Julian C. Krentscher Journalism and New Media

November 6 | Time goes by so quickly, it’s incredible. As Meredith Wilson would say, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go.” However, some days are bitterly cold in the morning and during the day the temperature exceeds 80°F.

With our Journalism class, we went to the NBC Washington DC Bureau where we had an interesting tour through the building with producer John Holland. We met several people from different departments and sneaked into the newsroom. After that, we talked with Mr. Holland about NBC, and suddenly, NBC Washington Bureau Chief Ken Strickland came in and told us about his beginnings and what we should pay attention to. He also explained the difference between broadcasting companies like ABC, NBC, and Fox News.

Another day we visited Senator Chris Van Hollen in his office and talked with him for a while about the current situation with the Trump administration, the Senate, House, and the Papadopoulos case which leaked out that day. After that, one of our fellow students who is interning at the congressional office of a Senator guided us to her workplace and afterwards gave us a tour of the Capitol which was really impressive. We entered the Capitol through the tunnels that connects every building of congressional offices with the Capitol. Inside, we got to see the Statue Hall, the old Senate and the old Supreme Court chamber and of course the astonishing cupula – the inverted dome that makes up the ceiling of the historic building.  

With our Political Communication class, we met with the senior manager for global public affairs at General Electric, Tara DiJulio. Although she is quite young, she has great experience from her professional career - such as her work as Communications Director for Senator Bob Corker until 2016. 

In a few days, we will meet with our class in Annapolis for a sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay, and there will be more exciting guest speakers in the final few weeks. So, great things ahead while we are approaching Christmas and the end of a great and exciting semester in a vibrant city which broadened my horizon and pushed me forward, personally and professionally.

Blog History

Julian with friends at gala entitled An Evening to Stop Gun Violence

Julian C. Krentscher Journalism and New Media

October 23 | Another great two weeks have just passed by, starting with a visit at the New York Times' Washington, D.C. bureau and a meeting with Peter Baker, Chief White House correspondent for the New York Times. He is one of the journalists who accompany the president on his official trips on Air Force One. He told us how it is to be in the front line of the White House news and to cover the president. During his career at the New York Times as well as the Washington Post, he has covered three presidents.

Two days later, our whole class was invited to "an Evening to Stop Gun Violence", a gala organized by the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. We all were dressed in our best suits or evening dresses and enjoyed the night which did not only consist of an invitation to the gala dinner and cocktails but was also preceded by informative and moving lectures about tragedies that happened due to the lack of stronger gun control.

With our Political Communication class, we met Daniel Lippman, co-author of Politico's Playbook, a morning newsletter that collects and summarizes the most important news and is read by many influential people in politics. Mr. Lippman told us about his life and how it is to wake up every morning at 3:30, studying the headlines of several news organizations and narrowing everything down to the perfect amount for the newsletter. They do a great job and are for many important people the most important source of daily news.

Another great opportunity we had as a class was attending the Annual Meeting of the World Bank Group and the IMF. It was easy to get a visitor ID that allowed us to attend every open meeting. Not only was it interesting to attend meetings with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, World Bank president Jim Yong Kim, and World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva, but it also gave us an idea of how they operate. For me, it opened a new direction of a possible future path and I already got in contact with the World Bank to get to know about ways into the World Bank. I am very happy for this experience.

Julian with Malaysian dancer at the Embassy of Malaysia

Finally, after winning 3rd-place prize at the WSP Scavenger Hunt at the beginning of the semester, the day had finally come to reap our reward. My friends and I went to the Malaysian Embassy where we had an interesting evening with Malaysian dances, food, beverages and clothing with which we could take photos. We also met the Ambassador of Malaysia and had the chance to speak with several Malaysian people to get to know more about their culture and their country. Without partaking in the Scavenger Hunt I would never have gone to the Malaysian Embassy. I am thankful for this evening.

Professor Klein, our internship professor, invited us to an event at the National Press Club, the Kalb Report with the great journalist Marvin Kalb. There, we had the chance to listen to the executive editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post, Dean Banquet (NYT) and Martin Baron (WaPo), who talked about how to cover news in these days with a special focus on the Trump administration and the "Fake News" era. Martin Baron, by the way, was one among the six-person "Spotlight" team at the Boston Globe whose astonishing investigative reporting was portrayed in the 2015 film "Spot-light".

