More than a million Bild copies are published every day in spite of much criticism. I got closer to the reason of this success when I met the chief reporter of Germany’s best-selling tabloid in Berlin.
The story of Kai Feldhaus
Kai Feldhaus looks a little bit young for his position, but he quickly convinced me and my colleagues from 16 countries in Asia and Africa of his professionalism. For almost two hours in Bild’s headquarters in the German capital, Feldhaus showed us the way editors and reporters do their jobs. It was a great experience for all of us.
But that is only a part of the story, because the chief reporter even showed us more things, especially about himself, when he discussed with us in a conference room. Firstly, he answered all our questions about the tabloid paper. I was impressed with the way he answered the questions that related to moral issues of Bild. I was even impressed more when I learned that the publications have taken images of naked women from the front page in order to attract more female readers. It showed that Bild not only cares about circulation but also listen to the public.
Secondly, Feldhaus talked more about himself and that was the reason why I want to write this story. He started working for Bild 7 years ago. It was difficult for his parents to understand his decision. “Are you serious?” they asked after knowing about this job offer.
In spite of his parents’ doubts, Feldhaus still became a reporter of Bild. He has done his job well and travelled to 42 counties in 5 continents in 7 years. It’s a good job for him, and the most important thing is he had his own choice for his own life. That should be the way everyone should do for his own life.
In Vietnam where I come from, most of children don’t choose their own road. Their parents often force them to choose a university and then a job which they (the children) really don’t want to. For example, I chose to get in an external economy department of a business university, which I don’t fit. During the time in university, I truly recognized that it was not my life and I had to find my own career. I like writing, reading news and travelling a lot, so I myself chose journalism as my job.
I started searching information and studying to become a journalist. I did it on my own. In the second year in university, I set up a news site. It was very simple but it helped me to think of my job in the future. And then a good chance came to me.
Only five days after passing the final exam in university, I got the first job in my life. I worked as a collaborator for a sport daily newspaper which was especially published during the World Cup 2006. After that, I became a reporter of sport section in an online newspaper and then I get the same job for another sport daily newspaper. After over three years working as a sport reporter, I spent one year and a half to travel a lot and work as a freelancer. Finally, I joined the world news section of a leading online newspaper in Vietnam. It’s my current job.
The problem was my parents didn’t like journalism and they didn’t want me to become a journalist, however there’s no one but me can choose a job for myself. I chose to do as a journalist despite my parents’ hard reaction. I tried my best to convince them that it’s a right choice for me. Fortunately, my parents changed the way they think of journalism and now I’m working as a journalist. I think they’re proud of what I decided and what I will do. They believe me. That’s the most important thing for me.
Story of Bild
Bild is not the most creditable newspaper in Germany like Der Spiegel magazine or other publications. It is the biggest tabloid and more than a million people open their pocket everyday to buy copies of Bild.
What is the success of Bild? In my point of view, it always does the right thing in its own style. Bild has its own way and always sticks to it. It would be nonsense if Bild wanted to become a magazine like Der Spiegel. In spite of much criticism, this paper still goes on its track because it believes that it always has its own readers. They buy, they read and they support Bild.
Story of Bild is also the story of everyone. Every person should choose his own way and believe in this decision. Feldhaus and I did that, what’s about you?