Schwarzenegger at Journalism Gala

Barbara Gasser by Mark Hunziker
Barbara Gasser by Mark Hunziker

Watching Gov. @Schwarzenegger deliver remarks at the Southern California Journalism Awards Gala – at

It was a dream come true for myself as a journalist because I am the first Austrian Journalist to win the “International Journalism: News Feature” Award in the 52 year history of the Southern California Journalism Awards. Furthermore I won two second places and an honorable mention.

For the first time Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger opened this years spectacular Gala in the Crystal Ballroom of the Biltmore Millenium Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles. The huge chandelier that gave the Crystal Ballroom its name was once manufactured by Swarovski and the idea of the Oscars was born in that same room in 1927.

The Governors speech was point right on and funny – as usual. At one point and to my surprise he even called me out. “Barbara, where are you?” Then he proceeded to tell the story how I ambushed him and got him into this mess to talk in front of the leading American press. He invited me without knowing that I actually have something to impose on him. “After an event with Mayor Villaraigosa, I invited Barbara to let me know if there is anything I can do for her. And then, to my surprise, Barbara actually took me up on it and said, yes Governor, there is actually you can do something for me.” He probably thought, oh my God what have I gotten myself into and “the next thing I hear her say is. “Governor there is the Southern California Journalism Awards coming up, would you come and open the Gala?” And then he came and now I am standing in front of him hearing the story retold. He went on and made salient points of the importance of press coverage and politics in the current gubernatorial race.

Oscar Winner Sean Penn also gave an inspiring speech about the significance of covering exceptional journalists like Ed Murrow and Walter Cronkite. I met Walter Cronkite and interviewed him, so I relate to what Sean meant.

Though this is a personal dream that came true I would never have been able to live it without you being the wind beneath my wings and have me experience that the sky is the limit. I thank you, my family, friends and colleagues who went along with me on this journey and all, who never stopped believing in me.