The One About Ryan Pederson

There’s something absolutely and inorganically soul crushing about falling in love. No, seriously. This isn’t the kind of tale about the girl who knew it was “love at first sight” or the girl who “realized he was the one all along.” This is the story of a girl (who cried a river and drowned the whole world) who looked pure, selfless, ever-lasting love in the face and said, “hmmm fuck that,” but was thwarted by the sheer idiotic willpower of the lover in question.

I met Ryan Pederson when I was seventeen years old, fresh out of my first two years of public school, and before a series of horrendous life choices completely demolished my self-esteem and left me with a sarcastic, almost comical air of self-loathing that very very few people found endearing. You see, at this point in my life, after a summer of lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons (both of which I was severely under qualified for—like seriously you’re going to put people’s lives in the hands of a hundred pound teenager who can barely run a mile? I can maybe MAYBE save your toddler, but anyone taller than five foot and heavier than a small stack of books, forget about it), I was tan, cocky, and ready to continue my career as “hot girl” on my new college campus.

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So young. So naive. 

Arriving at Cal Poly was like getting hit in the face by several beautiful, blonde, skinnier-than-you-but-still-terrifying trains. In never-ending succession. For four years. I wasn’t even that hot in my hometown, but some guy had spread a rumor that I was a super slut after my high school sweetheart and I broke up (the first time), so I got a lot of male attention. Mix that with my perpetual daddy issues and need for attention, and San Mateo had created a monster. So I entered my freshman year thinking I was just as pretty as my absolutely gorgeous roommate (I wasn’t) and that despite my undying devotion to my high school sweetheart (which would be completely shattered by the first guy to blink at me and play me acoustic guitar in my dorm room—seriously Andrew who were you freshman year), I would be a total dude magnet. I know, I hate me too.

Ryan had come into his freshman year with a high school sweetheart as well, and I wish I could put more details in about how he talked about swimming in her beautiful brown eyes (I have no idea what color her eyes are), or how he thought they were destined to be together, but either he never talked about her OR I was so self-absorbed in my own personal universe that I didn’t pay attention. Probably the second one. Either way, our mutual teen angst, disturbing abilities to put away massive amounts of alcohol despite our size, and unwarranted loathing for most human beings in general meant we spent a lot of time together. I’ll admit this friendship began solely because Ryan always had tons of alcohol in his room, but it developed into more than that…eventually.

As I said before, this isn’t the story of a girl who realized she’d been in love with her best friend all along. Honestly, anyone who reads this and isn’t Ryan Pederson will probably be thinking “wow, you really don’t deserve him” by the end of this, and I couldn’t agree more. But so long as he’s dumb enough to put up with my bratty ass, I’ll milk every moment of it until he smartens up and runs the hell away from me, god damnit!

Freshman year, despite our friendship, Ryan was more of a background character in the cheesy after school drama I called my life. I played FIFA in his dorm, drank his alcohol, and half listened to stories he’d tell me about stupid stuff he did in high school. I was much more focused in creating perpetual love triangles between my boy back home and guys who emailed me Fifty Shades of Grey role play (hey). I thought I was in love with anyone who so much as called me hot and then ignored me except for when they were hammered at 2am (give me an actual compliment on my intelligence or personality like a nice guy, and I’d run for the hills, because screw being respected!), and Ryan just wasn’t my type (anyone who has seen my first finsta post knows this is an absolutely lie, but just indulge me for a hot second).

Sophomore year, Pederson was idiotic enough to FORCE himself onto my radar. It started when he joined a new fraternity. (Wait. That’s a lie. It kinda started when he invited me over to meet his parents when they were helping him move in. His dad poured me a tequila shot and called me out for not taking it right away. Should’ve been my first sign I was destined to be part of this family. IT WAS TEQUILA BASED DESTINY. Okay. Back to the frat thing.) At the time, they weren’t well known and had, like, maybe twenty guys in it, tops. Nevertheless, he’d text me any time they had a get together, and if there was literally nothing better to do, I’d go for the free booze. The first shindig of this type I went to, I walked in and Ryan was surrounded by a group of three or four girls. He saw me and pushed all of them out of the way. Like, full blown, windshield wiper moved a small crowd of females to the side to come say hello to me. He then picked me up and buried his face in my neck when he hugged me, all of which I blew off as him just being drunk, and promptly asked, “where’s Will Moran?” I know. Awful.

