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Awards presented to up-and-coming young journalists

The 6th Technical Journalism Competition organized by the ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association) and Siemens Drive Technologies saw awards being presented to the best male and female participants.

At trade shows in Nuremberg and Hanover in the fall of 2008 and in spring 2009, almost 150 up-and-coming young journalists from school newspapers and campus media from all over Germany had researched material and written articles on all aspects of automation. The authors of the best articles and radio broadcasts received their prizes from MP Edelgard Bulmahn, Chairman of the Federal Committee for Industry and Technologies, in Hanover last Friday.

How can I save energy in industry by using automation and drive technology? What does a nano-engineer do all day? How can I make artificial penguins fly with automation engineering? These are the questions that engineers were confronted with at the SPS/IPC/Drives 2008 and Hannover Messe 2009 trade shows. This was where the next generation of journalists from school newspapers and campus media did their research for the Technical Journalism Competition. The competition, the sixth so far, is organized by ZVEI, the umbrella organization of German electronics manufacturers, and the Siemens Drive Technologies Division.

Some 150 young people from schools, colleges and universities from all over Germany took part in the 6th Technical Journalism Competition. Young adults with an interest in journalism were asked to take a look at engineering subjects and technologies as well as careers in the technical branches of industry. In order to do this, they carried out their research at automation trade shows in Nuremberg and Hanover. The articles they submitted were then evaluated by a professional jury. "The reports show a high level of journalistic quality and reflect the young editors' enthusiasm for and knowledge of technology", said Dr. Reinhard Hueppe, Managing Director of the Industry Division of ZVEI.

In her laudatory speech, Edelgard Bulmahn underlined the importance of the journalistic skills of the up-and-coming young editors. "Dedicated and competent journalists are essential as mediators between the world of technology and the public." The participants in the competition, she continued, had shown these very skills, thus enhancing their contemporaries' awareness of science and technology. Initiatives such as the Technical Journalism Competition were an important way of arousing the enthusiasm of qualified young people for journalism. Moreover, she went on, they promised to stimulate the interest of young people in technical professions and university courses. In the years to come, industrial companies will increasingly be faced with recruiting problems. According to a study entitled "The Future of Work", there will be a shortage of around 200,000 engineers in Germany in 2017.

According to Hueppe, the number of participants, which has increased from year to year, and the extremely positive response from the companies exhibiting at the trade shows show that the Technical Journalism Competition had struck the right nerve among young people and industrial companies. The reason, he said, was that the project was undoubtedly an important contribution to fostering a new generation of professionals. "Due to social developments around the globe, there are areas of work in industry that require creativity and enthusiasm for technology and, of course, interesting jobs as well", said Hueppe. Conveying this and building a bridge to generate more interest in technical matters, he continued, were among the achievements of the competition from the very beginning. The support provided by schools, ministries and companies, he went on, also underlined the success of the competition.

The patrons of this year's competition were Elisabeth Heister-Neumann, Minister of Education and the Arts for Lower Saxony, and Barbara Sommer, her colleague in North-Rhine Westphalia. On behalf of the Lower-Saxony Ministry of Education and the Arts, Hans Walter also praised the fact that the competition encouraged young women in particular to concern themselves with engineering and technology. "The aim of motivating young people to take an interest in science and technology must be pursued in many different ways.

In this respect, the Technical Journalism Competition takes a very original, long-term approach", said Walter. The sustained support that companies provide for such competitions and the consistent way in which they organize them, especially in difficult economic conditions, are essential if the enthusiasm of young people for technology is to be awakened, said Walter.

Junge Presse of Lower Saxony and Junge Presse of North-Rhine Westphalia had also supported the competition as did the Verband Deutsche Fachpresse (German technical press association) and the RTL School of Journalism.

Volker Banholzer | Siemens Industry
Further information:

Further reports about: AWARD Competition Education Journalism ZVEI campus media

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