JIVE climate: the premiere of live journalism in Germany

On Tuesday, November 21st 2023, the premiere of a journalism live show represented an absolute first in Germany. An audience of 300 flocked to the large auditorium at Babylon in downtown Berlin Mitte for “JIVE KIima” (or “JIVE climate”). And they experienced an evening that - symbolically - broke through some boundaries - and many of them!

June 13, 2024

JIVE climate opening speech

JIVE climate opening speech in the Cinema Theater Babylon Berlin © Jörg Farys.

Project description

JIVE Climate

The new live journalism show “JIVE Climate” celebrated its premiere in Berlin in autumn 2023. On stage, journalists presented their solution-oriented stories for a more climate-friendly urban development. Stories were interwoven by artistic interludes. Organizers are the research center CORRECTIV and the organisation Headliner gUG. More information.

First, it was organizers from the new, non-profit company named “Headliner” who tore down the imaginary wall between journalists and the audience. While there has been much talk of a crisis of confidence in media, live journalism can provide solutions. An international study from Finland has shown that hearing the news straight out of a journalist's mouth conveys the greatest possible credibility. Just like in the theater Babylon: the show brought together eight stories from six European countries (Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, and Spain), presented by nine reporters. For many, it was their first appearance on such a large stage. All of the reporters were especially interested in the topics they had researched.

This production was proof for our journalistic partner, CORRECTIV, of how to create more of a connection with the audience. The research center had already gathered positive experiences with other forms of media such as comics and exhibitions.

The second boundary that was demolished that evening was between journalism and culture. JIVE, the name of the show, is a portmanteau of journalism and live. And it also provokes associations with dancing. When journalists take the stage – which has happened far too infrequently – they mostly think about words. They deliver a lecture, record a podcast, conduct conversations.

But way back, there used to be a wonderful pre-broadcast ritual of spinning yarns with real musicians on hand. That is what made it true joy for the show’s producers to recruit the Improvising Symphony Orchestra Stegreif from Berlin. They have been revolutionizing classical concerts for several years now: no sheet music, no conductor, no chairs – free arrangements of symphonic music. Stegreif’s self-conception is that of a social actor, and they have even already dealt with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This aspect is essentially strengthened by the concept of fusing live music with journalism. They gladly performed as a quintet.

But that’s not all! The third boundary that gave way to the show’s producers is between global warming and social climate. One year ago, the Allianz Foundation used the Climate Cultures Call to invite new narratives to be created that tackle the climate crisis and incorporate social and cultural perspectives. In the case of “JIVE Klima”, this was carried out with stories about constructive solutions of how cities deal with climate change – from Bochum to Barcelona. What’s more, this also tore down European borders that tend to be built back up at the moment. The best approach is communication and exchange. This is why the audience was able to engage with the speakers and learn more at a market place. This was heavily used in the foyer during the break and after the show.

Looking back, we can say the premiere of “JIVE Climate” was pleasure unbound. You can get an impression of this with the video of some of the show’s great moments. For those who want to witness this in person, the information about when and where the next production will take place can be found soon here.


Photo Gallery & Video

Audience in the Babylon Berlin Cinema Theater

Audience during JIVE climate © Jörg Farys.

A team of two journalists performs on stage

Samuel Hufschmid & Sven Niederhäuser: A two-person rap about the Swiss phenomenon of the car-park. Their results show other cities how crowd research can contribute to climate-friendly urban development  © Jörg Farys.

Members of the orchestra Stegreif are performing during the event.

The Band Stegreif accompanied the event © Jörg Farys.

The jounralist Greta Taubert during her performance

The journalist Greta Taubert presented a hilarious roadshow about the quest to find utopia © Jörg Farys.

Two musicians of Stegreif perform on a lodge during the event

The Band Stegreif is a Berlin-based Improvising symphony orchestra © Jörg Farys.

Ein Teammitglied von Headliner während der Berufsausbildung vor der Veranstaltung.

Christine Liehr from Headliners during the preparations for JIVE climate © Jörg Farys.

The audience during JIVE climate

An audience of 300 flocked to the large auditorium at Babylon in downtown Berlin © Jörg Farys.

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