Berlin Capital Program 2017 — Program Documentation
Excerpt from collection of program documentation posts from each participant - Rachael Lallensack
There’s certainly something poetic about 14 young journalists — watchdogs, defenders of transparency, protectors of public interest — standing in the glass cupola atop the Reichstag that opens directly above German parliament. Its design quite literally puts the people above the government. A mirrored column allows one to peer directly into the chamber’s proceedings below. The clear skylights not-so-subtly symbolize transparency.
Of course, this was the architect Norman Foster’s intent when he designed it in the 1990s. The Berlin wall had fallen, Germany was reunified and its society was ready to embrace democracy. In the United States, journalism is considered the so-called fourth pillar of the country’s democracy.
For me, strolling around the double helix ramp that circles the German Bundestag, observing a 360-view of the country’s capital city, reflecting on the concepts of government transparency and the role journalism plays in preserving democracy — especially during a time in America when threats to media come directly from the leader of the free world — was especially profound.
Going off all that, I spotted this little sticker on the door of a nightclub in Kreuzberg and felt it was poignant. Our tour guide explained the spot was catching flak from a neighboring tenant via noise complaints. Seems like maybe those people should relocate to somewhere that doesn’t have one of the most booming nightlife scenes in the world.
I don’t know if you’ve ever spent a birthday with about a dozen virtual strangers, but if you can find a group as kind-spirited and light-hearted as these incredibly talented — and clearly hilarious — people, I highly recommend it. I could write a laundry list of compliments about this crew. They make me really hopeful about the future of our industry. And they made my 24th birthday unforgettable.