Final Presentations 


For your final presentation, to be given in class April 27-May 4, you will work individually on a topic of your choice. This topic needs to be based on an issue currently reflected in the German media -- either a domestic German issue, or an international one which you discuss from a German perspective. It does not have to be political, although it can -- topics ranging from politics to entertainment, economics to technology, etc. are open for you to choose from.

In planning and presenting your topic, you will need to find at least one (and preferably more than one) article in German from a German-language newspaper or magazine (see the annotated list below). You may also consult sources in English if you wish, but the majority of your report should stem from German sources.

In the oral report, which should last approximately 10-15 minutes, you should explain to the class the main points surrounding the issue you have chosen, as well as state your own opinion on the issue and discuss how it has been presented in the German media. If appropriate, you may wish to compare the German media coverage to the American, but that depends on your topic. The rest of the class should come away with a basic understanding of the issue as well as knowledge of any vocabulary necessary for discussion. On the final exam, there will be a series of questions arising from the in-class presentations, so it is important that the rest of the class both understand and, if necessary, ask questions about the topics being covered.

You should provide the class with a handout giving the source of your article(s), an outline of the main points of your report, and a list of new vocabulary needed to understand the presentation. The reports will be graded on their content, organization, comprehensibility, and delivery (including level of vocabulary and grammatical accuracy) as well as on the handout. The presentation will count as 5% of the course grade.

The in-class report will also form the basis for your fifth and final essay. Ideally, because the best presentations are not simply read aloud but rather prepared as interactive presentations, your essay should not simply be the ‘script’ of your presentation, but rather a more formalized version of the same information, expressed in precise language and given a formal essay-like structure. In general, you do not need to include any more information in your essay than what you covered in class, although naturally you are free to do so if it seems appropriate.

Below you’ll find an annotated list of online sources you can use to help you find articles for your presentations:

Google News Deutschland: http://news.google.de/
 Just like the English version, this is a great place to start your search if you already have an idea for a topic -- simply enter the word or phrase you’re interested in, and you’ll be given a number of results linking to articles from hundreds of German-language newspapers and magazines.

Der Spiegel: http://www.spiegel.de/
 The standard news magazine for Germany, with excellent in-depth articles that are usually a little hard to read but not impossibly difficult. Has a moderately left-wing political bent, as do many German newspapers and magazines. For quick searches, use the “Schnellsuche” box at the top right of the main page. (Most of the archive is free, but some older and special articles may require a fee -- please don’t pay anything for this assignment! If you can’t find what you need at Spiegel, look elsewhere or change your topic a bit.)

Stern: http://www.stern.de/
 An alternate, slightly less intellectual news magazine, with good articles that may be slightly easier to read than those in Spiegel. Has a search box similar to Spiegel.

Focus: http://www.focus.de/
 A different type of news magazine, more focused on in-depth reporting and lifestyle commentary, though plenty of daily news is covered as well. Articles are in relatively simple German, at least as compared to Spiegel. Search box is on the left-hand column above the topical sections.

N-TV.de: http://www.n-tv.de/
 Germany’s version of CNN (and was partnered with CNN for a time, I’m not sure about currently). Basic news reporting, some minor in-depth analysis.

Deutsche Welle, Nachrichten mit Vokabelglossar: http://www.dw-world.de/german/0,3367,8031,00.html
 For those of you who might want simpler news articles with some vocabulary explanations, this site has reprinted articles from major news sources with glossed vocabulary help. They’re good articles, but be aware that there’s not a large selection, since they only choose about one article per week.

Tagesschau: http://www.tagesschau.de/
 Germany’s nightly news show, also a web page with basic news articles.

Die Welt: http://www.welt.de/
 One of Berlin’s premier daily newspapers, with excellent reporting on German and international issues, as well as literary, culture, and travel events. Some articles may make for difficult reading, but for the most part they shouldn’t be too hard. If you’re looking for opinion pieces rather than factual reporting, a good place to start is the “Forum” section here, which links to prominent editorials and opinion pieces. Has a slightly more conservative bent than many of Germany’s daily papers.

