During a seminar fieldtrip to Berlin, DW's international trainees were greeted personally by the Federal President of Germany, Joachim Gauck, at his official residence on July 5th.
Gauck spoke with the 11 trainees and expressed his interest in DW's journalism traineeship program. After a tour of the presidential offices and residential garden, DW's journalism trainees had the opportunity to visit Schloss Bellevue, the official residence of the German President. DW Akademie's head of Journalism Training, Bernhard Graf von der Schulenburg, and Marianne Hoffmann, who coordinates the international trainees, met with President Gauck to discuss DW's unique international traineeship program. Gauck was particularly impressed by the group's diverse international background.
The fieldtrip to Berlin is an integral part of the training course for DW's international journalism trainees. Focusing on the city's role as the nation's capital, they visit key landmarks of governance, including the Bundestag, the Reichstag building, the Federal Foreign Office and other official agencies. This year the tour included visits to the Ministry of Defense and the German Armed Forces Academy for Information and Communication in Strausberg, about 30 km east of Berlin.
At the Defense Ministry the trainees discussed media coverage of security policy issues and related topics, and learned about the role and duties of the German Armed Forces. They also met with Peter Blechschmidt, a security policy correspondent for the German daily newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, who gave them expert advice on covering security-related news and stories.
The trip also included talks at DW's broadcast and parliamentary studios in Berlin. This was the first group of DW trainees to meet with the Federal President of Germany.