On Friday, maybe a few children from the neighborhood and some of his classmates knew that he was working for ZDFLogo! works, says Alexander. Half of Germany knows on Saturday evening. The Berlin children’s reporter Alexander has become an Internet celebrity over the weekend. However, only with his first name – which he and his parents want to keep.
The children’s news Logo! published one of Alexander’s interviews on Saturday, he had met with the AfD top candidate Tino Chrupalla. Chrupalla tells the 13-year-old that “more German cultural assets” should be taught in schools, more folk songs and poems. So far, so expectable. But the young reporter doesn’t let it rest and asks: “What is your favorite poem anyway?” Break. “Favorite German poem?” Explains Alexander. A few err and broken half-sentences later, Chrupalla stumbles to the answer: “I can’t think of any right now.” His favorite poet is Heinrich Heine, the AfD man adds. But by then it had already happened.
“I really didn’t expect him to be able to answer that”
The short excerpt fulfills everything that works on Twitter: The video has now been viewed more than a million times on Twitter and shared thousands of times. It was more of a coincidence, as Alexander says. “I really didn’t expect him to be able to answer that.”
Alexander then experiences a “candystorm” on Twitter, the rare opposite of a shit storm. Jan Böhmermann called him on Saturday (in vain) to the moderation team of the Triell. ZDF capital correspondent Nicole Diekmann posts understanding if Alexander would become her new boss. The 13-year-old only noticed all of this one day later when a friend showed him the Internet excitement. “I thought that there might be reactions from a few children from the neighborhood.”
Alexander has been with us for almost three years Logo!. The daily children’s news has been around since 1989, is produced by ZDF and broadcast on Kika. They last ten minutes and prepare the world situation in a child-friendly way. A recipe for success: the child reporters who conduct interviews. Alexander wanted to do that too, because he wanted to get to know interesting people, he says. He conducted his first interview in November 2018: with the pianist Chilly Gonzales. Suddenly he got on the piano and played with his feet, Alexander remembers. It was “very surprising” – just interesting people.
In his interviews, Alexander is quick-witted and cheeky. He asks Annalena Baerbock whether she is a Shrek fan, because she always has such a green face on election posters. He opens the conversation with SPD health politician Karl Lauterbach as follows: “Hello, Professor Doktor Doktor Lauterbach, you have a lot of titles. Are you really that smart or are you just pretending?” And Alexander? Is he just acting quick-witted and cheeky? “It’s like that, it’s innate,” says his father.
He doesn’t yet know whether he wants to become a journalist after school. He would find a career in the natural sciences, biology or astronomy just as exciting. Alexander is in the eighth grade of a science high school. “Or a science journalist,” suggests his father.
In his free time, Alexander likes to swim, play the trumpet and guitar. Oh yes, “and I do karate”. Unlike Chrupalla, Alexander would have had an answer ready by the way, favorite poem: “John Maynard” by Theodor Fontane. They used to have that at school.