Stories From California

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."


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! ...

The RIAS BERLIN KOMMISSION has changed my life! In 1994 I was one of the first young journalists joining their exchange program with the United States. We met senators in Washington D.C. and journalists in New York City. I joined a TV network in Seattle and the journalism department in Texas. It was overwhelming and inspiring. It was wonderful.

After that program I kept following news from the U.S. and focused in my reporting from Berlin on stories about transatlantic relationships. I interviewed the President H.W. Bush when he came to Berlin to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Berlin Wall coming down. In 1998 I became junior correspondent for Deutschlandradio in Washington D.C.. While there on assignment I met a nice guy. I became the radio studio head for German Public Radio in 2003. The nice guy from the East coast followed. He is now my husband, and we both live in Los Angeles.

I could not be happier about where this 1994-adventure with the RIAS BERLIN KOMMISSION took me. 

The award is the icing on the cake, or as we say in Germany "das Sahnehäubchen".

And I am so grateful for Deutschlandfunk Kultur and Deutschlandfunk who aired the stories. Without them I might not be an independent reporter anymore. I might have a career as barista or dog walker. 

Hope to see some of you at the RIAS BERLIN KOMMISSION ceremony in Berlin May 17th!

These are the award winning stories:






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