His next attempt to get me to realize he was interested in him was when he asked me to his fraternity’s date party. It was Noah’s Ark themed, and he told me we’d be going as pandas. I liked pandas, and the guy I was obsessed with had decided we were “better off as friends” so I said yes in hopes that going would make that guy jealous, or at least get his attention.

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We went, we had a great time, and as soon as possible I dragged him away from his friends to another party where the other guy was going to be. He went (like a good sport) and sat making small talk with some of my other friends while I blatantly threw myself at that other guy.

At our friend Megan’s birthday party, Pederson really hit the gas with his attempts to win my affections (or at least put himself on the scoreboard). I was crying–for some reason I don’t remember now–and I went outside to attempt to regain my composure. Ry followed me outside, listened to me cry (probably about some other guy if we’re being honest) for about ten minutes and then, mid-sentence, kissed me. Right on the lips. He then said he had to go find his sister and walked away, leaving me standing on the sidewalk outside Mustang Village debating if he’d kissed me because he wanted to sleep with me, or because he just wanted me to shut up (but not because he was into me).

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That “just friends” body language, amitrite?

He pulled a stunt like this again at the Christmas party. I showed up in a short red cocktail dress because I suck and I like attention, and after I’d drunk a decent amount of alcohol that I didn’t offer to help pay for (underclassman gurl lyfe), I said I was going home and he offered to walk me out. He walked me to the parking lot and kissed me right on my face again, only this time we kind of made out because I was drunk and wearing a red dress, so it felt appropriate. I know, what logic!

Every time we’d get back from a school break, he’d ask me out to lunch to “catch up.” I might of caught on that these were like training wheel dates, except that the poor kid had horrible luck both times. The first time, he asked me to Urbane but he forgot his wallet at home, so I had to pay. which wasn’t a big deal because I didn’t even know it was a date, but he was beside himself. The next time, we went to Splash and he locked his keys in his car and I had to call my insurance company to come break into his car because his put him on hold for ten minutes and then hung up. These are two of the only times I’ve seen Ryan Pederson look embarrassed and, while I felt super awkward for him back then, I now look back on both those wannabe dates with fondness.

The last effort Ryan made sophomore year was the weirdest one. It was after he’d gone to a funeral for his ex-girlfriend’s cousin or aunt or something and he came back to SLO super emotional. I’d gone home for the weekend, and I was driving back from the Bay when I get a text from him saying, “I’m at the frat house and I really need you. Can you come get me?” Being the superb friend that I am (and also already in my car, so I went, but otherwise I probably would’ve made up some excuse not to), I went and retrieved a very drunk Pederson. I was going to take him home, but he disclosed he hadn’t eaten all day and my maternal instincts kicked in; I brought him back to my apartment to force feed him. We sat in my living room–him on the couch, me on the floor—watching The Office for five hours, holding hands. I figured this was just a friendly thing to do because he was sad. Then he kissed me again. And, to my surprise, I kissed him back. And I kept kissing him. And when it looked like things could progress, I stopped. “Look,” I said, “we’re both emotional. You’re drunk. We’re friends. We really shouldn’t do this. I think you should go.” And, like the amazing and incredible gentleman he was (and still is, I mean seriously every and all men should learn something from Ryan Pederson’s ability to understand the word “no” in these circumstances, because his self-control baffles even me), he got up and left without so much as a pleading look.

Now, the fact that both of my kind-of-not-really-boyfriends at the time (slut) had said to me at some point “I think Ryan Pederson is into you” should have been a gigantic red flag that Ryan Pederson was, in fact, into me and not just trying to sleep with me like I thought. But my idiocy at this point in my life knew no bounds, so I continued giving all my attention to the guys who thought of me as more of a bookmark than a human being.

Summer going into my junior year, Ryan and his high school sweetheart finally ended their weird on-off thing that I feel like a fair number high school couples go through when they go to college and still think they can make it work (same), and things had ended with both of my kind-of-not-really-boyfriends (again, slut). I came to SLO three weeks before I was supposed to leave for Spain for study abroad, half to party with my friends before I left, and half because staying broken up with someone is immensely hard when they’re your neighbor, which my ex was (is, great guy though!). Ped was also in town, so we hung out a lot and apparently had some crazy unspoken chemistry everyone but me seemed to pick up on. After the running jokes of “when are you guys going to hook up,” it almost became a game not to hook up. But one night, we were drunk making out on the couch and he asked if I wanted to go downstairs and I thought to myself, “screw it. I can bang Ryan Pederson for three weeks while I wait to leave the country.” The next day, I came over completely sober, asked if I could charge my phone in his room, and then threw a condom at him. So that’s how that started. Let’s just say I’m much better with written word than I am at actual verbal communication.

