A visiting German journalist’s impressions of the United States, St. Louis and Ferguson in 2017 | St. Louis Public Radio

A visiting German journalist’s impressions of the United States, St. Louis and Ferguson in 2017

Apr 7, 2017

Last year, St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann participated in a fellowship, the RTNDF/RIAS German-American Journalism Exchange, to learn about European governments, the refugee crisis and how European journalists function. Recently, a German journalist came to St. Louis as part of the exchange program in return: Sabine Adler, a reporter for Deutschlandradio in Berlin.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Adler and Lippmann spoke with host Don Marsh about their experiences in Germany and United States. You can listen to the full conversation here:

Before coming to St. Louis, Adler spent some time in Washington D.C., but upon arriving in St. Louis, she met with St. Louis Public Radio journalists, including Lippmann, to understand journalism in our city.

“If I could choose a town, a city, a region, I would have chosen the ‘flyover zone,’” Adler told Marsh. “That’s why it is really amazing for me to watch. What I didn’t expect was the vitality of the political discussion. I expected a more rural area, a more Trump approach type of thinking. Of course, that’s not the case. It is a very vital area, very interesting. It is interesting to see the fly over zone is not a dead zone in the political sense.”

While here, Adler was interested to report on and delve into recent acts of vandalism at the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery to understand antisemitism in the United States.

“We think this is a topic more for Germany and supremacy and we didn’t connect it until now with the United States,” Adler said of her prior understanding of hate acts in the country.

While here, she asked Lippmann about her most intense reporting experience in St. Louis. Adler was surprised to find Lippmann’s answer was “Ferguson.”

“I never connected Ferguson to St. Louis, realized how close they are,” Adler said. “I expected a surrounding quarter of this city to be very shattered. What I saw: nothing was shattered. Especially this place where Michael Brown was murdered. It was quite surprising. It was a pretty street with nothing wrong with the surroundings.”

Adler conducted several interviews in Ferguson and was surprised to find out that many people have not become closer.

“I found a division in the population of the inhabitants: it isn’t over, people don’t have closure after these events. I imagine sometimes that something horrible brings people together and I could not find this.”

To Adler, the most alarming part of what she learned about Ferguson was the use of traffic tickets to bring revenue to the city.

“I would believe this kind of thing from Russia, where I used to be a correspondent,” Adler said. “To fulfill a budget in such a way, I find it very disturbing.”

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.