Developing the Institute for Music Journalism (IMJ)
Innovating, divagating, far-seeing, The University of Music Karlsruhe has long pioneered in Germany. In 1995, the pianist Fany Solter, a former Rector, founded StudyRadio, an innovative transmitter for training music and cultural journalists. For the first time in Europe, students were trained as music journalists for electronic media.
Over two decades old, The Institute for Music Journalism (IMJ) is still considered the best educational institution for music and cultural journalists in Germany. Its graduates are sought-after moderators, editors, and producers in national and international radio stations, media centers, and editorial offices.
It all began with a concept for a radio degree diploma program, a broadcasting license on Karlsruhe FM radio frequency 104.8 MHz, and a broadcasting studio in Gottesaue Palace. Its main technology consisted of an abandoned German radio station, CD players, and microphones. Seminar rooms and administrative offices were housed in a former refuge for asylum seekers. Everyone involved brought idealism, improvisational talent, and optimism to launch the project. Two retired radio editors were early creative contributors, two technicians and administrators, and an editorial director instructed a few students enthused about broadcast radio.
Basic staffing parameters remained similar, but when the Hamburg music journalist Jürgen Christ took over in 1996, content changed. Starting as a focused education in radio, today IMJ offers in a changing media world an elite training center for multimedia journalism. It is esteemed in professional circles as a young cultural channel. In addition to radio production knowledge, students are taught video production and website design.
The bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in music journalism for broadcasting and multimedia teach cultural and journalistic skills. Broadcast and production technology are also taught, as wlel as creating texts and multimedia content, moderating radio and television broadcasts, and digital cutting of audio and video broadcasts. Lectures, workshops, and seminars lead to practical implementation in radio, television and internet broadcasts. Students produce several hours of radio and television weekly, as well as online content for the Young Culture Channels homepage. This combination of theoretical study and practical implementation with broadcasting studio and FM broadcasting frequency, is unique in Europe.
Students have won the Axel Springer Prize for Young Journalists and the German Radio Award for best reportage and moderating, the German President's Award for Innovation and have been recognized repeatedly by the State Institute for Communication Baden-Württemberg.
Regional, state, and international cooperation with renowned cultural, economic, and media institutions complete the training. With the move to new premises in the Multimedia complex (MUT) at CampusOne in 2012, a new era began. A glassed-in broadcast and production studio is located in the foyer of the Wolfgang Rihm Forum concert hall, equipped with state of the art studio technology.
A virtual 3D television studio and editing rooms for audio and video provide optimal production conditions. Students become familiar with cross-media media production realities, and diverse and demanding professional requirements, with unprecedented accuracy.