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German student radio station invites Bobcats to work at ‘mephisto 97.6’

For the last two weeks, University of Leipzig’s Robert Ritzow has been on campus, urging students to visit the former East German city to take part in an international hands-on journalism experience.

In this video, Ritzow describes the background for his trip, as well as the opportunities in Leipzig for OU students who want to have an international journalism experience.

Ritzow’s visit is part of an on-going relationship between the communication programs at the University of Leipzig and Ohio University. Contacts between the two universities began 20 years ago, and indeed, my first trip to Leipzig was in 1992.

When I returned to teach for a semester in April, 1993, Prof. Ruediger Steinmetz approached me about his idea of starting a student radio station. His big question was, will students actually do the daily work of radio production and operation once the station is started? At Ohio University, we have had decades of experience with student-run media, but in Germany it was unknown terrain.

Prof. Steinmetz soon visited OU’s campus radio and TV stations here in Athens, and then I arranged for Jonathan Walsh, a journalism very active in ACRN, to visit Leipzig to share his experiences with students involved in the “start up” operation in Germany. Those two visits were instrumental in giving Leipzig communication professors the confidence they needed to launch the station.

Walsh discusses his experiences in Leipzig back in 1994. Read Jonathan’s bio on the WTOL website.

For me it is gratifying to see the remarkable progress made at ‘mephisto’ radio in the last 15+ years, and it is especially exciting to think about our students going to Leipzig to benefit from this program that we helped start. More information about this opportunity is available from Prof. Kevin Grieves (

April 18, 2011

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