Stories From California

Sometimes I want to write more than just journalistically about my experiences as a reporter. That is why I started to write down my thoughts, observations and emotions beyond scripts for radio, print and TV. This experiment is a lot of fun and scary at the same time. But, as they say, you have to get out of your comfort zone.

Time - weltreporter Podcast

ICH WÜNSCHE DIR ZEIT
I don't wish for you to have a lot of things 
Just one thing a lot of people do not have
I wish for you to have time -
Time to be happy and to laugh
And if you use your time wisely,
It can turn into something great

 

One of the great adventures of last year was to start a podcast with my weltreporter colleagues. We are the biggest network of German freelance journalists, covering 160 countries all over the world. So many stories to tell!

In our podcast we take it all personal, describing how our lives and the place we chose as home influence our work, and how our work effects our lives. We share how we find interview partners, our favorite encounters, inspiring experiences and frustrating local customs. While doing this some of the stories that never found a home in any print, TV, radio or online publication now finally can be told. In our newest podcast it is all about TIME. 

The poem in the picture my mother once gave me in turbulent times of my life. It now is a constant reminder, framed next to my desk. 

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Eddie Hart - Pittsburg, CA

"At that point I realized I was in a horrible nightmare.
We went to the track as fast as we could.
We are running through the tunnel. I hear a shot go off.
Midway in that tunnel my race went off."
Eddie Hart, 1972 Olympian

Eddie Hart is one of the nicest, most genuine and gracious people I have ever interviewed. At age 13 he dreamed of becoming the fastest human on earth. That meant he had to win the 100 meter sprint at the Olympics.

Eddie trained hard for that goal, made sacrifices and ten years later, 1972, he qualified for the games in Munich, Germany. In the Olympic trials he equaled the world sprint record: 9.9 seconds. Eddie Hart entered the games as the favorite. But his dream turned into a nightmare ...

Barack Obama - Leimert Park, CA

"We had Barack Obama in '95.
Nobody knew who he was exactly.
I thought his book was ok, but long and a bit dry
We had ten people, and sat in a little circle, and they got to ask questions.
He was very personable.
When he left that night, I had no idea he woud run for president."

James Fugate, co-owner of Eso Won Books

It was 1995, and a young community organizer from Chicago was touring the United States, reading from his book "Dreams from my Father". James Fugate from Eso Won Books in Leimert Park in Los Angeles was interested in the story of the book and the writer, who had gone to Occidental College just a few miles away. So Barack Obama came for a book signing into the jewel of a bookstore specializing in African-American literature, poetry. and history.

RIAS RADIO AWARD - Berlin/LosAngeles

 
A Series of Outstanding Radio Features
"All four features masterfully depict how the policies of the U.S. president are changing American society.
Kerstin Zilm gets close to her protagonists and gives listeners a chance to learn more about the divisions in the United States."
Jury RIAS BERLIN KOMMISSION

 

The good news came in an Email from Berlin: I will receive the RIAS BERLIN KOMMISSION 2018 radio award! I was jumping up and down in my studio. I was - and still am - super happy. For years I entered radio stories for this award. It is given once a year to journalists from Germany and the United States whose reports further the understanding between both countries. I had almost given up. Fortunately I did not! ...

Oscar At Villa Aurora - Pacific Palisades, CA

It is a wonderful ritual at the Villa Aurora, artists residence and former home of Lion and Marta Feuchtwanger: every year they open the door to celebrate German filmmakers nominated for Oscars.

This year we were all hoping to welcome Fatih Akin and his "In The Fade" team to wish them good luck for the Foreign Language Category. But the Academy members did not nominate the German entry. Short disappointment and sadness were followed by the insight, that we still have a lot to celebrate and plenty of German filmmakers to cross our fingers for come Oscar night. ...