Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof

Seeking Spanish Journalist

In Journalism on December 23, 2005 at 8:02 pm

Norbert Niediek, a veteran German journalist covering southeastern Europe and the Balkans from Graz, Austria, is seeking a native Spanish-speaking journalist to join a nascent correspondents’ bureau. which currently consists of him, a French journalist and (soon) a native English-speaking journalist.

The idea is to gather four (or three or five) journalists who supply the big news markets in Western Europe and overseas with reports from South East Europe: one who writes in English, one in German, one in French, one in Spanish. The reason for this sort of distribution is that on one hand their jobs are similar, on the other hand there is no competition between them…

What we can share is contacts, information, experience, and we can travel together.

Contacts: Politicians usually accept the idea to be interviewed by journalists from different countries at a time. One of us can easily introduce another one to an informant. Especially in the Balkans, personal knowledge is still much more important than official functions.

Information: It depends on each of us how far he or she accepts information given by one of his/her colleagues as true and objective. Nobody will simply translate an article one of the partners has written. But you might use a quote that has not been given directly to you but to one of your bureau partners. A very rewarding (and definitely not smelly) kind of cooperation is to share taped interviews in foreign languages for the radio…

Experience: One or the other partner will develop a preference for one or two countries in the area and soon become an expert. Another one might contribute with a more general expertise, e.g. on computer programs or interview techniques – whatever.

Travel together: Travelling by car is much cheaper than by plane, given the fact that airline prices are still very high in the area. With a car, you are much more flexible once you have arrived in your country of destination. Two or more colleagues can attend parallel appointments or press conferences…

 

From Austria you can cover the countries of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy, which is still a common thing to do for many correspondents from all over the world. These countries are Austria itself, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and in some sense also Romania (Transilvania used to belong to the Habsburg monarchy)…

The main focus of interest of western media is in the former war theatres in the Western Balkans: Kosovo, Serbia, to a lesser extent Bosnia, Croatia, and Macedonia. Financial departments in big national newspapers are particularly interested in economic stories from EU accession countries. Austria is of special interest above all for Germany… In most of the area there is much stuff for exotic reportage…

Graz has an airport with a daily Ryanair connection to London Stansted (€ 30 to 50 one way). From Stansted you can reach many destinations in France and Spain: Almeria, Bergerac, Biarritz, Carcassonne, Girona, Grenoble, Jerez, La Rochelle, Limoges, Montpellier, Nîmes, Pau, Perpignan, Poitiers, Reus (Barcelona), Rochefort, Rodez, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Sevilla, St-Etienne, Valencia, Valladolid and Zaragoza. There is a direct flight from Maribor (45 min from Graz) to Paris, which, however, is still pretty expensive.

If you’re a Spanish-speaking journalist and are interested in this kind of an undertaking, contact Norbert at mappes(dash)niediek(at)magnet(dot)at.

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