Kelly arrived in Tyler on March 18, 2019. Embedding her in the ABC affiliate’s newsroom provided a glimpse at local news coverage from the perspective of the station’s award-winning journalists. Each day, she worked in the newsroom and in the field with our reporters, producers and news managers. One highlight included shadowing KLTV’s digital content team, which manages our websites, social media and 7 mobile apps dedicated to news, weather, high school football, Spanish language news, as well as cooking.
Kelly’s week in East Texas also exposed her to the people and places that make the region unique. A visit to the Tyler Rose Garden, the largest public rose garden in America, gave a glimpse into how the rose industry grew the local economy to yield a third of the world’s commercially produced roses. A museum takes visitors through the 86 years of the Texas Rose Festival, an annual event filled with tradition, pageantry and pride. Sarah also toured Kiepersol Estates, a vineyard and winery near Bullard, that promotes itself as a sustainable operation.
She also toured a Hispanic-owned supermarket as part of a conversation about minority small business development in the region.
A firearms demonstration at a Tyler shooting range capped off a discussion of gun laws in the U.S. and Germany, where some of the world’s most stringent weapons restrictions are in place.
No first visit to East Texas would be complete without sampling brisket, ribs and hot links at Stanley’s Famous. After a meal of award-winning barbecue, Sarah was treated to a decadent serving of homemade peach cobbler with Blue Bell vanilla ice cream.
The week of enlightening discourse also laid a foundation for friendships that will extend beyond the exchange program.
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KLTV/KTRE-TV or Gray Television. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2019 Lane Luckie