MSc Media & Communications
"My time at LSE: Theory vs. Reality:
When I applied for a place at the London School of Economics to pursue its Media and Communication Masters degree, I had already been involved in journalism for more than fifteen years, most of that time working for local newspapers in my native Venezuela and, later on, for the BBC here in London and in several other foreign news bureaux. Daily reporting of news and features stories around the world had kept me busy, as a radio producer and foreign correspondent. But the time came when I needed to pause and reflect on our role as media practitioners in a globalised world.
The nine months I spent at the LSE proved to be a challenging time. There I was, trying my best to fit media theories into the many real experiences I had had reporting stories in the field. At first, it felt like a battle between the forces of theoretical knowledge and practical reality. But as the course unfolded, it all began to make more sense and progressively, these two forces were reconciled in my mind.
The debates on globalisation were particularly mind-boggling. I had seen globalisation at work. I had interviewed those reaping the benefits of it and reported on the lives of many others, for whom the process only meant long working hours and meagre wages for tedious and repetitive jobs. Working conditions in the factories and sweat shops these people worked in resembled more the practice of slavery. So, naturally, I rebelled against those theorists who argued that progress, development and an end to poverty, were the miraculous rewards to be expected from globalisation. I still rebel, because very little, if anything at all, has changed.
I am now back in the news business. I want to continue discovering the world around me, my own culture, other people's realities as they unfold in an increasingly uncertain but challenging time. I've made a renewed and fresh commitment to journalism, one of my passions in life."
Mariusa Reyes finished her Masters in Media and Communication at the LSE in the summer of 2002. She is a freelance journalist. She works for the Latin American section at BBC World Service and other radio outlets. She is the presenter of a 30 minute radio documentary on Cuba, for BBC Radio 4's Crossing Continents, which was aired on 21st November. Mariusa lives in London.