After that, we spent literally every waking hour together. He’d attempt to get me to sleep over, and I’d tell him I hated intimacy and didn’t want anything serious, and sneak out while he was sleeping at 3am. When time came for me to leave for Spain, he asked if he could text me every once in a while. I said, “sure, we’re friends. Why not?” and left.

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My layover flight before Madrid was in Miami, and it was delayed seven hours because of weather. I decided to pass the time by Facetiming Ryan for all seven hours. I mean, could you imagine talking to me for seven hours straight and not killing yourself? Me either, but Ryan did, and that’s when I finally got the hint this kid might be sort of into me. Weirdly enough, after that phone call, I found myself sort of into him. But I figured I’d find tons of hot Spanish ass and get over it pretty quickly, so I wrote it off as hormones or something.

I don’t know how it happened, but we ended up Facetiming every day. I found myself looking forward to seeing his face, telling him about my day, and playing around with the idea of him flying out to visit me. It was all very lighthearted, I didn’t think it would actually happen. Next thing I know, I’m pulling money out of my (already not that large) mutual fund to help him buy a ticket to meet me in Barcelona for two days. TWO DAYS. The kid flew almost thirty five hours roundtrip to spend just a little over 48 hours with me in a foreign country. Now I for sure knew he was into me. Well, that and the fact that he handed me a letter that said “I love you” in huge capital letters at the end. That was pretty much the slap-in-your-face kind of obvious I needed, apparently.

The rest is pretty much history. Loving him was easy. He had been part of my life for the last two years and, despite my ability to push him to the background, he’d studied me. The kid knew me like he’d written the book on insecure children of alcoholics with trust issues (he did, in fact, read a book called Loving the Adult Child of an Alcoholic, annotate it, and bookmark pages that reminded him of me. WHO DOES THAT?!), and nothing I threw at him caught him off guard. I mean, the kid is seriously borderline insane, because every time I’m drunk I try to break up with him and I go through his phone constantly and he just laughs at me like being psychotic is just some cute little personality trait I have.

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With two years of stalking and $700, you too can escape the friendzone!

So this one’s for you Ryan Pederson: after reading this, I’m sure everyone can agree with me you’re a god damn idiot, but I hope you stay that way cause, I dunno, life with you is kinda rad. And I don’t think I’ll find anyone else to put up with my shit, so either I stick with you or I die alone so GET STOKED. ❤

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Procrastination Station

You said you were mad I wasn’t writing anymore, so here you go.

The most terrifying moment I’ve experienced in my young life is realizing I’m technically what young Rachel would have considered a grown-up.

My mother still makes my doctor’s appointments, I still don’t know the difference between a W2 and a W4, and I still sleep with the same teddy bear I have since birth, but in every sense of the word, I’m an adult. 

I graduate in June, and people keep asking me what my plans are. Who am I marrying? Where am I moving? Am I moving back home? Am I staying in SLO? What about you and Ryan? Have you talked about all this?

And yet, in the same breath, they also say “well, you’re so young. You really don’t have to have it all figured out yet.” Yet so many of my peers do, or at least they’re acting like it. So there is this constant, never-ending panic that sits in my stomach because growing up is all I ever looked forward to. I used to pray for time to fast forward, and now I fervently pray for the opposite.

Everything is moving too. Damn. Fast.

Mix this daily existential crisis with the state of the world as it is currently, and you get one frazzled mess of a girl who can’t even drink alcohol legally yet, which is quite frustrating because after all this stress, who couldn’t use a drink?

Frazzled, however, does not mean hopeless. Sure, I don’t quite have my sea legs yet, but I’m treading water which I’m sure everyone can agree is better than drowning.

I’m supposed to be researching companies for the career fair, but instead I lie on the floor of the library penning this episode of brain vomit instead. Just in case there’s anyone else out there panicking over knowing absolutely nothing at quite possibly the most self-defining moment of your life: you’re not alone.

