Hostwriter is featured on the “Öffentliche Räume in den Medien” (Public Spaces in the Media) episode of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung’s Öffentliche Räume podcast, which introduces listeners to a variety of spaces “where people have access to public goods.”

Podcast host Lukasz Tomaszewski talked with co-founder and CEO Tabea Grzeszyk about the origins of Hostwriter. She recounted how she made a lot of contacts during a couch-surfing holiday in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon. She returned to Germany and, one year later, the so-called “Arab Spring” happened and “… suddenly there was a crazy need for contacts, different looks, different voices in all editorial offices.” She was able to use the contacts she made on her trip for covering the Arab uprisings and thought, “That was the starting signal somehow: Couchsurfing – why isn’t it for journalists?”

Tomaszewski also interviewed Hostwriter Ambassador Piotr Drabik about what prompted him to join Hostwriter. “Here we have the opportunity for international cooperation between journalists from different countries,” Drabik responded. “I always deal with international topics. I very often need an expert or information.” He went on to explain how Hostwriter helped him report on Hungarian protests against Victor Orbán in January 2019. “The Hostwriter people I met there helped me a lot. My colleague Ákos. He gave me the exact contacts to the organizers of the protests … In the end, it was my story that I wrote for But thanks to the contacts and help I got through the Hostwriter network, the story was more meaningful and professional.”

Hostwriter Irene Caselli, who was on the team of journalists that won the 2018 Hostwriter Story Prize, was also interviewed by Tomaszewski to talk about how she and her teammates used Hostwriter while working on their award-winning story. “So we urgently needed a translator. I was thinking of Hostwriters to find someone to help us translate the interviews. That’s how we met Emil, who helped us with the translations of our film. That’s how I put the Hostwriter theory into practice.”