Journalist Dionicia Mamani is a radio host in Potosi. At 4000 meters Potosi is one of the highest cities in the world. Mamani mostly reports in Quechua, an indigenous language spoken in this once wealthy mining region.
Dionicia Mamani hosts a news and current affairs program at the local radio station, Radio Aclo. Her program covers local politics and issues facing miners working in the numerous silver mines on and around the Cerro Rico mountain. Once vastly wealthy thanks to its silver mines, it has become one of Bolivia's poorest regions. Radio Aclo is among several DW Akademie partner stations involved in a long-term media project in Bolivia. Mamani and others at Radio Aclo have already participated in several workshops and trainings.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a journalist?
There are repeated conflicts here in the region. Some are mining wage disputes, others are about the non-recognition of community boundaries. The streets are often blocked off then. I’m still very scared when I cover these conflicts. I start shaking when the police intervene at a protest. I find it very difficult to report live from events like these.
You work in two languages, Spanish and Quechua. How do you find that?
At first, it wasn't that easy for me to work in Spanish. I come from the countryside and I spoke Quechua at home. I only learned Spanish when I moved to the city. Sometimes it’s still easier for me to find the words in Quechua than in Spanish but it’s getting better.
How have you benefited from DW Akademie trainings?
I think back with great pleasure to the visits by the DW Akademie team and all those practical exercises they brought with them. The main thing I have learned is how to structure and host a news and current affairs program. What makes a strong lead story? How do you assess news stories? And in the latest workshop, I learned what makes a good feature. We’d only occasionally used that format up until now.
How have the workshops helped you in your daily work?
I host a midday local news show called Connecting Potosi (Uniendo Potosi). After the workshop, I changed the sequence of the segments and introduced new formats. I think the program’s much better now.
How does journalism in Bolivia need to change?
Many journalists in Potosi simply cover police reports - murder, recovering bodies, rape, things like that. They’re seen as the most important stories. I don't agree with that. I believe the most important stories are about how the region is developing, especially in positive ways.
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