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Career in journalism

Advice from a former trainee: "Try new things and fail"

Why becoming a DW-trainee is the best way to start your journalism career.

Get paid
Of course making money wasn't on the top of your list when you opted for a career in journalism. However you shouldn't be paying out of your own pocket doing internship after internship. Deutsche Welle pays its trainees a monthly salary and covers all travel expenses related to work. So save your tuition money and spend it on a few glasses of "Kölsch" instead.

Try new things and fail
You are an experienced radio journalist but struggle in front of the camera? You know how to write for TV but can't find the right words for an op-ed article. Today's journalists are required to be able to complete almost any task. This is exactly what the DW traineeship with a long-list of experienced trainers is designed to achieve. You will get an opportunity to pick up new skills and technical know-how. Failing is part of the program and nobody will judge you for not being perfect.

Develop interests

Italien Gruppenfoto mit den DW-Volontären auf der Journalismus-Konferenz in Perguia (DW/M. Bierbach)

DW trainees get to travel. To Perugia, for example, to attend a journalism conference

Perks of being a trainee is getting to dabble in different fields. This may include shooting portraits of upcoming actors and directors at the prestigious Berlinale talents festival, being taken hostage by rebels at gunpoint during a conflict reporting exercise with the German army or sharing your opinion with a global audience on US-elections live from DW studio.    

Travel the world
One of the highlights: DW-trainees get to travel. But reporting from the streets of Moscow, Brussels and Washington D.C. during overseas postings isn't all of it. The last batch of trainees travelled to Perugia, Idomeni, San Francisco, Nairobi, Bangkok among other places for various assignments.

Meet the Bosses

Internationale DW-Volontäre 2015-2016 Max Zander (DW/Matthias Müller)

Max Zander

It goes without saying that trainees are not at top of the food chain. But during the 18-month long traineeship, DW trainees rotate through a dozen departments and shake hundreds of hands. You will have plenty of opportunities to make yourself known and showcase your talent.    

Stay if you like
Tired of managing freelance gigs? All the trainees who graduated in 2016 were offered a one-year-contract. And all of them took the offer. Not a bad way to get started in journalism, right? So what are you waiting for. Apply now!


Max Zander graduated from the 2015-2016 international trainee program and currently works as a reporter for DW News.

Ramon Garcia-Ziemsen DW Akademie

Ramón García-Ziemsen

Head, Journalism Training

T: +49.228.429-2242
E: volontariat@dw.com