Persistence paid off for a multimedia journalism student who managed to secure a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cover a Papal visit to South America for a state broadcaster.
Colombian Daniel Ocampo Rudd spent September back in his homeland filing radio reports on Pope Francis’ visit for government station La Radio Virtual.
Watch Daniel live on air below.
Daniel’s big break came after he contacted the station director about the possibility of an internship – and when he didn’t get a positive response in the first instance, he kept politely plugging away and was rewarded with a stint on the station.
“Not only has my course helped me to develop my media and production skills, but it has given me more confidence to go out into the world of journalism and seek opportunities like this ,” said Daniel, who comes from Colombia’s capital city, Bogota.
“Pope Francis’ visit was an incredibly special time for my country, and it was an honour to be a part of it.”
The first Papal visit to Colombia since 1986 saw Pope Francis attempt to bring a sharply divided nation together in the cause of peace. The Colombian government had been at war with rebel forces since the 1960s, until a peace deal was struck in June. While the armed struggle has ended, and opposition Farc rebels plan to form a legal political party, the country is still licking the deep wounds inflicted by 52 years of insurgency.
Daniel said: “This was the first opportunity that the government had to discuss the peace treaty with the Supreme Pontiff.
“The coverage, which I was part of, involved writing reports for the afternoon programme and giving updates throughout the week about the preparation at the venue he was due to visit.
“When the Pope arrived in Bogota, I was lucky to get a much-coveted seat in the garden of the government’s palace to get to see Pope Francis. I wasn’t there to report, I was given the chance to just enjoy the occasion by the radio station as a thank you for my work in the run up to the event.
“It was really exciting and the best opportunity I have ever had.”
Daniel’s lecturer, Hilary Scott, said: “I always tell my students that the key to getting ahead in broadcasting is to be determined and persistent, and Dan has proved this to be true.
“When he didn’t get an immediate response to his internship request, Daniel wasn’t afraid to follow up his enquirers in a friendly manner and this approach paid off in spectacular fashion.
“I’m extremely proud of him – how many students can you say you have taught who have filed reports for a national radio station on such an historic event as the Papal visit to Colombia? Well done Daniel.”