What it was like to live and work as an American reporter in Europe in the mid-80s, covering stories for a weekly TV newsmagazine broadcast on PBS. Author Walt Christophersen describes everyday situations at his home base in Cologne, Germany, such as finding an apartment and buying a car, plus experiences on the job as he travels a wide area stretching between Iceland and Cyprus. His assignments take him to the Normandy invasion beaches and Dresden to cover key wartime anniversaries. On the lighter side, he confronts gypsy pickpockets in Paris and tracks down Sherlock Holmes in Switzerland. Taking a wider look at international broadcasting, the book also peeks behind-the-scenes at Blue Danube Radio in Vienna, Radio Free Europe in Munich and CNN International in Atlanta.
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About the Author
Born in Chicago, Walt Christophersen is a lifelong journalist who began as a columnist on the campus newspaper at his alma mater, the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California. Most of his career was devoted to TV news, working at stations owned by or affiliated with CBS and NBC. Like many others in the business, his jobs took him to half a dozen cities between North Carolina and Southern California, holding a variety of positions such as writer, producer, reporter, copy editor, assignment editor and news director. For nine years spread over the 80s and 90s, he lived and worked in Germany, first as a reporter for a weekly TV newsmagazine produced in Cologne for PBS and later as a writer/editor for Radio Free Europe in Munich. He recounts what it was like to live and work in Europe in his first book, A Temporary European, published in 2009. His second book, By Ship, Train, Bus, Plane & Sometimes Hitchhiking, out in 2011, is strictly about travel, with an emphasis on getting from one place to another. It covers trips he made in the 1960s and 70s which included exploring dozens of islands in the Pacific as well as making a six-month journey from Beirut to Tokyo. During the mid-70s, his travel articles and photographs were published by a number of major newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Boston Globe. His last full time job was editing copy for CNN International in Atlanta.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Walt Christophersen had the good fortune to land a plum of a job with the German television magazine European Journal. In his book, "A Temporary European," he takes us along in his reporting on a wonderful ride that gives so much insight to Europe. He puts the reader in the place of history, from his coverage outside the jail of the last Nazi to the killing fields of World War II around Hamburg where munitions were still being dug up. He traveled far and wide chasing the best stories, from the shores of France and D-Day commemorations all the way to Iceland where he sampled his first taste of whale steak. An added plus, he shares his knowlege of what it is to cope with Europe -- from importing his dog to renting a place where the previous tenants according to custom took everything including the kitchen sink. He skillfully weaves in the politics behind the German program, Deutsche Welle, and later takes a hard look at the machinations behind a U.S.-run agency, Radio Free Europe. His style throughout is easily readable, the crisp writing of a former television news writer.
I would recommend this book to anyone, it has a little something for the light reader, a traveler, someone looking for entertainment or enlightment. It's easy to read, funny, serious, and educational. I really enjoyed this book and will be looking for more from this author.