Avzin Arbilly , 24

Working with Ali Arkady showed me one thing: If you’ve never seen, heard, experienced or suffered like him then you can’t call yourself a war reporter. In Fallujah he was 50 meters away from ISIS, later in Mosul he saw how civilians were heartlessly tortured and he was brave enough to capture it on his camera and publish it. He talked with such an incredible strength with us about his story, even after all he went through – that’s a real reporter to me.

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Sebastian Berning , 28

I travelled to Greece with Paul Ronzheimer. After seeing all the lifejackets on the beach and people who live in refugee camps, I understood: We need journalism! Journalists need to tell those stories which would otherwise not have been told.

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Rouven Chlebna , 26

My meeting with Hajo Seppelt was a a peculiar experience. Especially because Mr. Seppelt made his high demands even on me in the interview in terms of research and questions. I became more aware that good journalism is impossible without the necessary precision and dedication. For journalists, it must not be about telling people things in the way they want to hear them. Rather, facts must be reported soberly in order to come as close as possible to the truth.

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Kevin Dusch , 21

mission: truth showed me that journalists not only have to report, explain and classify - they also have to be inventors. Because today you can reach more people with your content than ever before, but you also have to fight much harder for your audience. That's why we need journalists who not only have a sense for important stories, but also for the technology they use to reach readers and viewers.

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Kai Franzke , 24

"Journalists must be belligerent!" The chief reporter of the WELT, Anette Dowideit, answered the question at our shooting, which qualities a good journalist should have. I would also describe our time as Team 23 in the mission: truth project as argumentative. 18 young, prospective journalists from different editorial offices, from the most different regions and with an age range from 19 to 33 years should come to a common denominator. A great challenge! That so much constructive came out of so many discussions with so many different points of view in our Instagram- project, I take that from mission: truth with me. Because it was always only about one topic: the truth.

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Konrad Göke , 33

mission: truth has once again proved to me that being a journalist is not a nine-to-five job. Journalists always have to go through life with their eyes and ears open - so they can be eyes and ears for everyone.

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Lisa Gratzke , 28

I remember the queasy feeling I had when I was standing in front of Jan Kuciak’s house, the place where he was murdered. But I also remember the entirely positive aura and the enthusiasm in the newsroom of and of Jan’s colleagues, above all Martin Turcek: a reporter who doesn’t know fear and who puts the common good and the preservation of the democracy above himself and his personal safety and continues fighting against corruption and political grievances. mission: truth showed me the importance of not allowing for anyone to forbid journalists to speak.

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Paol Hergert , 30

For mission: truth I was able to drive and fly down the length of the East Coast of the United States, together with Melanie Muschong. On the way we met four exceptional journalists, who couldn’t be more different: a war photographer, an ISIS-expert, an investigative reporter and a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. And yet one thing unites them all: their unconditional passion for their jobs and for the truth. Equally important to the four is to give back. To pass on their knowledge and their passion. As for me, they’ve succeeded.

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Nadine Jantz , 28

We've reached out to a lot of people and got very few responses. What seemed unlikely at the beginning of the project, almost utopian, eventually worked out. Alina Quast and I sat down with the investigative reporter Bob Woodward, 2017 Pulitzer Prize winner Sarah Ryley, and Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron for an interview. To us, our entire trip was proof that it is always worth to give it a try. In the aftermath, Baron responded to our question why he agreed to give us an interview as follows: "You were very persistent."

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Lukas Krombholz , 25

After the Sepp Blatter era, investigative reporter and my protagonist Tim Röhn briefly thought he had to look for a new topic. That didn’t happen: Blatter's successor, FIFA President Gianni Infantino and his more than just dubious machinations, would pay him his rent, Röhn joked. And then to emphasize the importance of stubbornness, independence and mercilessness as a journalist. That sounds a bit like the demands of a double zero agent. Or the best job in the world: being a journalist.

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Katharina Maß , 20

It is fascinating how different people deal so differently with innovations. By meeting Yusuf Omar, I have seen how innovations can be viewed in a more holistic manner. He proves how technologies can be used for purposes that they initially weren’t developed for. So more people can be given a voice.

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Melanie Muschong , 26

What I learned while I was on the East Coast of the US for mission: truth with Paol Hergert: The work of a journalist requires passion and conviction. And it requires courage. Courage to sit in front of a terrorist, as Rukimini Callimachi did. Courage to research in war zones, as Greg Marinovich did. Courage to work every day on grievous topics like the death of children, as Carol Marbin Miller did. Courage to stand up for your story, even when the government denies it, as David Barstow did. Behind every story there is a journalist. And behind every journalist is the courage, to give something back.

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Thomas Porwol , 26

"We have never been closer to the truth" – Yusuf Omar, whom I met in Los Angeles, is sure of that. And damn, he is right. Smartphones, drones or GoPros strapped to the head - today's technology allows us to tell stories that wouldn't even have been possible 20 years ago. What a great time to be a journalist.

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Alina Quast , 26

"Why?" & "Can you help me?" – According to Bob Woodward, these are the most important questions for journalists. During our trip to the US, they have brought Nadine Jantz and me quite far and now belong to my standard repertoire.

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Silja Rulle , 26

I followed the trails of Axel Springer in Hamburg for mission: truth. It showed me that even – or especially – in seemingly hopeless situations you have to believe in yourself, you have to keep moving forward. A strong will, fresh ideas and endurance: That is what brings us closer to our goals.

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Maxime Schlee , 26

mission: truth brought me to Slovakia as well as to Munich. For two fundamentally different topics: On the one hand, I met one of the colleagues of the murdered Journalist Ján Kuciak and talked to him about corruption, protests and the importance of investigative journalism in his country. On the other hand, I talked to two journalists from Süddeutsche Zeitung, who made a significant contribution to uncovering the Panama Papers, about how addictive it was for them to comb through the data and about the effects their months-long research has sparked. Without the courage and resilience of journalists like those, many stories would remain unheard.

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Felix Seifert , 19

We have travelled around the world to meet famous journalists and to show their biggest stories. We noticed: the greatest stories are only possible with attention to the smallest details.

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Katharina Vogt , 29

Working with Ali Arkady made me realize: You can only be a journalist completely or not at all. It takes courage and attitude to put your own life behind the commitment to tell the truth.

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