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Friday, September 09, 2005

Germany: Newspaper wins award by encouraging its community

Thanks to journalist Robert Domes for this article:

The small local newsroom of the Neue Württembergische Zeitung in Göppingen, Germany, in a large-scale campaign has provided for change of atmosphere in its area. Together with readers a unique project was brought into being to give more courage and self-confidence to the people and to improve their general outlook of the district. The action under the title "Mir schaffet's" (We can do it) ran for more than eight months and was not only initiated and organized by the newspaper, but also accompanied journalistically with more than 500 articles, special web sites and supplements. For this large-scale project the small newspaper (circulation about 37 000) was honoured with the first prize of the local journalist award of the foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. Editor Rüdiger Gramsch said: "We wanted to make clear that the people have no reason to be discouraged. With a huge number of examples we wanted to encourage our readers and show that it is absolutely worthwhile to show engagement."

The paper published stories about projects in education, culture, business and sport. The goal was to show positive examples, especially people who volunteer. In a competition the best projects were awarded. There were panel discussions organized by the paper as well as lectures, children's parties, art events and a campaign for more apprenticeship vacancies. A fair for regional products was initiated and a children's academy where old people can give their knowledge to the young. And it goes on. The networks construed continue to organize projects. Nearly one year after the end of the campaign, Gramsch notes: "Something has changed in peoples' mind."

Source: article by journalist Robert Domes, see also www.mir-schaffets.de (in German)

Posted by Anna-Maria Mende on September 9, 2005 at 02:49 PM | Permalink


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