Dissatisfied with the football coverage? Something has to be changed, thought Christian Bellinger, now a student at HMKW Cologne, and founded his own online news portal Lattenkreuz.de, which is similar to hesgoals.
Christian Bellinger has been studying Journalism and Corporate Communications at HMKW Cologne since 2016. Born in Wiesbaden, he has been running the football news platform Lattenkreuz.de since 2014. Recently, the world’s largest football news app OneFootball has also been spreading news from Bellinger and his team, which has multiplied its reach by several tens of thousands of users. The Twitter account is also steadily gaining followers. More about the project and how he manages to reconcile the work for it and his studies, he tells in an interview:
What motivated you to found the portal “Lattenkreuz”?
Basically, this is relatively easy to explain. It has been my dream since early childhood to turn my hobby into my profession and to earn money with it. Already during my school days, the coverage of major media repeatedly struck me negatively. After graduating from high school, I decided to develop a concept that appeals above all to readers who feel the same way as me. And that’s where the current project came out. However, I never expected that we would ever have such a success and I don’t really realize it.
How exactly does your offer differ from other reporting?
In addition to our weekly player portraits, in which we introduce young, up-and-coming players, we are definitely one of the fastest services when it comes to getting information – and the quality of our texts does not fade into the background. Otherwise, we try to create a bond with our readers, which is done, for example, in the form of a prediction game in which our editors also participate. But it is best to convince yourself of our work and decide whether you like the offer or not.
How is your team composed and are there other HMKWers on board?
Our editorial team consists of seven editors, including me as editor-in-chief. However, it is important that we all work on the project on a voluntary basis, i.e. without payment.
However, this could change in the future through the cooperation with OneFootball, the world’s largest app for football news. In addition to me, my fellow student Lukas Eisenhut has been writing for the project since the beginning of my studies. Good man!
How much content have you put on your feet or online in the meantime?
We have been online since November 20, 2014, and have published more than 5,000 articles since then. On a normal working day, we currently publish ten to 15 articles, but in the transfer phase, this is also a little more than usual. During the season, of course, the main focus is on game previews and match reports.
You have been studying journalism and corporate communications at HMKW Cologne for several months now. How does this work together with the obviously extensive work on your portal?
That’s a very good question. Unfortunately, I can’t really answer them because I don’t know myself. Especially in the exam phase, this was hardly manageable, but somehow you always get everything under one roof. I can say so much that sometimes it is not enough to get more than a few hours of sleep and for the most part is screwed until late at night in different places – even on articles. But that’s the way it is when you become self-employed – you work yourself and constantly.
Have you already been able to use teaching content from your studies for the project and what do you expect from your studies?
Of course. Although I am here mainly to expand my knowledge of journalism and its depths, the entrepreneurial part is also of enormous importance, especially for the “Lattenkreuz” project. Basically, I expect to get to know new things and make contacts in the media industry.
A big step for the popularity of the platform was taken just a few days ago with the launch of the already mentioned cooperation with OneFootball. What are you planning next?
Since we already have an app for mobile devices, have pictures on our site and the number of views is in the millions, and thus all my dreams of the past few months have come true, there is currently nothing big on the plan in terms of further development. We may launch our new design within the next few months. In addition, we finally want to pick up a salary financially, and accordingly, advertising is probably placed on the site. Even though I was always against it, the step now seems almost inevitable.
How can HMKW fellow students support you in your project – are you still looking for an increase in editorial staff, for example?
In general, we are always looking for new colleagues who would like to join our project. As already mentioned, however, cooperation would be based on voluntary work and would not bring any reward. Should a collaboration still be of interest to someone, he can contact me via e-mail or in person at the university.
Last but not least, the “expert assessment”: What has been the most attractive transfer so far for the coming season, and who benefits from it?
FC Bayern Munich has certainly laid the foundation for a successful future with the signing of Renato Sanches. Anyone who is physically and playfully ready at the age of 18 is not necessarily worth 35 million euros but has a very great future ahead of him. The supporters of the German record champion will still have a lot of fun in the coming years with the boy, who can even call himself the European champion before his first season in the dress of the Munich. And the youngest of all time. Otherwise, I’m especially looking forward to BVB, which in my opinion has really done a lot right in the current transfer window despite the sales of numerous top performers. By the way, one player who will still cause puzzled faces is Sebastian Rode. Definite.