Grand Jury Perspective: Manuela Kasper-Claridge

NYF’s Grand Jury Perspective offers an intimate glimpse into the thought process and creative insights of the award-winning industry superstars who serve on the TV & Film Awards Grand Jury.

Manuela Kasper-Claridge, head of Business and Science for Deutsche Welle

This week, New York Festivals TV & Film Grand Jury Perspective shares the industry observations of Manuela Kasper-Claridge, journalist and head of Business and Science Department for Germany’s Deutsche Welle.

Manuela Kasper-Claridge is a journalist and head of Deutsche Welle Business and Science Dept. DW is Germany’s international broadcaster. Manuela has initiated partnerships with the WEF and is on the board of trustees of Germany’s Ifo institute and is a member of the Hamburg Institute of International Economics.

She has regularly attended the World Economic Forum in Davos. In addition, Ms. Kasper-Claridge has initiated partnerships with the WEF and the Schwab Foundation and produced regional debates for DW in cooperation with the WEF (e.g. debates about Latin America and South-East Asia). She has served as a jury member for a variety of award programs (e.g. Empowering Award, Mid-Market Awards) and has also moderated various podium discussions in German and English.

Ms. Kasper-Claridge (Left) at the Debate at the Economic Forum with Poland´s president Andrzej Duda

Ms. Kasper-Claridge initialized a cooperation with the “Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings”. DW reported with special editions of the science magazine Tomorrow Today about the annual meeting. She exclusively interviewed various Nobel laureates like Stephen Chu (physics), Mario Molina (chemistry), Barry Marshall (medicine) and Alvin Roth (economy).

Ms. Kasper-Claridge with Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel laureate in economics

In the interview below, Ms. Kasper-Claridge shares her thoughts on what makes great content, how story structure has evolved based on the advent of mobile, projects on the horizon  and  much more.

New York Festivals: What qualities make great content?

Manuela Kasper-Claridge: Good content is close to the action and the audience. The viewer asks: Why should I care? What does this have to do with my everyday life? And: viewers like stories. Good stories, which are well researched and gripping. Stories about people, their challenges and possible solutions. We have to make sure we deliver excellent journalistic products everyday.

New York Festivals: How has story structure changed with the advent of mobile?

Manuela Kasper-Claridge: Beginning, middle, end. What applies to classic video narration is also true for mobile video. And yet many things are different. The brevity of it. A mobile video must get to the point quickly. We know that the viewer has little patience. If you don’t immediately catch the viewer’s attention, you will be clicked off. Strong images are more important than ever. And here again an emotional approach to the topic. Why should the viewer watch the video? A global media market means fierce competition.

New York Festivals: How has video streaming changed your creative approach?

Manuela Kasper-Claridge: Video streaming is playing an increasingly important role in DW’s programming. Especially in social media, of course, on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. You have to react to that. For instance with live reports. The viewer is taking part live in action. He can have a direct influence on the report. He can ask questions that are answered live. This brings the viewer very close to what is going on. However, this is also very challenging for the reporter, who has to quickly react live to questions. It reduces the distance between journalist and viewer. That is to be welcomed.

New York Festivals: What projects are on the horizon for you?

Manuela Kasper-Claridge: Currently we are working on a new TV series, called Founders Valley, created to showcase entrepreneurs in Asia and their entrepreneurial approach to tackle global challenges. Our host, German start-up idol, Fridtjof Detzner, meets young entrepreneurs in countries like Mongolia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan or Bangladesh. This-10 episode show tells the story about their period of struggle, with all the doubts and hurdles. After all young entrepreneurs often face the same challenges no matter where they come from. Filmed in 4k the imagery is gripping. The series premieres across Asia and Europe on October 23rd. If you like to get a taste of it go to our Facebook channel DW_Founders Valley.

New York Festivals: Share your thoughts on freedom of the press?

Manuela Kasper-Claridge: One of the instruments used by right-wing populists is to disseminate doubt about liberal journalism. The tone is also turning increasingly rough in Germany. Established media are being called “lying press.” We must address this with credibility and relevance. Independent, fact-based journalism is a prerequisite for any functioning democracy. A free press has a control, a check function. It is indispensable. It is precisely in times of social media, echo chambers and filter bubbles that journalists are needed to provide people with reliable and accurate information.

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