DAY 5: Axel Springer

DAY 5: Axel Springer

It still is very strange for me to swallow the fact that an ocean separates me from my home. I know Munich is going to make me feel even more withdrawn from society. I feel so American here.

I felt this especially when we met the students at the Academy at Axel Springer. We asked them questions, but I was surprised the number of questions they asked us. They asked us about voting in the U.S., which was very eye-opening and also about simple things like smoking stigmas and the timeline of when people go to higher education.

It was such a unique experience to get media perspectives from people our own age. After speaking with some of our group, though, we all felt a little behind as one of the girls who was 18 had already published 3 or 4 books.

The bar/cafe on the 19th floor of Axel Springer.

The bar/cafe on the 19th floor of Axel Springer.

Three wonderful professionals took much of their time to speak to us about an overview of Axel Springer, the Academy, video and Die Welt.

I tried so hard to hang onto every word they were saying as I was covering the day, so at the end I was mentally exhausted. I have so many good quotes and my outlook on newspapers especially has changed dramatically.

As Richelle said, Germans tend to look at the big picture and think strategically. If I tried to mention all of the great points and ideas that were discussed today, this blog post would be thousands of words long. The key point I gathered was that the founder Axel Springer was a man who thought outside of the box, which allowed him to take risks and work his way to the top. Today his work ethic has carried the business to new expansions long after he has passed. With a wealth of money and credibility, Axel Springer can therefore make more risks and have the data to share with us about extremely new developments in media such as applications for iPads. That’s why it was so interesting. You aren’t going to read this in any academic journal just quite yet.

Their methods are so different from ours, especially writing for online and print and video permission guidelines, which gives me a whole new perspective on media at home. All of our media’s flaws stood out like a sore thumb! It was extremely interesting when they spoke about the different audiences all of their publications and the subsets within them. It truly ties all that I have been learning in lectures at school and at conferences together. Now I might be able to throw something I learned out there at a job interview!

I just want to mention that Leeor was a great host. We ended up getting an extra lecture from such a well-spoken man of high rank in Die Welt. He painted a picture of Jewish life from a perspective we probably would have never had, unless we read his column…which is more than likely in German. This goes hand-in-hand with what I said before about becoming a more cultured journalist.

I feel pretty lucky after such an enlightening day. I keep thinking in my head: innovation, innovation, innovation. Even in their slogan is the word “entertainment.” The science section in the compact version? Yeah, it’s called the “Internet” section just so people will want to read it. Journalism is truly morphing and even they didn’t know where it will be in the future. I am just glad to be a part of yet another adventure.

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