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On June 24, International Broadcasting Bureau Director Richard Lobo joined U.S. Ambassador Philip Murphy in Berlin, Germany, to participate in a RIAS commission meeting and to congratulate the 2013 RIAS Award winners.
RIAS is a bi-national commission that fosters U.S.-German understanding as a legacy of the “Radio In the American Sector,” which began broadcasting after World War 2. The awards recognize journalists from Germany and the United States for producing television and radio stories that explore the similarities and differences between the two countries.
“I’m honored to be able to recognize these fine journalists and see first-hand the value of their work,” said Lobo, who is also a member of the RIAS Berlin Commission. “The winners exemplify to goal of increasing understanding and excellence in broadcasting that the RIAS strives to promote.”
“Poor, Rich America. On Park Ave. By New York,” won the top prize in the television category. By examining the increasing divide between the rich and poor on one street in New York City, journalists Klaus Prömpers and Christoph Röcherath brought to light a major American social problem through outstanding camera work and insightful interviews.
In the radio category, “Fighting the Oil Lobby: The Eco-City Greensburg and U.S. Energy Policy,” won first place. In the piece Egon Koch explores how the town of Greensburg, Kansas turned to alternative energy sources after a tornado hit the city. Koch’s work contradicts a common German prejudice that the United States does not prioritize developing alternative energy sources.
The award ceremony was held at the site of John F. Kennedy’s famous speech to honor the 50th anniversary of the “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. The commission, which supports journalists and promotes the field of broadcast journalism, has supported more than 1,201 German and American journalists through its unique transatlantic professional exchanges. Lobo was appointed to the commission in January 2012.