BUILDING BRIDGES – 60 Years of Deutsche Welle | Documentaries | DW | 24.04.2013
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BUILDING BRIDGES – 60 Years of Deutsche Welle

Deutsche Welle is turning 60! The broadcaster hit the airwaves for the first time on 3 May 1953, with a German-language radio service. Now, 60 years later, it’s time for a look back.

DW Satellitenschüsseln auf dem Funkhaus in Berlin. Foto: DW

DW Satellitenschüsseln auf dem Funkhaus in Berlin

Explaining Germany to the world, promoting international cultural exchange – these have been Deutsche Welle’s guiding principles for the last 60 years.

Since the first broadcast on 3 May 1953 Deutsche Welle has become known around the world as the voice of Germany – in a growing number of languages and through a growing number of media: on 1 April 1992, DW-TV, the station’s global satellite television service, was launched in Berlin. Deutsche Welle went online in 1994, making it Germany’s first public broadcaster with a presence on the World Wide Web. Television – Online – Radio – that is the Deutsche Welle of today. The dynamic developments on the international media market are also the main reason for the last major reform in 2012: the program on offer have expanded considerably. People from 60 nations are involved in producing multi-media programming in 30 languages. They see themselves as bridge-builders between the world’s cultures.

Birgitta Schülke reports from Kabul

Birgitta Schülke reports from Kabul

What were the outstanding events in these six decades of constant change? There were too many to recall them all but reporting on the heady days after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was an unforgettable experience for those involved. Birgitta Schülke bears moving testimony to what it means to work as a reporter in crisis regions. We also look back to a time when DW employees were stranded at the international radio broadcaster’s first relay station in Kigali – it was at the time of the genocide in Rwanda – Gerd Höfs recalls those dark days.

Yalda Zarbakhch - international traineeship

Yalda Zarbakhch - international traineeship

But we are not just looking back in time, we also take a look behind the scenes at the global player that is Deutsche Welle today. We go close up to the makers and shakers and upcoming stars. For example, we accompany Yalda Zarbakhch with the camera. Yalda, who comes from Iran, is currently on an international traineeship at Deutsche Welle – a training program especially for young journalists from regions to which Deutsche Welle broadcasts. We also take a look over the shoulders of Jafaar Abdul Karim, presenter and reporter. In 2010, he was nominated one of the top 10 newcomer presenters of the year. In his show “Shabab Talk”, young people from Germany and the Arab World discuss social issues.

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