Die Zeit: http://www.zeit.de/
 This is an extremely popular German newspaper from Hamburg, with more liberal viewpoints than Die Welt. The articles are sometimes a little complex and the opinion pieces are mixed in with the standard news articles, so be aware of whether you’re reading a commentary or a factual reporting piece, but in general the quality of the writing is excellent.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: http://www.faz.de/
 Another daily paper, from Frankfurt, with a centrist editorial board. Good articles, slightly less intellectual than either Die Zeit or Die Welt. Not as easy to search as some of the other papers, but there is a search page accessible from the menu at the top right.

Frankfurter Rundschau: http://www.fr-aktuell.de/
 The second major daily newspaper in Frankfurt, this one is moderately liberal. Opinion pieces are linked from the main page (usually labeled as “Feuilleton” to distinguish them from factual pieces). Nice articles, fairly easy to read.

Süddeutsche Zeitung: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/
 Daily paper from Munich, with similar content to the Frankfurter Allgemeine. Conservative.

Bild: http://www.bild.de/
 If you’re looking for really serious reporting, this is not the place to find it, but if you’re covering things like Michael Jackson or other celebrity news, this might not be bad: it’s essentially a tabloid. It does have some factual reporting, and relatively little of the completely ‘out-there’ news that makes it into US tabloids, but it’s not really considered a serious newspaper by most educated Germans, although it has a HUGE readership among Germans of all stripes.


Below I’ve included a list of some possible topics, with selected web references, that you may want to choose from or to get ideas from. By no means do you have to choose from this list -- feel free to choose your own topic if you like, or use one of these, it’s completely up to you. I do ask that, since I’d prefer to have only one student per topic, that you let me know your topic as soon as you’ve decided it, at the latest by Friday, April 15.

Kofi Annan und die UNO-Korruption “Öl für Lebensmittel”: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/0,1518,348705,00.html

Visa-Affäre bei der deutschen Regierung: http://www.welt.de/data/2005/02/13/463488.html, http://focus.msn.de/hps/fol/newsausgabe/newsausgabe.htm?id=13058, http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1522390,00.html

Microsoft fügt sich der EU-Regelung: http://www.silicon.de/cpo/news-busisoft/detail.php?nr=20230, http://morgenpost.berlin1.de/content/2005/03/30/wirtschaft/743998.html

Bodenreform: keine Entschädigung an Ostdeutsche: http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,348813,00.html

Der Papst stirbt / wird sterben: http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,349097,00.html

Film über Hitler: “Der Untergang” von Oliver Hirschbiegel: http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/kino/0,1518,342452,00.html, http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1500869,00.html

Feinstaub und die möglichen Sonntagsfahrverbote: http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,348696,00.html, http://www.stern.de/politik/deutschland/538406.html?nv=hp_sr

Berlinale Filmfestival im Februar: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1485513,00.html, http://www.wsws.org/de/2005/mar2005/ber1-m04.shtml

60. Jahrestag des Krieges (Dresdner Protest): http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,347965,00.html, http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/0,1518,348391,00.html

Lesebrille für Blinde: http://www.stern.de/wissenschaft/mensch/538389.html?nv=hp_rt_al

Love Parade fällt auch 2005 aus?: http://www.stern.de/lifestyle/reise/538394.html?nv=hp_rt_al

Organe nur für Spender: http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,348930,00.html, http://www.stern.de/wissenschaft/mensch/538378.html?nv=hp_rt_al

Formel 1: Schumacher in neuem Auto: http://focus.msn.de/hps/fol/newsausgabe/newsausgabe.htm?id=13077

Michael Jackson: http://www.faz.net/s/Rub77CAECAE94D7431F9EACD163751D4CFD/Doc~EBD22E8A03FFC4BABB07BAF6CC3FAA960~ATpl~Ecommon~Scontent.html

Terri Schiavo: http://www.sueddeutsche.de/,tt1m2/panorama/artikel/378/50328/, http://www.faz.net/s/Rub501F42F1AA064C4CB17DF1C38AC00196/Doc~E5E6E280DF5A44730AE1D40D65C2848E8~ATpl~Ecommon~Sspezial.html

John Bolton zum neuen UNO-Botschafter gewählt: http://www.stern.de/politik/ausland/537891.html?nv=cp_L1_rt, http://www.wiesbadener-kurier.de/politik/objekt.php3?artikel_id=1841926

Wolfowitz zum Weltbankpräsidenten gewählt: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,1564,1537271,00.html, http://www.spiegel.de/wirtschaft/0,1518,349095,00.html