Behind the scenes at the European Football Championship: 12 journalists from Europe and Central Asia are taking part in a four-week workshop in Kharkiv. Three questions for project manager Lydia Rahnert.
Is DW Akademie caught up in the football frenzy?
Many of the radio stations and online media couldn't afford to send their reporters to the games in Poland or Ukraine so they're relying on agency reports for details and results. Our workshop, though, doesn't focus on sports journalism but instead looks at how a mega-event can affect the lives of locals. Participants can report, for example, on the benefits of the event as well as on the after-effects once the tourists leave. They can look at how local hospitals have prepared for the games, and whether any of the doctors can speak English. Local doctors were, in fact, recently given Ukrainian-English dictionaries to help them communicate with foreign fans. Participants can also look at why 3,000 trees in the city were recently chopped down ahead of the games. There are numerous, interesting topics to cover - we unfortunately won't have the time to cover them all.
How is the work itself organized?
We find that participants are most effective when they work in pairs. They can, of course, work on their own if other participants aren't interested in the topic. We mix the group on a daily basis so that everyone gets to know each other. Participants produce a report every two or three days and these are then used directly by their media organizations back home.
What are the challenges you face in workshops where participants come from different countries?
There are no major stumbling blocks because participants are usually happy to work together and explore their differences. Language can pose a minor challenge because the working language at the workshop is Russian. Still, participants produce their own reports in the language they use at work.