It’s okay to not have it figured out. Maybe we can all just freak out and lie on the floor of the library together some time.

-R

The Ashamed American: An Open Letter to White Supremacists

This post is going to be received negatively by a large number of people, but frankly I do not care.

My entire life, I have not been proud to be an American, at least not as a member of this country as it was founded. Before I’m bombarded with screams of “THEN LEAVE!” or “YOU DON’T KNOW HOW GOOD WE HAVE IT HERE!” why don’t you shut up and listen for once.

Growing up in the Bay Area is a blessing. But even with the diversity and culture I was lucky to grow up around, such diversity also meant I was exposed to racism at a very young age.

I was five years old when my mom and dad had to sit me down and explain to me why a first grade boy got in so much trouble for calling my African American best friend a word I thought was “knicker” on the playground.

I was eight the first time I took BART with my father to see a show in the city, and heard a man scream at another man on the train, assaulting him with racist slurs, and my father told me to keep my head down for fear of my safety should either of us get involved.

In fact, almost every year of my life, there has been one instance of horrible racism or oppression that I have witnessed that has made me ashamed of my country, and I’m white.

So while I may not understand how the American minority feels, I can only imagine that as I attempt to palate the overwhelming disdain I have for the state of this country, how people who ACTUALLY experience, and are victims of racism and oppression, must feel.

So this goes out to the white supremacists, who seem to believe that an absence of melanin makes them superior:

You do NOT get to rival Black Lives Matter with All Lives Matter, and then claim your Nazi ideals are protected under free speech.

You do NOT get to teach your children ideals of hate and oppression, and then claim African Americans and Muslims are our biggest threat.

You do NOT get to kick the minorities of America while they’re down, and then be appalled and indignant when they finally fight back.

You do NOT get to say “NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE!!!!” but then loop all blacks and Muslims into one category of “thug” or “terrorist.”

You do NOT get to call yourself an American if you don’t believe liberty and the pursuit of happiness apply to ALL citizens, not just those with blue eyes and white skin.

When I look around my country today, I see ignorant people, drowning in blind hate, pledging allegiance to hypocrisy. It’s pitiful to live in a country still so outraged by the terrorist attacks on 9/11 over 15 years ago, but still so blind to the fact that the real terrorists are them.

You will not create a better America by creating a civil war, and you cannot propagate eugenics by spewing hate. We are built on the back of diversity, immigration, and differences. And if you can’t handle that, maybe YOU should leave and go back to where YOU came from.

Though I hear Germany’s policy on racism is a bit stricter than ours.

-R

JOUR 401: Blog Post 6

While Spain is thought of as a first world country similar to the U.S. (save for a little more flair and a lot more paella), it would seem the skeletons in the country’s closet continue to haunt free speech amongst the press and the general public.

Section 20 of Spain’s Constitution, enacted in 1978, states that Spaniards have “the right to freely express and disseminate thoughts, ideas and opinions trough words, in writing or by any other means of communication…the right to freely communicate or receive accurate information by any means of dissemination whatsoever.”

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Separatist and terrorist group ETA. TheBlueReview.org

Section 20 also protects freedom of press, though the main threat facing Spanish journalists seems to be exercising this freedom when it comes to coverage the controversial Basque separatist and terrorist group, Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA). In 2000, the group attacked several journalists with gunfire over what they deemed “false information and accusation.” Regarding this particular organization, is appears common for journalists in Spain to receive threats for what they print, and this incident was impactful for both media and journalists in Spain.

According to a blog studying free speech and press globally, Reporters Without Borders classified Spain to be ranked 36th in the International Freedom Press Index in 2013. In 2002, Spain reached its peak ranking at 29th. Spain reached its lowest ranking on the index in 2009, 44th, prior to the re-election of the PP in 2011.

This decline in rank was linked to another free speech impediment: a series of laws that gave former Spain minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, automatic rights to influence and censor journalist publications. According to The ICIJ, the laws arose from an effort to mitigate conflict between Spain’s fishing industry and investigative journalists. They appear to no longer be in place.

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Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. Alchetron.com

According to the Columbia Journalism Review, another challenge facing freedom of the press is the highly politicized state of the press. It states that all media platforms at all levels (national, regional, local), are seemingly “aligned with a political party, and this is frequently reflected in their news content, as well as on their editorial pages.” Similar to the United States, while free speech exists, the level of freedom has led to the ability to print and report with excessive bias, creating news that leans more towards opinion than fact.

