Thursday, December 10, 2009

WUIS statehouse reporter reflects on German visit



WUIS/Illinois Public Radio statehouse reporter Amanda Vinicky is back in the United States after spending a week in Germany learning about media and culture.

Vinicky was one of 16 young journalists from the U.S. selected by the German-American Fulbright Commission to visit the country. Journalists from radio, television, newspapers and web outlets all took part in the trip.

“The whole thing was absolutely amazing,” said Vinicky.

The trip included a tour of various German media outlets where Vinicky was able to learn how stories are covered in the country. She not only got to network with German reporters, but also her American colleagues on the trip.

“It’s great to develop a network of people that are really into the media and have the same interests,” said Vinicky.

Vinicky says she was impressed by the interest that the German public shows in the news. Part of the trip included learning how media plays a role in the day to day life of Germans.

“It was interesting and inspiring to me to see so many people reading newspapers in cafés,” said Vinicky.

She notes that German newspapers are “upfront” about the angle they take when covering a story. Papers are known for being liberal, conservative or moderate.

“People know what they’re getting,” said Vinicky.

Vinicky says German reporter’s envy the United State’s when it comes to political coverage. They feel the U.S. does a better job holding public officials accountable with more hard hitting coverage.

Vinicky has been reporting for WUIS public radio for nearly 4 years out of its bureau in the state capitol press room. During that time, Vinicky has got to cover major events like the impeachment of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

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