The Irish Way of Making it in Germany

Berlin correspondent for the Irish Times at the Irish Embassy

October 11th, 2019
Juliette Toussaint, News from Berlin
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For the Irish Friday Club, Derek Scally was invited to the Irish Embassy to give an insight into working as a correspondent for The Irish Times in Germany and on the differences between the Irish and German media landscapes.

Once a month, the Irish embassy organizes an Irish Friday Club to present stimulating talks and networking opportunities. Over breakfast and in the presence of the Ambassador, guests had the opportunity to meet with significant Irish figures who have strong connections to Germany.

A prime example of this is Derek Scally, who has written for the Irish Times in Berlin, since 2000. He is mainly interested in German and European politics as well as business and cultural affairs. He visits Warsaw and Vienna regularly to write about Polish and Austrian current affairs. He also contributes to Irish and German radio and television, as well as the Berlin-based foreign policy journal, Internationale Politik.

He explained that the two most important moments of his career as the correspondent for Berlin, were the Euro crisis and Brexit. In both cases, the challenge was to present the facts as neutral as possible and to overcome the criticism and the clichés typically generated by the press. In Ireland, the media are generally strongly influenced by British sources of information. His goal was therefore to provide an alternative source and point of view, which is closer to that of the continent and more distanced from the British sphere of influence. For example, an interesting development to note in the context of Brexit would be that Irish interests are becoming closer to those of Germany, rather than those of Great Britain.

As an Irishman living abroad in a foreign environment, Derek Scally reminded us of the importance of going beyond the conventional way of representing one’s culture and promoted the broadening of one’s perspective. He stated that understanding and acceptance was key to improving the status of European multiculturality.


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