The Venezuelan journalist is taking part in the "Once Amigos" project. He hopes the collaboration between Latin American and German reporters will provide the media in his home country with new inspirations.
After studying journalism in Venezuela and Spain, Pablo Lopez Hurtado now works as a freelancer for the newspapers "El Nacional" and "La Razón" in Caracas, Venezuela. But up until July 2014, the thirty-year-old reporter will have to make sure he has some free space in his dairy. Pablo is taking part in DW Akademie's "Once Amigos" (Eleven Friends) project, producing stories on and around the soccer World Cup championships being held in Brazil in 2014. The two-year project brings together 11 Latin American and 11 German journalists for a series of trainings and production sessions in Germany, Brazil and one other Latin American country.
What do you you like about DW Akademie's collaborative project?
"Once Amigos" is a very exciting project that allows me to exchange experiences with other journalists and exposes me to different ways of working. I am also learning new ways to tell stories. Soccer is the peg and that is an enormous challenge, of course.
On the surface, soccer appears to be extremely simple - the team who shoots the most goals wins. But there is so much more to it than that which is why soccer is also a sport that fascinates people around the world. Soccer is about passion, fun, anger, emotions, frustration - it is all of those things in the space of just a few minutes. That's why soccer draws people to it and is also a business or a religion. Many children dream of a football career as an escape from the problems of their daily lives. Soccer's complexity is what makes it universal. It reflects all facets of life.
You completed the first of five training modules in December. How was this first meeting between the German and the Latin American participants?
The first part of the project was a really positive surprise. It's not very often that you find someone has done such a good job of selecting participants, especially considering we are such a diverse group of young journalists. For the first module, we met at the DW Akademie in Bonn in Germany for two weeks. We worked in mixed pairs. The atmosphere was great and we were highly motivated. It was an ideal kick-off for the project. We are going to meet our German colleagues in Brazil in June and of course we will greet them as warmly as they greeted us last year.
What have you learned so far from "Once Amigos"?
I've been constantly learning new things since day one. I have profited from the ideas of the other participants and how they tackle topics as well as from the team meetings. In addition, the DW Akademie trainers have given us new multimedia tools that allows us to tackle stories in a different way and to report on different aspects of one topic.
As a print journalist, how does that help you in your normal working day?
Journalism in Venezuela urgently needs to modernize. We are way behind when it comes to developments in new media. The multimedia training was very important and useful.
The project runs until 2014. What do you hope to gain from it?
I would be very happy if "Once Amigos" continued to serve as a model for other projects and is repeated in other situations. That's why we are so highly motivated to produce a high-quality, innovative website with good content. And, of course, I am also convinced that the long-term collaboration between the 22 journalists will help all of us to work more professionally and have a broader range of skills in the future.