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Interview with Héctor Medellín (TV Presenter, Deutsche Welle)

Q1.To what extent does Deutsche Welle actually cover Latin American News and Latin American Events?

We cover Latin American events as far as they are of international interest in Latin America itself. We look for issues in Argentina, Bolivia, Costa Rica and Mexico and hope it is interesting as well, because we are an international broadcasting station. The fact that we are in Europe doesn’t make much difference as we have a Latin American audience and we think about what would be interesting for them to see.

Q2.What role can the Deutsche Welle play in the relationship between Europe and Latin America, and also specifically in terms of development in Latin America as well?

It should play a very objective and modest role as we should try to be a good source of information and a cultural broadcasting station. There’s a lot of discussion not only in Germany, but in all countries about what should be the main character of an international broadcasting station. In Germany’s case we have to direct our work according to the best of German traditions, philosophies, communication. There are specific things, but there’s also more than the specific characteristics. A good level of freedom and of competence in journalism should influence our work positively and in this sense make us a total German station, but not because we discuss issues only related to Germany. We don’t want people saying “Oh I like Germany’’ or “I am of the same opinion of Germans on this or that’’ and that’s what we could do for the development for Latin America and the whole world, which is give real information. It’s very important for people in the world to know what’s happening in Europe, because Europe along with the United States has the most influence throughout the world and how people are thinking and what they will probably be doing in the next years. That’s very important for our development globally and for everybody.

Q3.In terms of promoting Germany and Europe in Latin America, is it more about the way the Deutsche Welle presents its information instead of promoting its culture per se?

Yes, definitely. Even if you are interested in positive publicity for Germany just think of the way for instance they sell cigarettes nowadays. They don’t talk about how good a certain tobacco is, they show you wonderful views of people living in freedom and riding horses in the sunset . They don’t talk about cigarettes; they convince you of certain values. But the way they’re showing something some object in this case would be for example Germany or the German Culture has values which are interesting for you. You don’t have to act as someone selling something and try to convince the people of the quality of your culture or your idea.

Q4.Do you believe that’s what Deutsche Welle should do or is that what it’s already doing now?


Q5.So you think it should do it more?

Well, that’s one of the good things about Deutsche Welle. You don’t have to necessarily be on a certain line; somebody can do one thing, while somebody can work on something else. There’s a discussion of course, and it’s not easy. I have a certain point of view which is very strongly influenced from the fact that I worked in development aid for years and I have travelled to many countries. I wasn’t born in my home country, or even studied in a foreign country, and then when I came to Germany and it gave me a particular view of the world. Other people have a different perspective of the world, and I don’t have anything to with politicians, and I don’t have to negotiate with them. Maybe if I had to, I would have a different point of view, but I don’t so the important thing is that there is a discussion going on.

Conducted by Jessica Dick
Center for Cultural Diplomacy Studies Publication
Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

About icdblogsphereteam

We are the Blogsphere Team of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. We are the interactive part of the web resources of ICD. We spread culture and mutual understanding among cultures through blogs.


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The London Art as Cultural Diplomacy Conference 2013

“Contemporary International Dialogue: Art-based Developments and Culture Shared between Nations”August 21st, 2013

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