Angelika Schwarz

 

What can you tell us about your career?

I started to study Germanistik and Anglistik und Amerikanistik in 1993. At about the same time I also began working as a part-time contributor to the local newspaper Vorarlberger Nachrichten, writing mainly about regional politics and culture.

Shortly before finishing my studies, I pursued my journalistic career as a producer of radio and TV programmes for the cultural section of ORF Vorarlberg on a permanent basis. In this capacity I created radio and television features, presented radio programmes, and gave live introductions to national and regional ORF TV programmes (such as the opening of the Bregenz Festival and the “Licht ins Dunkel” special programmes).

A couple of years later I moved within the ORF Vorarlberg from the cultural section to the news section. I continued to produce national and regional radio and TV programmes, presented the local radio news, and, as so-called managing editor, was rotationally responsible for the entirety of radio news.

For roughly one and a half years I also presented the ORF TV programme Vorarlberg Heute (as maternity leave cover).

Being mother to an adorable son I currently work as a part-time contributor to the news section and mainly present the news for ORF Radio Vorarlberg.

Why did you study Anglistik und Amerikanistik? What, in your opinion, makes this choice of study unique?

Being an avid reader, globetrotter, and interested in journalism and culture, it was obvious that I wanted to study languages. Germanistik had always been a given—to which I soon added Anglistik und Amerikanistik as I realised early on that it allowed me to engage in conversations all around the world.

Are there any classes/courses/activities that have influenced you both personally and professionally? Do you have any fond memories?

I particularly remember a literary class in which the professor—using refined but merciless cynicism—exposed those fellow students who did not have the slightest insights into current world events. To him, literature not only encompassed books, novels, poems, things long forgotten, or the like but also contemporary events and writing, and, in particular, to recognise and understand important connections and interrelations. This class encouraged me to pursue a career as a journalist.

Which skills that you acquired during your language and literature studies have been useful in your current employment and throughout your career?

Studying Anglistik und Amerikanistik helped me present ‘facts’ in a nuanced manner. It taught me that being able to play with words and working with their various connotations hinges on a profound knowledge of their—often seemingly minimal—differences in meaning. This proved to be an essential tool for my line of work.

Moreover, I have conducted numerous interviews in English, have translated for colleagues, and have had the pleasure of meeting international celebrities—in all of which I have profited from my English skills.

The most beautiful thing about studying a language, however, is the fact that—if you allow it—you can continue studying it your whole life because languages are constantly evolving.

angelika.schwarz@orf.at