Young European reporters are travelling on assignment to developing countries as part of the new Beyond Your World program. DW Akademie has a coordinating role in the European-wide project.
The first group of reporters involved in the Beyond Your World program have just returned from Morocco where they spent two weeks traveling and conducting research. The twelve journalists now each have to file four media reports on the country - a unique challenge that young reporters seldom have the chance to experience.
When the two-year Beyond Your World project is completed, up to 440 journalism students from Bulgaria, Portugal, Belgium, Great Britain, the Netherlands and Germany will have had the chance to report from various developing and transition countries.
The project, originally started by the Dutch organization Lokaalmondiaal, has received European Union funding to expand the program. In addition to reporting from the field, participants also receive advanced training through a series of workshops and seminars. DW Akademie is involved in the project together with several other partners.
"We want to help young journalists think outside the box and produce professional reports about their experiences," says Yinka Kehinde, DW Akademie project coordinator for Germany. The program also offers opportunities for dialogue and exchange.
DW Akademie's role
In addition to coordinating the selection and supervision of the German participants, DW Akademie is also responsible for developing the training content and producing a training handbook, which will serve as a theoretical and practical guide.
"DW Akademie has years of experience in training media professionals and has the expertise required to support and steer the project," Kehinde says. She adds that the handbook will not only be useful for project participants but also for the universities and journalism schools involved.
Professional preparation and post-production
Before leaving for Morocco, the two German participants attended a preparatory workshop at DW Akademie in Bonn.
"The goal of this type of workshop is for participants to leave with new ideas and approaches and - ideally - with concrete storyboards," says Kehinde. After returning from their research trip participants also receive individual mentoring in scripting and producing their reports.
Beyond Your World expands on the concept of the highly successful EU exchange project East4South, which concluded in 2012 and was developed and coordinated by DW Akademie. The new project will now include a comprehensive academic component as well.
Kehinde is currently finalizing the program for upcoming workshops and trips. Several German institutions, including the German Journalism School in Munich, the TU Dortmund University and the Cologne Journalism School will be involved in selecting future German participants.
Namibia could be one of the project destinations for 2014. Parliamentary and presidential elections are being held at the end of next year and could provide young journalists with an excellent opportunity to report on the country's various political and social issues.