Julian C. Krentscher Journalism and New Media

October 2, 2017 | 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 weak 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 Capitol

Besides 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.

Blog History

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

September 18, 2017 | 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.