Alumnus Júlia Riera’s American dream
She has been working as a reporter in Washington for Voice of America, one of the leading Spanish-speaking broadcasters providing daily news to the Latin-American community.
After two and a half years’ living and working in Washington, Júlia Riera has now returned home. Little did this young 25-year-old from Badalona know that, after graduating from the Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at UIC Barcelona’s Faculty of Communication Sciences, she would be reporting from the United States’ capital for Voice of America, one of the leading Spanish-speaking broadcasters providing daily news to the Latin-American community.
Having had the most intense and enriching professional experience of her fledgling career so far, Riera now reflects upon her time working as a reporter; a crash course in everything she once discovered at the Faculty: “The live takes and frenetic bustle of reporting have forced me to mature very quickly as a journalist, not to mention I was pushing myself to improve every single day”.
She is also aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has made “coordinating and managing our work very challenging”, not just in terms of logistics, but also due to changes in the broadcast schedule: “It was hard at first; I had to turn my dining room into a television studio and with the pandemic, journalists had to produce almost instantaneous reports on any updates in the news”.
Aside from this steep learning curve, Júlia Riera remembers how difficult it was at the beginning, mainly due to the fact that she was so far from her family and friends. “It takes a long time to adapt and you never really feel at home, but you slowly start to meet people in the same boat as you and they become your family”, she explains, now planning to move back to the United States when a new opportunity arises.
The alumnus was keen to reflect on her time at UIC Barcelona and has some very fond memories: “We were a small group and I really enjoyed the classes, given that the facilities such as the television set, cameras and radio studio meant we were learning in a very realistic and professional setting”. Riera is also certain that she found her calling in television (a medium she has loved working in at this exciting time in her career) thanks to the practical work placements she completed from the second year of her degree programme onwards.
Whilst still learning and waiting for new opportunities to emerge, this young graduate knows exactly where she wants to be: “We have to grasp new technologies with both hands. Traditional journalism is disappearing to the detriment of new means of communication. Journalists have to be versatile and we need to know how to stand out in a market that’s so accessible without compromising our journalistic values or ethics”.