Mundusians under the Covid-19 Lockdown: Part 5 - Konstanze Nastarowitz

Welcome to the fifth interview in our series about Mundusians under the Covid-19 shutdown. Today, we say hello to alumna - Konstanze Nastorowitz who shares her lockdown experience from Hamburg.

2020.05.04 | Ellie Sellwood

Konstanze in her home office - while shooting her 'Innenleben' documentary.

Germany went into lockdown in mid-March and is slowly starting to ease the restrictions. But what does the lockdown mean for broadcast journalists throughout the country and how are they getting around it? Today, we’re catching up with Konstanze - who works for public broadcaster NDR - to find out.

Konstanze graduated from the Mundus Journalism programme in Hamburg last year. She is from Germany and is currently undertaking a traineeship with NDR - Norddeutscher Rundfunk (or Northern German Broadcasting), a public radio and television broadcaster, based in Hamburg.

Mundus Journalism: What is the situation like in Hamburg right now? How long have Covid-19 measures been in place? What’s the mood like?

Contact with more than 1 other person has been banned since mid-March, a lot of people are working from home and a lot of shops are still closed. But we are allowed to go out for walks, shopping etc. Small retail businesses and shops are opening but we have to wear face masks on public transport and in public places.

Mundus Journalism: How have the Covid-19 measures affected your work? 

I am currently working mostly from home and taking part in a lot of online meetings and conferences. Covid-19 has also resulted in me and a colleague producing our first ever documentary mostly shot at home and interviewing a lot of people remotely. So, this has been a huge change and a great opportunity to try something new and different and to challenge ourselves.

MJ: What kind of tools have you been using to facilitate working remotely?

We have mostly depended on video call technologies.

MJ: Do you have any tips or tricks for fellow Mundusians working in the same field as you?

The covid-19 lockdown is horrible and a very scary experience for many of us. However, I realized that there is also quite a lot of space to innovate right now, to come up with new formats and to pitch ideas. So, we pitched a new format to NDR Doku (@ndrdoku) in which we wanted to talk about the emotional and psychological implications of the pandemic and talk to experts to get recommendations on what to do if you’re experiencing loneliness, depression or fear while you are alone at home. We did most of the interviews via video call technologies and it worked surprisingly well!

MJ: That sounds exciting, how did you develop this format?

We felt like there were tons of live blogs and newsflashes out there, but too little journalistic work focusing on the day-to-day psychological and emotional implications of the pandemic. So we produced a Youtube/Instagram/Facebook documentary format called “Innenleben”, which basically translates as “inner life” (also seen as a metaphor for your emotional state of mind).

In this format, my colleague and I talk to normal people who are experiencing emotionally challenging situations due to their mental health issues or other difficult circumstances. Our first episode focused on loneliness. It is our first documentary ever, so it has definitely been an amazing experience for us! We are very grateful for the opportunity and also for the trust and openness of our protagonists.

If you’d like to watch Konstanze’s documentary (in German), the first episode of her documentary covers loneliness - and the second covers fear and anxiety:

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, Konstanze. We’re excited about this new format and look forward to seeing future episodes!

Want to join the Mundus Journalism MA programme next year? Applications will open again on 10th November 2020!

*All opinions are Konstanze's own and are not the views or opinions of her employer.

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Tags: Covid-19, Covid-19 lockdown, Hamburg, broadcast journalism, working from home, WFH