BERLIN, Germany (Big 2/FOX 24) – We feel honored to have been chosen for the fall 2019 RIAS Berlin Commission program. Ten journalists from all over the country were given this amazing opportunity. here’s some history on this binational organization.
Shortly after the end of World War II, the United States founded RIAS which stands for Radio in the American Sector. For many east germans, the station was the only reliable source of news that wasn’t filled with propoganda.
With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the mission of RIAS was accomplished. A new relationship began between the United States and Germany.
Erik Kirschbaum is the Executive Director of RIAS. “I think the world has discovered that Germany is a lot like the United States in a lot of ways, looks up to the United States,” says Kirschbaum.
“We hear that again and again that this program just changes people lives, so that’s the real value,” says Kirschbaum. That’s the satisfying part of me just opening people’s minds and expanding their horizons.”
The RIAS Berlin Commission sent German journalists to the United States in the fall of 1993, starting what is now a full fledged exchange program.
Jordyn Siemens is a news producer in Bend, Oregon who also took part in the Fall 2019 RIAS program. She says, “Journalists here face many of the same challenges that we do.”
Ryan Delaney is an education reporter at St. Louis Public Radio who also took part in this year’s exchange program. He says, “It’s been an incredibly motivating to want to go home and work harder. You soak up all the energy of all of your colleagues and their passions for what we do as journalists.”