Later on, we visited NPR, the National Public Radio, where we were shown around and met with Deputy International Editor Didrik Schanche, who for many years was a foreign correspondent for several countries in Africa and told us about her time abroad and the work of the NPR. The building provides a great working atmosphere, combining both modern technology and comfortable work spaces.

My internship at Voice of America becomes more and more interesting. The more effort I put into it, the more responsibility I get. For our show VOA Weekly, I have the prime responsibility for most of the captions now. At the Latin America Divison, I not only edit videos for the newscast, I also speak some of the narrations of the video reports for the newscast which very much helps me along my future plans.

Julian with two of his friends

Julian C. Krentscher Journalism and New Media

October 9 | Another week passed by and further great experiences with it. We visited the Washington Post with our Professor Iris Krasnow and had an interesting conversation with Washington Post editor Valerie Strauss about Journalism and how it can influence our society. For example, Ms. Strauss once wrote an article about the lack of restrooms suitable for the disabled at a school in Washington, DC. She told us that wheelchairs didn't fit through the doors so that wheelchair users had to crawl over the dirty floor to reach the toilets and there were no grab rails installed. After she had published the article, every school in the DC area had to replace the doors and make the restrooms suitable for the disabled. This was a great example of the importance of journalistic work and the power of this profession. After this inspiring meeting she gave us a tour of the editorial department -- a bright open-plan office flooded with light. We went past a meeting room where a dozen editors were gathered. Very interesting to see how it is to be working for such a big newspaper. Most of us liked the idea to work in this office in the future.

Later this day our class had a session with the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence. After a refreshment with free soft drinks we assembled in a meeting room with three representatives of the organization, Legislative Director of the CSGV Christian Heyne, Media Director Andrew Patrick, and Executive Editor Bryan Barks. The central question was if the access to guns in the U.S. should be more restricted or not -- certainly one of the most disputed questions in the United States. Christian Heyne himself became a victim of gun violence. The conversation was very interactive and gave us a good impression of what the organization is doing for making America safer. Two days later, though, we got to know the opposite site of this debate and had a lecture by Glen Caroline, the director of the Grassroots Program at the National Rifle Association, the NRA (Some might argue that the NRA is not really an opponent to the CSGV). He defended the position of the NRA that it is and should remain a right for every U.S. citizen to possess a weapon for self-defence. A questionable lecture, but whether one is in favour or against his position, it was a very in-teresting experience to listen to both sides and a vital requirement for journalistic work.

Furthermore, we visited FOX Television and the nightly series Tucker Carlson To-night. Topics like immigration, Trump's comments on the NFL, and taxes were on the schedule. Heated debates in a freezing cold and tiny studio -- quite entertaining and totally different from the experience at NBC's Meet the Press with Chuck Todd. After the one-hour show we chatted briefly with Tucker Carlson and took a picture with him.

My internship at Voice of America gets more and more interesting. We finished successfully the first episode of the new show VOA Weekly and released it. An exciting moment which we celebrated with cake and champagne. From now on, we will release one episode every week so that the topics I am working with will change from week to week. Most of the time I attend meetings, add subtitles to the videos, or do research on several topics. One topic I'm exploring is about the history of Alaska and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. As I mentioned in a previous blog, I am also working for the Latin America Division where I basically do the same tasks but in Spanish which is a great opportunity to improve in both languages. I also translate for the Latin America Division and I will work on the realization of live broadcast as well.

On my free time I like to visit museums with my friends. The National Air and Space Museum is very exciting. It covers everything from the early beginning of the flying era to the moon landing, and you can spend hours inside. It also contains IMAX Theatres where I watched a marvellous film about the ISS and what it's like to live in space. Another wonderful thing to do on a beautiful day in D.C. is visit a rooftop bar and enjoy great views over the city while sipping cocktails. When the sun goes down it is awesome to stroll along the National Mall and marvel at the beauty of Washington Monument, the Capitol, and Lincoln Memorial at night.

