Women in Journalism: Eva Reisinger On How She Paved Her Way To A Career In Journalism In Austria And Germany

In the field of journalism, there are many writers and opinion-makers. Nowadays, online social networking sites grant every user the opportunity to speak up and express their opinion. So how do we filter out what is true and what is said to be true? Well, we rely on reputable journalists like Eva Reisinger to inform us about current events. In her line of work, Eva has written for countless media houses and has provided her readers with honest and carefully thought out topics, that reflect issues she wishes to convey. Through the -at times vapid- online media narrative the contents of honest and reliable journalism may get lost, but Eva strives to show the importance of Austrian news and carries this out in her own way.    

B: I’d first off like to thank you for joining us in this interview Eva. Could you tell us more about yourself, please. Did the thought of pursuing another career ever cross your mind or were you always convinced you would become a journalist?

E: Thanks for having me, I am honored. I studied Journalism in Vienna, then I worked as the assistant of the Austrian correspondent of public broadcasting (ORF) in Istanbul. After that, I did a lot of internships at die Presse, VICE or NEON (that is, like Stern, part of the same media house). Most of my internships were paid very poorly or not at all and I could’nt just stay anywhere. So I started to write independently under my own conditions. One year later I got an offer, to start writing for the ZEIT media House in Berlin and moved to Germany. What I am trying to say here is, that I always wanted to be a journalist. All my life I heard, that there are no jobs in journalism and that its a very bad choice, but I always just had that one goal.

B: Could you clarify your current job position along with the division you write for?

E: I currently work as the Austrian correspondent of ze.tt – we are the young magazine of the ZEIT publishing house.

B: Your articles center primarily on topics about Austria. Is there a specific reason you do not lay too much focus on international news?

E: As the Austrian correspondent, I am focused on Austrian politics, society, and culture. These are my topics and right now especially writing about politics seems to be a never-ending job.  

B: Whether you’re an author or a news reporter, every writer has their own style of story-telling. How would you describe your style of writing?

E: That’s hard to answer. Of course, there are different categories of writing, so there is a big difference between writing a reportage, an opinion piece or an objective news related article. But everybody has his/her own style. If I have the time, I love to rebuild the structure of a story several times – until I find the perfect beginning, end and a thread through it. I like to read and write long pieces because most topics need more than some quick paragraphs. Sometimes I am afraid, that this gets more and more lost through social media and online journalism.

B: From an objective point of view, what do you think every news reporter must possess to keep their readers curious and engaged?

E: I think one big thing is: never underestimate your readers. With a new or unexpected angle, you can catch them. I am writing for young people, so most of the time I am asking myself: What do I really want to know? What would I like to read about?

B: Many people nowadays rely more on Social Media for what is happening around the world. As an expert in the field of media do you believe this is a downfall for traditional media?

E: Of course, that's a huge problem for us people, who are working in journalism, but also for the readers. Before the internet, there was always something like a gatekeeper, who checked the information, did research and analyzed the topic for you. Nowadays this barrier is missing. Everything is just going out. News is spread by nonmedia accounts. A lot of times they are one-sided or even fake news. This is also a problem in online journalism. Everything has to happen quickly because people are expecting news –like every other consumer item – very quick and the mistakes happen. Journalists are not doing their jobs or don't even have the time to do it. That's dangerous because people stop trusting media.

B: You are not only active in Austria, but also in Germany. Do you face difficulties when writing for an audience of two different cultures?

E: Haha, I like the question. Yes, I think about this a lot. I am asking myself then: Who is reading my stuff? Austrians or Germans? Most of the times it is a mixed crowd. So I try to balance it by explaining Austrian politics or history as much, so German readers understand and Austrian readers are not bored. I live partially in Vienna and partially in Berlin. Since I started my job, I started to think a lot about the differences between the countries and their relationship. People in Germany are very interested in Austria. They want to know a lot about Vienna, Austrian food and they love my dialect. The other way around Austrians are very rude when it comes to Germans. So it's a onesided Love Story.

(I also wrote an article about it: https://ze.tt/piefke-und-oesis-eine-einseitige-liebesgeschichte/)

B: In order to report fresh information, you must always be in the know. How do you stay up-to-date?

E: I read, watch and listen a lot. I subscribed to the New Yorker because I love their way of writing. Of course, I read the newspaper of my own media house die ZEIT. As an Austrian correspondent, I also read a lot of Austrian media like Falter, Standard. I listen to fm4 every morning and watch the news in ZIB2 in ORF. And of course, as an online journalist, I spend a lot of time on Twitter and Instagram.

B: And lastly, as a fashion brand, we aim to promote inner and outer strength to our readers and the career-oriented women we engage with. What are your words of support for driven women who are in the midst of finding the right profession?   

E: It sounds basic as hell, but my credo is: don't stop believing in yourself. If other people tell you, that you won't get a job, that you should learn something where it's easier to get a job and money, don't believe them so easily. Yes, sometimes your passion or dream job won't work out, but we should at least try.

1 comment

Don’t stop believing in yourself
akli tabti October 04, 2019

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