Thomas Mann Fellows | 2023

Mar, Apr, May, Jan, Feb

Maria Exner | Journalist

Maria Exner | Image: Michael Heck
Maria Exner | Image: Michael Heck

Maria Exner was born in Dresden in 1984 and studied journalism in Munich. She then trained as a journalist in Berlin and worked as a reporter for the WELT Group. After studying cultural sociology at the London School of Economics, she became the cultural editor at ZEIT ONLINE in 2011. Since 2015, as deputy editor-in-chief she has developed future-oriented magazine journalism and innovative digital projects for ZEIT ONLINE and ZEIT. She built the Z2X Ideas Festival for under-30s and was co-responsible for the founding of the award-winning dialogue project, "Deutschland Spricht" and the platform, “My Country Talks,” which enables editorial offices around the world to organize discourse between people with different opinions. Since July 2020, Exner has been Deputy Editor in Chief of ZEIT-Magazin. Her work seamlessly integrates aspects of journalism, technology and democracy.


Publications (Selection)

Exner (2020). “European Media System Post-Corona”, Common Ground of 09.05.2020

Exner (2019). "Wir wollen mehr Dialog" - Lecture at the Autumn Forum of the Initiative Quality in Journalism on 14.10.2019.

Exner et al (2019). “Europa, im Streit vereint - Was haben Europäer sich zu sagen?”, DIE ZEIT, 16.5.2019.

Exner et al (2017). “Wir haben unser Bürgergefühl entdeckt“, TIME ONLINE of 18.06.2017.

Awards (Selection)

"IPRA President's Award 2019" from the International Public Relations Association for "My Country Talks"

"Jean Monnet Prize for European Integration 2019" for "Europe Talks"
Award as "Newcomer of the year 2018" by the industry service KRESS

"Grimme Online Award 2018" for concept and implementation of "Germany speaks


Project Description

At the Thomas Mann House, Maria Exner will deal with the question of what contribution journalism and media can make to maintaining social cohesion in times of technology-driven polarization of opinion - and what journalistic self-image must underlie this contribution. Taking into account the perspectives of experts in California and the USA, generalizable lessons will be drawn and made available to the public and the next generation of journalists.