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Latin America

Focus on: Patricio Luna from Ecuador

Patricio Luna has spent years working as a film and television journalist and would like to pass on his skills to others. He's just taken part in a workshop training journalists to become trainers themselves.

Patricio Luna was born in Chile but lives and works in Ecuador. The 49 year old also spent several years in Germany and was involved in expanding DW TV's Spanish programming. Luna's focus is on politics as well as environmental, climate and development issues. Ecuador, he says, is a country in transition.

What prompted you to take part in DW Akademie’s "Train the Trainer" workshop?

Journalists in Ecuador definitely need more training. Even though they're motivated and generally know their trade, you'll often find errors - even in the national newspapers. I'm not just referring to word choice, grammatical mistakes or weak editing but also to major errors in terms of research. There aren't many training opportunities where journalists can improve their skills, and I'd like to offer the expertise I've gained after years of working in the field.

How do you plan to pass on those skills?

Just because you've worked in the field doesn't necessarily make you a good trainer – after all, there is a difference between writing a good story and explaining to others how to write a good story. I've learned more about this here in Bonn, and the workshop is also a prerequisite if you're aiming to become a DW Akademie trainer yourself.


Were there other areas where the workshop was helpful?

Yes. It was good to meet colleagues from other countries in Latin America and to get a sense of what’s been happening in their countries. We were a mixed group and that was ideal for networking.

What was the highlight for you?

The start of the workshop coincided with DW's annual Global Media Forum. We were able to take part and I was impressed by the number of topics being discussed, by the possibilities to exchange views and experiences. And to get a chance to listen to a world renowned expert like Noam Chomsky– well, that's a rare opportunity.

How would you describe Ecuador's current media environment?

It's important to put it into a broader context. Latin American countries are like wheels in a larger system. Much has been happening over the last decade and it's a continent in transition. Brazil's former president, Lula, was right when he described this as a "magical era" for Latin America.

And if we just look at Ecuador itself?

Basically, the media used to be in the hands of a few major business groups and they decided on which issues were to be reported to the public. This quasi "duopoly" has since been broken and new media have appeared on the market. Again, there's still much to be desired in terms of quality, but a lot has been changing and that's very positive.

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