Karlsruhe Dialogues 2011
Birgit Kolkmann was born in Wesel/Germany in 1960. Among other things, she works as a presenter and author for the broadcaster Deutschlandradio. Starting in 1978, she studied German language and literature, history of art and political science in Aachen, Paris and Braunschweig. During this time she did freelancing work for the newspapers “Rheinische Post”, “Braunschweiger Zeitung” and “Landeszeitung für die Lüneburger Heide”, mainly for the arts and culture sections. Furthermore, she was assistant director at the Braunschweig State Theatre and organized the exhibition “Goethe and Braunschweig.” After graduating from university in 1984, she did a traineeship at the broadcaster Norddeutscher Rundfunk in Hamburg, Hanover, Kiel and Lübeck. This stint was followed by a couple of years as an editor: starting in 1986 at radio NDR Hannover, then in 1987 at NDR Hamburg (political radio), and another year after that at the Hessischer Rundfunk in Frankfurt, where she began to work as a presenter of the regional TV magazine “Hessenschau”. Moreover, Kolkmann was in charge of programming at the radio magazine “Meridian” as well as of establishing and managing the editorial department.
After nine years at the Hessischer Rundfunk, she switched to n-tv where she worked as a presenter. She also built up and ran the magazine “Thema.” At the same time, in 1999, Kolkmann assumed her post as presenter and author at Deutschlandradio Kultur and Deutschlandfunk, where she presents the early morning magazine show “Ortszeit” and other programmes on current topics. In 2006, Kolkmann developed a series on migration and integration, which was presented at the European Broadcasting Union convention in Sevilla in 2007. Furthermore, since 2007, she has been a mentor for young journalists with an immigrant background within the respective mentoring programme of the commissioner for integration of the Berlin senate. She is also an esteemed presenter of public events, panel discussions and symposia. In 2005, Kolkmann received the Journalist Award of the RWTH Aachen for her article on “Machine wonders and prevention of crises” which deals with ethical questions regarding the boundaries of medicine.