Nacho Fuertes is one of those people who seems to fit more into the day than seems possible. When he starts telling you everything he does – spending hours at the University doing his Dual Degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, working on his placement, and acting as a press officer for the head office of the Fallas association, the Junta Central Fallera – then it makes you realize that vocation and enthusiasm can be a very powerful combination.
What made you choose Journalism and Audiovisual Communication?
I’ve always wanted to tell stories, to interact with people, and to transmit how I see things, and so I knew that I wanted to study something to with communication. The closure of Canal 9 [the regional TV service in Valencia] also influenced my decision. I watched it all the time and I felt powerless when that happened. So, I thought that I wanted to do something to change that situation. À Punt [the new television service in Valencia] has revitalized journalism and the TV industry in the region. This is creating a lot of new opportunities for young people like me.
When I realized that I could study a Dual Degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, CEU was my first choice. I’m in the third year now and I’m sure I made the right decision. This is my path.
“I’m at University more than I’m at home, but CEU feels like home too.”
Tell us about what it’s like to study a Dual Degree.
It might not seem like it, but Dual Degree students like me are actually quite normal! We also have a personal life and we have to eat and sleep. You have to manage your time carefully, but there’s time to do everything. I’ve got Journalism lectures in the morning and Audiovisual Communication lectures in the afternoon, and I’ve still got time do my placement. I don’t find it tough because I enjoy both study programmes.
It is true that there’s a particularly hard day, Tuesdays, when I’m here from 8.30 in the morning to 9 o’clock at night. But I’m lucky in that I enjoy everything I do from day to day. I’m at University more than I’m at home, but CEU feels like home too.
You’re involved in a lot of activities at the University.
Tell us about what you do outside of lectures.
I’ve got a CEU Merit grant and that allows me to get involved in many of the activities on campus over the course of the academic year, such as the International Student Congress and the Welcome Days. I’ve also been participating in activities at Radio CEU and El Rotativo newspaper since the first year. These opportunities are available to all CEU students and you really have to grab a chance like that with both hands. I think that being at University shouldn’t just be about going to lectures. There are a lot of other activities and opportunities that give you a chance to develop who you are and I think that’s one of CEU’s great strengths.
What impact does the international atmosphere at CEU UCH have on you?
There are some international students in my lectures and they’ve really integrated well into the campus community. There are no barriers here because they’re from different countries – the opposite, in fact. It’s something which benefits the rest of the students too, both academically and personally. We can learn from each other.
“Wherever I end up working, I’d like to be known for my credibility.”
Even though you’restudying for a Dual Degree, with all the demands that places on you, you still find time to do a placement as well.
That’s right. From the very first year, we’ve been told how important it is to get some practical experience and to meet people in the industry. That’s something I took on board and I’ve really put it into practice. I feel more and more able to work independently and I think that both my lecturers and those supervising my placement are placing more and more trust in me. And I really enjoy being able to use what I’m learning in lectures in a practical and professional setting.
To be able to get that practical experience, it’s essential for universities to encourage their students get out there and contribute to the industry right from the beginning. Here at CEU, the University has made things easy for me to do just that, especially the Vice-Dean, Anun Ramírez.
Which media organization have you worked at?
In my second year, I took part in the À Punt’s La Qüestió TV programme. During this summer, I worked at the Europa Press agency. In fact, I still work there at the weekends as they’ve given me the opportunity to keep training during the academic year.
I’ve also had great opportunities here at CEU. Last year we recorded a few TV programmes called Tras las urnas (“Behind the ballot box”). I was one of the presenters and I had the opportunity to interview the candidates for the regional elections.
As well as all that, I’m the Press Secretary for the Junta Central Fallera (the Fallas association), so I have the opportunity to work both on the “pure” journalism and the press office side of the industry.
What challenges do you think the journalism profession will face over the next few years?
I think the new generations of journalists like me will have a key role to play, as we look to pay back the trust that has been placed in us. Journalism is a really interesting profession, one which has a lot to give to society, but I think it also needs to change. The new generations have the duty to make people believe again in the value of accurate information. There’s so much fake news about that real journalism is needed to combat this distortion of the truth.
“The new generations have the duty to make people believe again in the value of accurate information.”
In what direction do you see your career heading?
Right now, my practical training is more focused on the journalism side of things, but I think that there’s a lot of compatibility with the audiovisual communication side too. I’ve always been more attracted to local issues, in the political and social sphere, and reporting on events. But I wouldn’t want to close the door on other types of journalism away from the written press. Wherever I end up working, I’d like to be known for my credibility.