These freedoms, however, seem to hit an invisible wall when it comes to social media. According to The Independent, over seventy people have received prison sentences due to social media posts that “glorified terrorism.” Many seem to be in relation to the assassination of Luis Carrero Blanco, the man who was supposed to succeed dictator Francisco Franco. The assassination happened at the hands ETA in 1973, but apparently remains a sensitive subject to Spanish officials.

One example comes in the form of a 21-year-old student from Murcia in south-east Spain, Cassandra Vera. Vera was disqualified from public functions for seven years and sentenced to a year in prison in 2015 after publishing 13 tweets between 2013 and 2016 that commented on and joked about the assassination of Blanco.

Judges in Spain’s top criminal court (top criminal court for TWEETING), stated during the ruling that Vera’s tweets “constitute contempt, dishonor, disrepute, mockery and affront to the people who have suffered the blow of terrorism”.

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Luis Carrero Blanco, planned successor for dictator Francisco Franco. Fundación Nacional de Francisco Franco.

Many Spaniards are aligning this resurrected trend of repression with the election of the conservative political party, Partido Popular, in 2011. The PP is apparently reacting to anti-austerity protests led by the Indignados earlier in 2015, and has been accused of creating political police force in an effort to “protect citizen security.”

In 2013, the government started preparing a controversial law to support these actions. The law has since come to be known as the “gag law”,  and the enacted legislation gives Spanish police “the right to fine citizens for what they consider to be an interference to their job or contempt of authority.”

The “gag-law,” officially named the 2014 Intellectual Property Act, does more than just allow arrests for sketchy tweets. According to FreedomHouse.org, the law also gave authorities power to block websites that contained or linked to copyrighted content used without permission. It also gave birth to a system of mandatory charges applied to news aggregators to compensate producers called the “Google Tax.” Google, however, announced the shutdown of its news service in Spain prior to the law’s enactment on January 1, 2015, deeming the new system unsustainable.

As far as propaganda in Spain, it seems no blatant “in your face” campaigns have existed since the days of Franco. However, as stated above and in my previous articles, Spain’s media is heavily influenced by both political parties and large corporations, like banks.

The control, however, does not come in the obvious forms of barring certain organizations from press conferences; it is subtle, coming in the form of defamation and libel suits. As mentioned above, the control comes in the guise of legislation that allows the monitoring, censorship, and criminal attribution of certain opinions and/or media the government deems unfit.

In June 2016, an amendment to Spain’s Law on Criminal Procedure was passed that restricts photography of defendants during arrests or transfers, stating that the measure is intended to “avoid prejudicial coverage,” though many people noted how the amendment seemed to pop up after the widely covered and publicized arrest of International Monetary Fund executive and former economy minister, Rodrigo Rato, who was arrested for money laundering and tax evasion.

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Rodrigo Rato. LosGenoveses.net

Furthermore, a public safety law that took effect in July 2016 allows fining of up to €30,000 ($35,000) for offenses such as unauthorized use of photos containing public officials or members of security forces when publication could “endanger individuals, their families, protected facilities, or a security operation.” Insulting a member of security forces could earn you up to $700 of fines.

Over the last 50 years, Spain has been riding an inconsistent whirlwind of speech and press freedom. Freedom dipped to an all time low during Franco’s reign, recovering slightly after the birth of the Constitution of 1978. But now, between corporate buy-outs, terrorist attacks, and sketchy legislation, Spain may be on its way back to the days of censorship and held-tongues they saw during Franco.

JOUR 401: Blog Post 5

With the chaos ensuing in the world today, mixed with a declining profit for work in the journalism field, journalists seem to be taking bigger and bigger risks to find the story that could be their big break. Journalists travel to war-ridden countries, walking straight in the line of fire just for the chance to make the front page. Amongst the most dangerous places to report from are Iraq, Syria, and even France. Spain, however, is not.

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Infographic from Al Jazeera online.

Despite a rocky history, finding data on journalist attacks and killings in Spain is surprisingly difficult. In fact, it seems the only cases of Spanish journalists being attacked or killed have happened in other countries.

One of the most famous Spanish media killings happened in 2003, and was ruled to be the work of the hands of three of America’s finest: U.S. soldiers.

