Interview with Pilar Sanchéz Garcia

“Portugal and Spain have been promoting a more practical and technical way to teach Journalism”

Pilar Sanchéz Garcia was carrying out a research mission in the CECS, in February 2017, with CECS researcher Sandra Marinho. Pilar is a Lecturer in the University of Valladolid, in Spain, and her main research focus include teaching practices in Journalism courses.

What was the main goal of this research mission?

I was here three years ago, to study how Journalism courses are being implemented in Spain and Portugal, in a comparative analysis.

What are the main differences between the two countries?

Our research has been suggesting that there are no substantial differences in both countries. In this moment, we are observing different social, business, religious and governmental processes, which were decisive for the journalism profession and its own way of understanding the world. In these modern and advanced digital scope, the way we teach Journalism is becoming more practical and technical, both in Portugal and Spain, putting aside Humanities and the Social Sciences classical signatures. As researchers and lectures, it is urgent to acknowledge and evaluate the consequences of such trend, even for the media institutions. With students, we shall emphasise the importance of intellectual and critical matters, which will be decisive for them as future communicators in this complex informative reality.

It is now very popular the discussion about science and society, how they connect and communicate. In the particular case of your research, how is possible to engage universities and media?

There are plenty and relevant experiences to be made, which rely only in the level of openness of such contacts. In this research, we try to assess what kind of training is most likely to be requested by the media, as a way to identify a very up-to-date profile of journalists in both countries. These data will be important for the universities as well, to be more innovative.

Why did you choose CECS to develop your research?

I have been here in 2015, following very positive recommendations by Full Professor Xosé Lopéz, from the University of Santiago de Compostela, in Spain. After that, I was in contact with Manuel Pinto, the previous Director of CECS, which suggested that I could carry out a research with Sandra Marinho, whom has worked in this field of studies. So, I have been witnessing the credibility of CECS and the scientific outputs of their researchers. I am always very pleased to come and meet you here.

How important is this kind of experience for your research objectives?

It is fundamental to share ideas, contacts and experiences, for our research endeavours and also in the classroom, as a teacher. This process of exchange is a very rich and powerful tool and should be fostered in the universities.

Interviewed by Fábio Ribeiro
Photo credits: Vítor Sousa