The induction events for this years’ GEP (Graduate European Programme) continued this week, with a thoroughly engaging talk by renowned TVE & RNE correspondents Ms. Anna Bosch & Mr. Íñigo Picabea on the experiences of life as international journalists. The event was held once again at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce premises on Wigmore Street, and played host to over an hour of intrigue for our young GEP participants.
The different culture of news from country to country was the first point to be highlighted in the talk; the differences of which are further intensified in particular cities, such as London and Washington, which have their own micro-cultures. From this insight, Ms. Bosch, who has extensive experience working in both of these great cities, reminded the room that there are also distinct differences in producing news for either domestic or international consumption – the way in which information is then transformed and packaged for its relevant audience.
As a journalist, she said, you are bombarded with information. In one example of her time in Washington D.C., she recalled a time in 2006 when she had to immediately drop all of her plans upon hearing reports of Fidel Castro’s death. As it turns out, he was just taken unwell, but the frenzy of media speculation was intense.
Freedom of, and access to information was also another important point. The processes of collecting reliable data from sources in liberal cities like London, differs hugely to the ability to do the same in say, either Moscow or Caracas. These perceptions provided great food for thought for our attending GEP participants, with questions being posed throughout the talk.
One poignant departing thought was left with the audience at the end of the session, with the idea of the consequences of modern news consumption carrying with it certain dangers. With the advent of countless dispensers of news on the internet and social media, conveyed through varied biases and on focusing on specific topics, an important question needs to be asked: Are we are creating our own world of news by only accessing that we which we want, and forgetting the wider importance of everything else? Perhaps the high level of personal tailoring of how each of us receives news could carry with it the consequence of making us more ignorant, rather than the contrary.
These important issues were a great source of interest for our attendees, and we extend our thanks to our speakers for their time.