Antonio Pampliega: “We must continue telling stories, giving a voice to those who have none. That’s why we are journalists; not to give conferences”

The 8th edition of the “Periodismo al límite” seminar brought together war correspondents such as Cristina Sánchez, director and presenter of Radio 5 (RNE) program “Países en conflicto”, and photojournalists Olmo Calvo and Judith Prat

On Wednesday, September 28, Universidad Europea held the 8th edition of the “Periodismo al límite” seminars, which focused on the characters of war correspondents. The event was attended by a very special guest, alumnus Antonio Pampliega, who was kidnapped by a branch of Al Qaeda for ten months in Syria, on the al-Nusra Front.

Pampliega shared his experience as a reporter in conflict zones with guests, and confirmed that he is already planning his next professional trip. “We must continue telling stories, giving a voice to those who have none. That’s why we are journalists; not to give conferences”, he said.

The reporter was very critical of the press and spoke up for the freelance professionals who cover conflicts in precarious conditions: “We must continue with journalism because we are necessary, but we also need to get paid. The press doesn’t understand that”.

Other participants at the seminars includedCristina Sánchez, director and presenter of the Radio 5 (RNE) program “Países en conflicto”, and photojournalist Judith Prat. Both discussed the role of women in today’s journalism and stood up for the stories told by the women involved in them; they also spoke of greater visibility for the professionals working in war journalism.

“I’m a woman and I cover conflicts. It’s not unusual, many women do it, but we are less visible”. This is how Cristina Sánchez, director and presenter of the Radio 5 (RNE) program “Países en conflicto”, began her speech, adding: “I have a personal battle; that women feature in my reports, not so much because they are women, but as a question of justice”.

Along the same lines, Judith Prat, a photojournalist, stressed that “we should focus on women narrating the conflicts we are covering, they should tell us their view because that completes the story”.

Fellow photojournalist Olmo Calvo noted that it takes time and patience to get good stories as “you only get the images you want when you share and give everything. You need to be calm and empathetic". He also admitted that “some people are very abusive to get a photo or testimony. More than journalists, we are people and we must always take that into account”.