Interview with David Roman – Wall Street Journal
24 junio, 2015
I have the pleasure to talk with David Roman, the correspondent of the Wall Street Journal in Spain. He also worked for the Dow Jones Newswires and Asian FX as a reporter. During this interview, David talked about what means to be a correspondent here in Spain and how they see in US some of the main topics in Spain.
- What does it mean for you to work for the Wall Street Journal?
Well, it’s a great professional opportunity; it’s one of the most prestigious newspapers in the world so it’s an honor to work for them.
- Which are the main differences between American and Spanish media?
In the United States there is a longer tradition of independence media than here in Spain. The American journalist have generally (more freedom as far as the editor and newspaper owners are concerned and also the Spanish media has suffered a huge financial failure so they depend much more on of the advertising than the American press, in which that there is in a better financial situation and that causes fewer problems when you have to decide what topics do you want to report.
- Which are the problems that you have had working as a journalist here in Spain?
The truth is that very few, Spain is one of the most comfortable countries to work as a journalist because it has an international language that there is spoken in a big part of the planet and also being a democratic country ,puts few troubles in your work , the greater difficulties that I have had are relating to what happens here in Spain with burocratic issues and the access to public information that should be public but there isn’t and that is related with the privacy laws that exist nowadays in this country that are obsessive and exaggerated until the point that legal judgements are anonymous , so you can’t know what person has been arrested you have to call the police to confirm. In Spain there are things that are missing due to this kind of laws.
- Which is the image that they have from Spain in US?
The images of the countries are mostly related to their political moment, that is constantly changing, 20 years ago we had a completely different impression about Venezuela than we have nowadays for example. Taking into account all the things that happen every single day in the world, what happens in Spain, we think that there are things that they are unique in Spain like the corruption, that happen all over the world, but it is more significance in a country with a 20% of unemployment, so the people worry more concerned about it.
- How do they see in America this political changing that is happening in Spain?
Generally, they see it as an opportunity but also as a concern. It’s good to have in politics new ideas, and now there are people that feel represented with these new parties here in Spain people but in most of the cases this new parties don’t have a big experience and finally their ideas are not very successful.
- They have followed with interest the recent elections in Spain?
Yes, it has been followed with interest but it’s not so relevant like a conflict are like that in the Middle East, areas in which there are conflict and are important for the American foreign policy, for example what is happening in Yemen or with ISIS.
- How do they see what is happening in Catalonia with the independent movement?
Yes, it is understood, in this case one part of Catalonia society thinks that are being oppressed by Spain and want to have their own nation. In the United States people can relate to that because they were born as a country in the same way and there are many cases all over the history that new sovereignty countries emerged in the same way but in the other hand they think that is an overreaction from part of the Catalan leaders they have the same impression like what happened in Canada with the independent movement, they think that it’s a little bit exaggerated to say that Catalonia is being oppressed by Spain.
- What do American media pay more attention to , inside or foreign issues?
Like most of the countries, they concerned more about what is happening inside the country more than in their foreign policy, of course it is important, but it is not a great deal for them.
- What do you think would be the legacy of Obama as a President?
That is relative, we have seen cases in which an American president has left the White House with a big rate of popularity but in the next generations they see with a different perspective or upside down so that is really relative. What is true is that Obama has made big diplomatic steps with Cuba and with Iran but in other sides he has stayed halfway of the process for example to close Guantanamo or in the Afghanistan War.