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Our graduates

Over the past 45 years, more than 1,300 journalists have graduated from the Institute of Journalism with either a diploma certificate, a BA or MA or a PhD. Over the years, the Institute of Journalism at TU Dortmund University has been able to assert itself as a leading provider in university-based journalism education. At our institute, science and practice are taught in concert. We cooperate closely with media companies, both in practical training and in research. On this basis, we qualify our students as journalists, all of whom have excellent opportunities on the job market.

Feedback from our graduates about their studies in Dortmund

Marie-Louise Timcke / Photo: Johanna Berger


Graduate of Science Journalism, BA (2020)

My current job: Head of Data Journalism at Süddeutsche Zeitung (Germany's largest broadsheet paper)

Why I decided to study at the Institute of Journalism: The institute was recommended to me when I studied biochemistry at the University of Konstanz. As the IJ offers hybrid degree programmes, students not only get to know subjects from a journalistic perspective, but also attend courses at other faculties.

I can recommend the focus on data journalism because... data is playing an increasingly important role in politics and business, and journalists need the necessary tools for their research, be it local or investigative. At the institute, students not only learn methods for journalists, but also work with future statisticians and data scientists and learn what motivates them, how they work and how they communicate. This is very helpful for the future, when working with or interviewing experts.

This moment has remained in my memory: There was this Case Studies seminar at the Department of Statistics, where the task was to explain mathematics in such a way even non-statisticians could understand it - and looking at the reports from the statistics students showed me why journalists are needed to translate between scientists and non-scientists.

Hannes Putfarken

Hannes Putfarken

Graduate of Economic Policy Journalism, MA (2019)

My current job: topic manager at the Innovation Network Lower Saxony (Innovationsnetzwerk Niedersachsen), an initiative of the Innovation Centre Lower Saxony (Innovationszentrum Niedersachsen)

During my studies I particularly benefited from... the various journalism modules, in which I learned how to simplify complex content and get to the point. Especially in my current work at bidt, this helps me to present complex topics on digitalisation in an understandable way. Of course, I also benefited from the courses in economics. Economic theories are often incomprehensible for the average consumer. They are usually grateful when I step in as a "translator" having both journalistic and economic knowledge. 

How studying at the Institute of Journalism boosted my career: I believe the combination of two subjects - in my case journalism and economics - brings great advantages in the working world. If you have a basic understanding of economics and can also write well and quickly, you have a clear advantage over many of your competitors. This, at least, is my perception from several job interviews and also from my professional experience so far. The ability to separate the essential from the unessential is becoming increasingly important.

Jonathan Focke

Jonathan Focke

Graduate of Science Journalism, BA (2012) & MA (2016)

My current job: Multimedia editor at the science newsroom Quarks/WDR (public broadcaster)

The most exciting task in my job so far: The COVID-19 pandemic was a very exciting and challenging time for me as a science journalist. During this time, we not only launched a new YouTube format, but also a podcast series: Since 2020, I have been producing and hosting the podcast "Quark's Science Cops" together with my colleague Max Doeckel, in which we expose unscientific nonsense and set the record straight.

My most important learnings from my studies: In my studies, I learned how to recognize a good scientific study and how to find experts who really know what they're talking about, and I need these basic scientific journalistic tools almost every day. The insights into scientific research methods and the science courses of my studies (from plant growth to quantum physics) also help me to quickly familiarize myself with new scientific topics and to be able to evaluate new research results. The key highlights of my studies were the research trips abroad (e.g., Iraq and Tanzania): There, I learned how to manage unfamiliar and challenging situations as a journalist and how to stay calm even in stressful situations.

Hanna Zimmermann / Copyright: ZDF/Jana Kay

Hanna Zimmermann

Graduate of Journalism Studies, BA (2011) & MA (2014)

My current job: Co-Host at the ZDF news programme "heute journal" 

The most exciting task in my job so far: Apart from my work at "heute journal" and "heute journal update", one of my most exciting tasks in recent years was the moderation of several ZDF special programmes at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time, there were many urgent questions, with which I confronted political decision-makers and scientists. 

My most important learnings from my studies: They include journalistic due diligence and media law. The time I spent in the institute's TV training newsroom was also helpful, because I learned how to use a camera and how to film and edit reports. This change of perspective sharpened my understanding of the work of the camera crew and editors, with whom we always work as a team in television news broadcasts.

This moment has remained in my memory: There is not just one, but there are many moments. One of them was when I was allowed to make an on-site comment in New York's Times Square during my traineeship at ZDF - I'll certainly never forget that nor my first moderation at the institute's TV training newsroom.

Nicolas Friedrich

Nicolas Friedrich

Graduate of Journalism Studies, BA (2014)

My current job: Head of Social Media at ZDF heute-show

The most exciting task in my job so far:  At ZDF heute-show I was a founding member of the online editorial team. It was very exciting to help shape this project phase and to develop native content for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, when that was still far from being the industry's standard.

My most important learnings from my studies: 

Leadership - Working in the institute’s own training newsroom taught me to take responsibility early on - be it in small teams, in planning and project management or in giving feedback and editing. These are all skills, which are in demand in professional life, especially in leadership positions.

Technique - In both small seminars and the training newsroom, I learned many skills that boosted my professional life: be it moderation, in-depth investigation or the correct handling of photo and video cameras as well as editing programmes. 

Law - What can still be considered an expression of opinion, where is the borderline of defamation? The skills I learned in media law help me every day when dealing with user comments in social networks. 

Henning Sussebach

Graduate of Journalism Studies, Diplom (1998)

My current job: reporter at Die Zeit (national weekly newspaper) since 2001

The most exciting task in my job so far: There are many! I very fondly remember once describing globalisation with my colleague Stefan Willeke using the components of a razor: Who produces what, where in the world and under what conditions? It's also great to see series that colleagues from all departments hatch and realise together. In the meantime, work on podcasts has been added to the writing, which is also exciting. Here the second privilege is that ZEIT is doing well economically. All the "exciting projects" are not born out of necessity. I know, unfortunately, it's not like that everywhere.

During my studies I particularly benefited from... Firstly the practical parts such as the traineeship which was integrated into our studies and the work in the institute's training newsroom. The second aspect that was very helpful was the small size of the classes. Thirdly, the lectures on media law were enormously helpful. Back then, however, I was dreading the exam. I think the huge respect for the subject ensured lifelong sensitivity: Which rights does the company or the person I'm writing about have - but also which rights do I have?


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