Dear Twitter follower and/or blog reader,
since 3 years and 5 months, I provide you with BreakingNews, Analysis and Opinion from conflict hot spots around the world, focusing mainly on Syria on Ukraine, but also the wider Middle East as well as Eastern Europe and the CCCP successor republics. As there will be some major changes in my appearance – not my stance or focus – soon, I think you deserve to know more about it and wrote the following explaining article.
Since December 2011, I do my “job” on Twitter with all passion and enthusiasm, spending 4-12 hours a day on it. Thanks to these efforts, more than 25.000 people follow me there, millions read my tweets and 160.000 people read the articles, I posted on this blog over the last 5 months. All in all, this really felt like a “job”, but it was none. Instead, I did all of it on a voluntary basis and had a regular job during the whole time, mostly unrelated to the topics,I post and write about here. Hence, more than once my “real life job” and my Twitter activities got in each other’s way, both consuming my time, focus and energy.
This will change soon. From May 2015, I’ll be multimedia editor for the news section of the online edition of Germany’s largest newspaper Bild, namely www.bild.de. In this position, I’ll be able to make my – passionately and almost-professionally operated – hobby my new full-time employment, combining the fascinating online news platform possibilities, Bild.de offers, with my personal and learned skills.
As you can imagine, I didn’t make the decision to – partly – give up my independence without reflecting on the situation. But, to be honest, it didn’t take me long to compare bild.de’s approach of news-making and opinion-shaping as well as its political stance with my personal one (the one, you know from 54.000+ tweets, I posted). Bild.de’s pro-liberal-democratic / pro-Western / pro-bitter truth / anti-(semi)dictatorial regimes approach is literally 100% congruent to my personal conviction.
Therefore, it was quite an easy choice to join bild.de’s news team. This will give me the possibility to make a difference by professionalizing my way of open-source-based revealing journalism and I sincerely hope and foresee my input will be an asset for bild.de too.
What does this mean for my Twitter account and Blog?
Well, a lot will change, but I’ll stay the same. During the talks with my future superiors, we agreed that using Twitter and my account for communicating and as a source for developing news stories, was, is and will be an integral part of my “method” and thus will also play an important role in the future as long as it does not interfere with my other work. So yes, I’ll be able to further focus on the conflicts I chose and post BreakingNews, Analysis and Opinion on them. Beside that, I’ll probably also have a look at other topics and I’m thinking about tweeting a bit more in German as this is my language. 😉 The Twitter account will of course ONLY reflect my personal opinion. Furthermore, beside my personal findings, I will probably be able to post interesting stuff from my news coverage at bild.de as well.
I also plan to continue my blog / homepage www.conflictreport.info , writing on conflicts and aspects, I am interested in. This will stay my personal blog with only one editor and story writer – me. Of course, I’ll only work on it in my spare time – so exactly like I did until now.
Last but not least, I plan to tweet and write under my real name in the near future, adding to my integrity and credibility as a journalist. I know that this might be connected to a certain amount of troubles as I haven’t only made friends during the last years by speaking out loud for justice and the truth as I see it. However, I know that many thousands of journalists interpret what they see and hear in controversial ways (to some) but stand by their opinion and publicly-announced perspective despite all odds. I always said, that if I ever become professional in what I do, I’ll follow suit. So be it.
So yes. Basically, the title says it all. A dream comes true for me and I want to thank bild.de and especially the man who recognized my abilities and decided to give me the chance.
As for you, dear blog reader and Twitter follower, I sincerely hope, you will remain faithful to my news service on Twitter and here despite my soon beginning alignment with a powerful, but not less controversial, media organization. 😉 I am convinced, this new job and orientation will be of mutual benefit for me, you and my new employer. 🙂
Best regards and looking forward to the future