Sept 13 – Sept 19, 2010 Edition Bertelsmann Founds ‘International Journalism’ Academy

BERLIN/AUTHORLINK NEWS/September 16, 2010–Bertelsmann, the international media company, on Thursday founded an Academy of Journalism that will advocate the spread of the ideals of press freedom and promote expertise and networking among journalistic talent worldwide. The “International Academy of Journalism” reconfirms and underscores the company’s commitment to press freedom, quality journalism and social responsibility on the occasion of its 175th anniversary. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, acted as the patron of the founding act, which took place on Thursday evening in Berlin at a ceremony to mark Bertelsmann’s 175th year. Barroso gave a speech about the important role freedom of the press and of opinion has played in the European unification process.

Each year, the Academy will convey the tools of the trade for the digital future of journalism to a select group of journalists worldwide, by means of on-site workshops and e-learning modules. Its primary target group are aspiring journalistic talents, mainly from countries where press freedom is nonexistent or at risk. They should have advocated press freedom in their previous work, make imaginative use of the opportunities of the new media, and be talented, courageous writers.

“This project is among the most innovative of its kind anywhere in the world and picks up on an important trend in the development of journalism,” said Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Hartmut Ostrowski. “We don’t just want to show how elemental important press freedom is, but also that we feel the future belongs to well-trained, globally networked journalists with high standards of quality. The new media offer unprecedented opportunities and open up the most efficient imaginable means for reaching and supporting journalists locally.”

The “International Academy of Journalism” will be built up in the months ahead and officially take up its teaching activity at the end of 2011. It will be established in close cooperation between Bertelsmann and the Group’s two acclaimed schools of journalism: the Henri Nannen School in Hamburg and the RTL School of Journalism in Cologne. Headquartered in Hamburg, the Academy will also pursue partnership with organizations and institutions that advocate freedom of the press and of opinion.

Each year, an advisory board consisting of well-known Bertelsmann journalists and authors, as well as noted representatives of media outside the Group, will select scholarship recipients who have made a name for themselves as dedicated journalists in their home countries. The Academy seeks to support them, primarily by promoting their professional skills. On the one hand they will be mentored by experienced journalists and authors at Gruner + Jahr, RTL Group and Random House, and on the other the Academy will develop a special one-year e-learning curriculum that will provide virtual training to the Fellows in various areas. Their knowledge will be further deepened during on-site workshops in Germany, led by experienced journalism coaches from Germany and abroad.

Several noted journalists have already indicated their interest in sitting on the advisory board, including the three editors-in-chief Thomas Osterkorn (Stern), Georg Mascolo (Spiegel) and Giovanni di Lorenzo (ZEIT).

Writers interested in enrolling in the International Academy of Journalism can either apply themselves or be nominated in 2011. There are no geographical limitations on the pool of potential Fellows.

Bertelsmann is an international media company encompassing television (RTL Group), book publishing (Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), media services (Arvato), and media clubs (Direct Group) in more than 50 countries. Bertelsmann’s claim is to inspire people around the world with first-class media and communications offerings – entertainment, information and services – and occupy leading positions in its respective markets. The foundation of Bertelsmann’s success is a corporate culture based on partnership, entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, and corporate responsibility. The company strives to bring creative new ideas to market and create value. Bertelsmann celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2010.