In addition to sharing our passion for great storytelling, THE BIG PONDER hopes to further strengthen the transatlantic network of journalists and podcasters through our close collaboration with radio stations and partners on both sides of the pond. We are especially thankful for the support from our friends at the Bertelsmann Foundation, rbbKultur, and the RIAS Berlin Kommission.
New episodes are released every other week on this website and your favorite podcast apps. For more information, visit How to Listen. We also teamed up with Public Radio Exchange (PRX) to make our episodes available to radio stations for broadcast in the U.S.
Together, the Goethe-Institut and rbbKultur released an eight-part German-language adaptation of THE BIG PONDER. The German edition of the series was created at rbb’s recording studios in Berlin and features the episodes: “Brieffreunde – My Pen Pal,” “Über die Freundschaft – In Friendship,” “Flaggen – Flags,” “Little America,” “The Diner,” “Zuhause – Home,” “Das Tagebuch – The Diary,” and “Über die Stille – Quietude.”
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Katie Davisis a writer and producer living in Washington, D.C. Her work has appeared on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and “This American Life.” In her pieces for the Goethe-Institut, Katie has covered a range of German-American subjects, including the photographer Volkmar Wentzel and the judge Thomas Buergenthal.
Katie’s episode: Anatomy of an Apology
Dina Elsayedhas worked for news outlets like NPR and “Financial Times.” Since 2017, she has been working as a freelance journalist based out of Berlin.
Dina’s episode: The Diary
Moritz Gerlachis a journalist from Hamburg, Germany. Typically, he writes for print publications, but sometimes he writes online articles. In 2019, Moritz spent a month in New York City where he saw the Jets play and grabbed a hot dog in Coney Island. Find out more on his website.
Moritz’s episode: Hunting
Melissa Gerrlives in Baltimore, Maryland, and captures sounds and stories in the world around her. Her previous pieces for the Goethe-Institut have profiled mothers in Germany and the U.S. and the congregation at Zion Lutheran Church. Find out more about her work here.
Melissa’s episodes: Wonder, Community
Cariad Harmonis an independent radio producer, writer, and musician. Originally from Great Britain, she now resides in Nashville, Tennessee. These days, she prefers making stories to making music, focusing on the ties that bind us together, pull us apart, and connect us. Find out more on her website.
Cariad’s episodes: Record Booth, Road Trip
Carol McKinleyis a journalist with over 40 years of experience. She lives in Colorado with her husband, her mom, and her French bulldog. Carol grew up in Wiesbaden, Germany, in the ’70s and says that German culture is still one of her greatest passions.
Carol’s episode: Sacred Self
Monika Müller-Krollhas lived around the world in cities like Amsterdam and Los Angeles, producing radio stories for various German public radio networks. She is currently an editor and radio producer in Berlin. At KCRW Berlin, she produced English-language radio for the German capital.
Monika’s episodes: I Love You, I Hate You, Little America Revisited, The Diary, Encounters
Susanne Papawassiliuis a broadcast journalist who works in television and radio, mostly for the German networks RBB and Deutschlandfunk Kultur. She lives in Berlin.
Susanne’s episode: Adventure
Bilal Qureshiis a radio journalist and culture writer whose work has appeared on NPR and in “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post,” “Newsweek,” and “Film Quarterly.” From 2011 to 2012, Bilal was based in Berlin and Munich as a transatlantic fellow of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.
Bilal’s episodes: Radio Wanderlust, In Friendship
Jocelyn Robinsonis an educator, independent producer, and radio preservationist based in Yellow Springs, Ohio. In 2019, Jocelyn traveled to Berlin with the Goethe-Institut program “Radiobrücke Reversed” where she visited the German radio station Deutschlandfunk Kultur. Find out more about her work on her website.
Jocelyn’s episodes: The Flag, Home
Alex van Oss
has been a reporter and producer for four decades, for NPR and other networks. From 2003 to 2014, he coordinated Caucasus Area Studies for the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. Alex once played the part of German playwright Bertolt Brecht in a high school theater production.
Alex’s episode: How Buildings Mean