05 July 2009


Summer Harlow USA
Desirée Jaimovich Argentina
Marian Marval Venezuela
Eva Menezes Brazil
  Testimony of Scholarship Winners    

I spent my time in Guatemala studying, teaching, interviewing local journalists, and reporting as a freelancer. At the Universidad de San Carlos, the country’s public university, I took two journalism courses:  one on writing for print and a second in radio broadcasting. In addition, I taught Interviewing Techniques at Universidad Francisco Marroquín. At both universitiesI lectured on journalism in the U.S. It was interesting being both student and teacher, in private and public universities, an experience that gave me a more nuanced understanding of the system and how it trains future journalists.

I traveled the country writing for several U.S. media. The scholarship was the best experience and opportunity in my life. I learned what it means to be a foreign correspondent and to prepare for a doctorate. Upon returning, I entered the University of Texas at Austin for a PhD and as editor of the blog for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas. Today I write these lines from San Salvador where I am doing research for the online newspaper El Faro. Upon graduating, I hope to return to being a correspondent in Central America, and continue working with journalists, as I did during my time in Guatemala.

There was the email that I had been waiting for in my mailbox: the IAPA’s confi rmation of my wish to study for a Master’s in the U.S. The joy was verwhelming and that night turned into a large family celebration. Since then I have had the privilege of showing people outside my country the excellent level of training of Venezuelan journalists who practice despite threats against freedom of expression. I graduated from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and worked in El Nacional. Thanks to the magic of the IAPA I was able to complete an MA in Journalism Research at Florida International University in Miami. There I learned about the thoroughness of American investigative journalism and the technological advances in onlinel journalism and its expansion into Hispanic media. I also had the opportunity to work in U.S. media, such as El Nuevo Herald.

I am a freelance journalist with a desire to continue learning in this profession that is constantly reinventing itself. Online journalism is my passion and I want to learn more. To this end I have taken courses such as those provided by the International Center for Journalists, which led to the launch of my own online project. The professional challenges continue.

After I fi nished my Master’s degree in Multimedia Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin in May 2010, my husband, who is Brazilian (and an American citizen), was transferred to Michigan where we currently live. In order to be with him I decided to postpone my journalism career in Brazil.

For the majority of the time I was working on my master’s I worked for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, with Professor Rosental Alves, as a blogger, a translator and assistant for long-distance journalism courses. I also did an internship at the Austin Monthly Magazine and worked as an assistant for a course in multimedia journalism, responsible for teaching undergraduate students how to employ a variety of digital platforms in their reports. When I moved to Michigan I was involved with a startup news business but unfortunately funding was lost and the owners could not hire me. I still meet occasionally with them to help with their online strategy.

Currently I am working as a multimedia designer in the Communications Department of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where I have the privilege of putting into practice everything I learned during the master’s: video production, news reports, photography, social media management, design for print and online publications, etc. The IAPA scholarship provided me with the fi nancial security to study for my master’s. The master’s opened the door to digital journalism and multimedia, offering me the tools needed to succeed in journalism today. I am very grateful to the IAPA for the opportunity; without it none of this would have been possible.