Rosa M. Calaf: «We Must Defend Rigorous, Honest, Quality Reporting»

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On Friday, 20 June 2014, the journalist Rosa M. Calaf was the speaker at the graduation ceremony for the first graduating class from the Faculty of Communication Sciences' programme in Journalism. Also graduating were students from the Bachelor's Degree programmes in Audiovisual Communication and Advertising and Public Relations. «We need you to develop a new form of journalism: one that is strong, secure and committed», Calaf told the new graduates.

Rosa M. Calaf: «We Must Defend Rigorous, Honest, Quality Reporting»

The UIC’s main lecture hall was the setting for a ceremony that was attended by around 500 people, including teaching staff, graduates, family and friends. The ceremony was presided over by Dr. Iván Lacasa, the Faculty Dean, the three Department Heads for the bachelor’s degree programmes, and Rosa M. Calaf, the speaker at the graduation ceremony.

During her address, Calaf gave the new graduates (and especially the new journalists) some important advice. “Find people to emulate. None of us was born knowing anything, and it’s important to learn from others’ experience”, she advised. “What appears to be a failure will turn out to be an opportunity to reinvent yourself”, Calaf continued. She encouraged the students to treat challenges as opportunities.

“Don’t ever lose your idealism and the feeling that you can change the world because you can and you must”, she went on. “Have the strength to seek out the truth tirelessly without allowing the line between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to become blurred. We must defend rigorous, honest, quality reporting, and we need you to develop a new form of journalism: one that is strong, secure and committed”. Calaf ended her talk by asking the students the following question: “Do you want to be salespeople or journalists?”

Dr. Raquel Crisóstomo, the Head of the Department of Journalism, reminded the students of the true essence of journalism. “Being a journalist means you are helping shape history: from the smallest human stories to the very largest”, she said. Dr. Crisóstomo also told the graduates about their futures as professionals: “You have to be true idealists and believe in a kind of journalism that is better and more committed. Professional opportunities will come from your talent and your desire to create a new kind of journalism”.

Dr. Isabel Villanueva, the Head of the Department of Audiovisual Communication, then spoke about the importance of minor details when communicating major stories in an audiovisual format, as well as the importance of knowing how to handle different situations. She used anecdotes and examples from the students’ own time at the University to illustrate her point, before ending her talk with the following words: “Awaken your sensitivity, so that you can focus on the little things you come across every day, and find the courage to use what you learn during your professional career to become more discerning, which will help you connect with the audiences of today and the future”.

Dr. Pilar Buil, the Head of the Department of Advertising and Public Relations, was the last Department Head to speak. She praised the students’ personal growth during their time at the University and the work done by the teaching staff to help them set their own professional goals. Dr. Buil then went on to highlight the importance of advertising in the media industry and society. “Advertising and public relations help a company run smoothly and help its mission become a reality”, she concluded.

The class representatives from the three bachelor’s degree programmes also spoke and told anecdotes about the years they spent at the UIC.

Finally, the Faculty Dean Dr. Iván Lacasa brought proceedings to a close with a speech in which he encouraged the students to confront any fears they may have regarding their professional careers. He went on to speak about the importance of giving meaning to things and of looking for that meaning beyond material possessions. He told the students they should question the meaning of every situation. “Does what you want to do in life and the professional world have meaning? What are you choosing? If you ask yourselves these questions, your actions will have meaning, and you’ll be a meaningful example for others”.

The ceremony ended with a rendition of the traditional graduation song Gaudeamus Igitur.