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Jose Couso, Archive Photo, TypicallySpanish.com

Jose Couso was a Spanish cameraman helping report from Baghdad, Iraq in 2003. American soldiers had ordered an attack on the Iraqi capital which included the Palestine Hotel where many reporting journalists were staying. The soldiers were originally indicted by a judge in 2007, but the case re-opened in 2008 when Couso’s family appealed to the Supreme Court of Spain. The case finally closed in mid-2011, with the judge ruling that the civilian deaths were unintentional, and that the location of the incident severely limited any Spanish government jurisdiction. Julio Anguita Parrado, a journalist with Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, was also killed in 2003 when an Iraqi missile hit a U.S. military base south of Baghdad.

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Ricardo Ortega, Reporteros Sin Fronteras

In 2004, a Spanish journalist was amongst five people killed in a gunfire demonstration in Haiti. Ricardo Ortega, a New York based Spanish correspondent for the network Antena 3 in Madrid, was shot and killed when alleged supporters of exiled Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide opened fire on thousands of demonstrators.

More recently, Spanish journalists reporting on the Syrian war were taken hostage, but were eventually granted release. The journalists were reporting on the Syrian war in 2015, and were kidnapped by al-Qaeda’s Syrian counterpart, al-Nusra. The circumstances for the release of Antonio Pampliega, Jose Manuel Lopez and Angel Sastre in 2016 remains unknown, though their return was a joyous occasion for Spaniards, and even gained recognition from president Mariano Rajoy.

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President Rajoy welcomes home 3-Spanish reporters kidnapped in 2015. BBC.com

Given these cases, it would seem the greatest threat to Spanish journalists is leaving Spain to report. Much like American journalists, Spaniards seem to encounter the most dangerous area of their work when they go abroad and into war-plagued countries to report.

As far as safety training for Spanish journalists, there seems to be few resources aside from those online that offer “Spanish Translations,” to their online safety courses such as the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and the Dart Center. However, given Spain’s lack of ethical guidelines when it comes to media, their lack of safety guidelines does not come as much of a surprised either.

Overall, it would seem being a Spanish journalist is a safe job, until you leave the country.

 

JOUR 401: Blog Post 4

Spanish journalism seems to be in a place of transition. After the fall of Franco, Spanish press seems to flounder between ownership and being corporately owned. Press Reference notes Spanish journalism as characteristically having, “low circulation and equally low per capita readership, at least in comparison to presses in other modern European countries. During the twentieth century the press became decentralized, and newspapers were established that focus more on the concerns of Spain’s regions and autonomous communities often publishing in regional languages such as Catalán, Basque and Galician.”

Furthermore, most Spanish citizens choose to receive their news from a televised source, not a printed one. This means that new-wave facets of journalism that are becoming popular in the United States, such as “do good” and peace reporting, are almost irrelevant in Spain.

Spanish journalism tends to lean more towards traditional journalism as they attempt to regain their footing after economic and political upheaval. Headlines from popular Spanish news source El Mundo give a taste of “safe” stories like, “Mariano Rajoy congratulates Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential” and “6 year-old girl dies after inflatable castle bursts.” After such societal turmoil, it seems Spain is keeping its press simple, local, and back to basics.

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Inflatable bounce castle that killed 6 year old girl. Robin Townsend/EFE. 

As I said in my previous article, the same ethical standards are not applied to Spanish journalism as they are (or at least used to be) in the United States. The journalists in Spain are a mix of those who could be bought out, and those who have either been laid-off and started anew or were simply rookies who wanted to hit the ground running and do things their own way. Currently, old Spanish media doesn’t have the best reputation, but the new wave is trying to change that.

Of course, it is possible to go to school for writing and journalism, but its not as popular an area of study as it is here in the United States. The absence of an Associated Press or what seems to be any press-related moral compass, really, gives Spanish journalists what I can only equate to the same reputation as an American lawyer: shady and easily sold out. Perhaps the new wave will mend this reputation, but as of right now its still pretty shaky.

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Javier Marías. Wikipedia.

Some modern Spanish journalists who seem to have escaped the blanket of a bad-rep include: Javier Marías, Pedro J. Ramírez, Federico Jiménez Losantos and Juan Manuel de Prada. These journalists have not only shown their prowess in news and columns, but have also gained respect and prestige working in other literary areas including novels and essays. However, they are most famous for their work in journalism and press.