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On the way to becoming a media professional

Twelve students finished the third International Summer Academy for Journalism and Public Relations at the University of Liechtenstein, with very good grades.

Twelve students finished the third International Summer Academy for Journalism and Public Relations at the University of Liechtenstein, with very good grades.

“It was very hard work. But I’d do these four weeks all over again like shot. However, only if we had exactly the same group of participants,” says student Amra Durakovic from Vorarlberg at the end of the intensive course at the University of Liechtenstein. She is one of the 12 students from Austria, Germany, Hungary and Switzerland who successfully made it through to the end of the Summer Academy.

At the end of August, the young people depart once more in all directions. Behind them, they leave what has become an internationally renowned course at the University of Liechtenstein. In just four weeks, the students learnt about media work from the bottom up, simulating the stressful everyday life in editorial offices and press offices. They put together news bulletins, reports and portraits that, right from the first week of the course, were also printed in two of the country’s newspapers, the Liechtensteiner Volksblatt and the Liechtensteiner Vaterland.



Numerous professionals from Liechtenstein and the neighbouring countries held not only lectures but also workshops, in sweltering summer temperatures. For example, Marga Swoboda from Liechtenstein taught the writing of columns; she herself works for the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung and is a successful author. Vaterland’s editor-in-chief Günther Fritz explained what factors make a piece of news into a big story, i.e. the basis for the story suggestions, which were soon rolling out of the university’s editorial office. After an interview workshop with the Zeit journalist Peer Teuwsen, the young people tried out their interview techniques on Prime Minister Klaus Tschütscher, who answered questions for more than an hour in the classroom. The Swiss deputy editor-in-chief of Weltwoche discussed the topic of “critical journalism” with the students and explained the often hotly debated choice of topics of his news journal: “We don’t believe in not dealing with certain topics due to misinterpreted political correctness.” The students got to know the country and its people with excursions to the Schlosswiese on the national public holiday, to Hilti or to the LandesMuseum.



Course Director Claudia Schanza is proud of her students. “The group distinguished itself with its quick appreciation of the facts, hard work, strong nerves and positive attitude. One thing is for sure: these young people will take their contacts and experiences from the principality with them for life.” What they also took with them: 10 ECTS credits, which are recognized by many higher-education providers. In 2013, the International Summer Academy for Journalism and Public Relations will be held from 5 to 30 August. From the spring, many curious young people will be trying to get a scholarship once more.