Julian standing under a sign that reads

Julian C. Krentscher Journalism and New Media

October 2 | Our first class with our Professor, Iris Krasnow, didn't take place on campus how I expected it. We met her at Ben's Chili Bowl, a famous restaurant at U Street that made history and is a must-see in DC. You will love it. I guess everybody does. Founded in 1958 by Ben Ali, the landmark restaurant was frequently visited by jazz icons of the time. After the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Ben's Chili Bowl remained open during the street fights on U street that followed the death of the leader of the Civil Right Movement and provided food for both sides. Even during the extensive construction of the Metro Station, the restaurant didn't close but provided meals for the construction workers. All of that made it a unique place in DC, and probably around the globe.

With Gil Klein, our internship professor (I think Journalism is the only concentration with two professors), we went to the National Press Club, where he himself was president from 1994 to 1995. He gave us a tour and told us the history of the National Press Club and what it is doing. Known as "The Place Where News Happens.", the NPC connects news maker around the world. As a conference center it offers a stage for important speeches and meetings. It is a place for information, exchange and understanding.

In the program description of the Journalism and New Media concentration it said that we would get many great guest speakers, experienced journalists who could provide us with first-hand information. That became true in the second week already. Investigative journalist Michael Isikoff, Chief Investigative Correspondent at Yahoo! News and former national investigative correspondent for NBC News, gave an interesting lecture on investigative reporting and current topics such as President Trump's relationship with Russia and he also talked about the Lewinsky scandal on which he was the leading reporter. That was the first and is only one of the great guest speakers we already had a chance to talk with. We got to speak with JJ Green, the National Security Correspondent at WTOP, who talked with us about the current security situation, about terrorism, Isis but also about troll houses and their effective way of spreading fake news. We also got to know Asawin Suebsaeng, a politics reporter at The Daily Beast, Kelsey Donohue, a former WSP student who later be-came Assistant Press Secretary to First Lady Michelle Obama for two years, and Michael Schaffer, editor at the Washingtonian magazine. All conversations gave us an insight into the diverse profession of Journalism and an idea of the important steps to get closer to your dream position.

Walking along a path overlooking the United States CapitolBesides having conversations with journalists, we also visited some interesting places. We went to the Newseum where we had a class on ethics in journalism and visited the 9-11 exhibition on the anniversary of the attacks. With my evening elective course Political Communication, we went to a taping of the Sunday morning public affairs program Meet the Press with Chuck Todd who among others spoke with U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a great experience to see how such a taping works. Professor Klein took us to the broadcasting company Sirius XM where we got an exiting tour and met the great radio talk-show host Joe Madison who told us about his work. Later on, we visited a radio studio and talked to the radio presenter who suddenly went on the air and some of us had the chance to speak some words on a radio channel received by the whole northern part of the United States. We are now looking forward to visiting The Washington Post and The New York Times after Professor Krasnow confirmed these visits.

As you can see, time is fleeting in Washington, D.C. The WSP is a program with high pace and you constantly gain new impressions. An exciting feeling which you might have never experienced before.


Washington Semester student ambassador Julian Krentscher with a friendJulian C. Krentscher Journalism and New Media


September 18 | On the first weekend of the program, I participated in the Amazing Race Scavenger Hunt, which was a fun way for Washington Semester Program students to travel around the city and get to know fellow classmates in the program. We had to fulfill several tasks like 'get a selfie in front of the Old Post Office' or 'draw an accurate drawing of Steve Bannon'. We rushed around the city center to work off as many tasks as possible.

The Washington Monument mirrored in the Reflecting PoolAt the end of the day, all participating groups gathered at the university for the presentation ceremony, and - hooray! - my team won the third place prize: tickets to a gala at the Embassy of Malaysia which will offer local food, cultural music, and dance presentations. It's a great opportunity to participate in an official event at an embassy for free. I highly recommend attending the "Amazing Race" Scavenger Hunt, because it's always fun and, even for those who didn't win any of the three available prizes, there was free pizza awaiting us back on campus. In addition, there are so many events offering free food during the first week at the university. It's so awesome!

The next week began with an internship fair, a place where students can meet lots of people from different organizations and possibly secure an internship position or at least an interview. At the fair, students could also take professional photos which we could use, for example, as a profile picture on a LinkedIn profile.

In summation, the first days were a complete success, in terms of getting to know the campus, getting to know each other, getting to know the professors, and going home with new friends with great expectations and anticipation of such an exciting step in our lives.