Asta Kongsted and Britta Lokting Join Groundbreaking Program for Journalism Students and Early-Career Journalists
Asta Kongsted, '23 M.S., and Britta Lokting, '15 M.A., are two of 14 journalism students chosen for the 2023 Journalism Program of the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE).
Now in its thirteenth year of operation, FASPE provides a unique historical lens to engage graduate students in professional schools and early-stage practitioners in six fields (business, journalism, law, design & technology, medicine and seminary) in an intensive course of study focused on contemporary ethical issues in their professions.
The FASPE Journalism Program offers an approach that differs from the usual classroom experience in journalism schools by providing a holistic curriculum that looks beyond the specifics of formal rules to focus on ethical problems faced by individual journalists in the various settings in which they practice. Fellows participate in a two-week program in Germany and Poland, which uses the conduct of journalists in Nazi occupied Europe as a way to reflect on journalism ethics today.
Daily seminars are led by specialized faculty who engage fellows in discussions, encouraging critical thinking about both the historical and the contemporary. The Journalism Program is strengthened by the diverse perspectives of its participants and its intense focus on the powers of place and context. The experience of the journalism fellows is enhanced by traveling alongside the medical and seminary fellows, who—in formal and informal settings—consider together how ethical constructs and norms in their respective professions align and differ.
“By educating students about the causes of the Holocaust and the power of their chosen professions, FASPE seeks to instill a sense of professional responsibility for the ethical and moral choices that the fellows will make in their careers and in their professional relationships,” said David Goldman, FASPE’s founder and chairman.
FASPE studies the perpetrators to emphasize the essential role of professionals and to ask how and why they abandon their ethical guideposts. The FASPE Journalism Program examines the role of journalists and the profession of journalism more broadly during the Nazi period, underscoring the reality that moral codes governing journalists can break down or be distorted with devastating consequences. With this historical background, the journalism fellows are better positioned to confront contemporary issues.
The 2023 Fellowship is scheduled to take place in Germany and Poland over the course of two weeks this summer (subject to health considerations). The Journalism Program will be led by Mark Lukasiewicz, dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra University, and Sarah Stillman, staff writer at The New Yorker.