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Journalism Program in Ibarra, Ecuador

(Note: Please excuse us for any grammar or spelling errors since some writing is provided by our local coordinators in Ecuador and English may not be their native language.)

The program takes place in Ibarra, about 2.5 hours away from Quito to the north. On an altitude of about 2,200 meters or 7,200 feet, Ibarra was first founded in 1606, but it was re-founded in 1872 after getting destroyed in an earthquake in 1868. Therefore, it is one of the youngest towns in Ecuador. Today, there are about 110,000 inhabitants in Ibarra and the surrounding area and it is the capital of the Imbabura province.

THE PROJECT

This program offers interns the opportunity to work in a professional newspaper that is the most known newspaper in the north of Ecuador called El Norte. They are published widely in the three provinces in the north of Ecuador and one of its stronger sides is that they normally have a good mix with local and provincial news as well as national and international news.

This newspaper is also one of the few that have an online newspaper that is constantly updated with news. They also work hard on informing people about tourism in Ecuador to make them aware of what a beautiful country they live in.

INTERNS ROLE

Interns normally start working alongside one of the full time staff until they start to get into the routines. Then they will also have the chance to work alone at least some time to come up with ideas to notices, gather information, take pictures (if they have a camera), etc all the way to a finished article.

Everything they do and write will be checked and edited by the newspaper but most of our interns working in a news paper have gotten at least one article published.

The program takes interns around in the area. Sometimes they might also travel to other towns or other cities to cover a story for a day or two if they choose to, but in these cases interns need to cover their own cost/expenses as the newspaper normally doesn’t. This also includes local transportation as well.

The program encourage interns to work more and more independently, but in cooperation with the rest of the staff as this will let them gain more experience.

Many of our interns also combine their weekend trips around Ecuador to write articles and take pictures for work. This is of course not a demand or a must, but it can be nice to combine the skills with some fun and exploration in the free time as well.

Tasks that interns might do:

  • Work together with the staff to write articles for the newspaper.
  • Work independently to look for and write articles or write articles according to what the newspaper asks for.
  • Search for and work with information to articles both in the field and at the newspaper.
  • Take pictures related to the article they are working on.
  • Photographers can work together with one of the local reporters and help them in their work.

REQUIREMENTS

Application with clear passport scan.

Resume/CV.

Interest in working with people and to learn new things.

Adaptable and open-minded to work and live in a different culture.

4 weeks minimum.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Some experience or education within the journalism field.

Intermediate Spanish.

6 – 8 weeks.

WORKING HOURS

Monday to Friday. About 08:00 to 17:00 is the official working hours but many times this is flexible and also depends on if they want to cover a story or event that takes place at night, early in the morning or in the weekend etc.

WHAT TO BRING

A laptop, USB memory, and camera is often good to bring as they can work whenever they want and also because they otherwise might have to share computer with another staff member.

Interns should bring semi-formal clothing. It is not always required, but sometimes it is depending on where and who they have a meeting with as they represent a news organization.

Paper and pens they sometimes have at work, but good to have a small budget for this.

Budget for transportation (see home stay).

HOME STAY

Interns will stay with a family, normally within 10 to 30 minutes away from the office.

They have 3 meals with the family. Sometimes participants have a hard time to get home for lunch due to for example no buses that run in the middle of the day or they just don’t have time to go home, so the family can either help them with a simple lunch box or they need to eat close to work at their own expense.

Interns will have a private room and a shared bathroom.

TO GET THERE

Interns have to arrive to Quito for at least the first day when we have the orientation. If they want Spanish classes, they will of course stay for a while before heading to the location of their work.

When it is time to leave Quito, they will take a cab service for about $8 that will take them to the host family in Ibarra where the family will be waiting for them. The family will show them where to find things like Internet, ATMs and phone cabins, etc. On the first day of work, they will accompany them there to introduce the intern and to indicate how to get there and back home.

Calculate $0.25 for a one way trip to the office every day.

PLACEMENT FOR

This is a great placement for journalism students that will get a chance to practice at the same time as they can see Ecuador. Also, photographers could take part of this program, but they will most likely also work with the story and not just take pictures.

THINK ABOUT

Interns with some experience and/or education normally do great, but having Spanish and an open personality are more important as this is all about information by reading, writing and talking. A shy person usually struggles even though he/she has a high level of experience/education or Spanish.

Curious interns with their own ideas for stories normally have a great time as they only need to show this and that they are responsible to get more or less a free leash to work with what they feel like, but of course the news organization wants to see results in the end.