Volunteering at Colombia Reports is an exciting opportunity for people pursuing journalism professionally or for those who have a keen interest in being in the middle of the latest issues occurring in Colombia. No matter what a volunteer’s experience coming in, volunteers leave their time at Colombia Reports with a new array of skills and contacts.
By volunteering abroad with a professional newsroom students and travelers also gain a unique inside perspective into Medellin and Colombia both in and out of the office while at the same time enjoying the support structure offered by fellow volunteers and Colombia Reports staff.
Volunteers will be gaining experience in a professional newsroom through writing, editing, and publishing articles on a daily basis. Volunteers write original pieces and conduct interviews in English and Spanish as well as do on-the-ground reporting in Medellin.
Colombia Reports volunteers have a range of experiences and skills which they bring to the office. Many of our volunteers have degrees or professional certifications in Journalism, Media Studies and Communications and work professionally in journalism. However, others come from a range of different career backgrounds with applicable skills and volunteer out of desire to learn about journalism, Colombian issues or even as a career change.
Colombia reports volunteers have included people from Colombia, USA, UK, Australia, Ireland, Turkey and the Netherlands. Ages have ranged from 19-30.
As of the 15th of June 2012 volunteers who are accepted and registered in the International Volunteer Journalism Program will be asked to pay a $75 dollar administration fee. The administration fee goes to cover all the benefits of being a part of Colombia Reports such as monthly skill-building workshops, one-on-one feedback sessions on writing techniques, advice on Medellin living such as housing, Spanish lessons and safety, and the provision of unlimited Colombian coffee (just ask our volunteers!). To see more benefits see the CR International Volunteer Journalism Program brochure or keep reading!
Volunteers are responsible for finding their own housing in Medellin. Colombia Reports offers shared housing to volunteers. Several rooms are available in an apartment shared with the Colombia Reports newsroom. Facilities include an equipped kitchen, furnished rooms, large roofed and open aired porch, internet access, land line and a great location in the middle of the city center. The apartment and office is half a block from Medellin’s main avenue Oriental, and has easy access to the metro and numerous bus lines.
A minimum of 2 months is required for volunteers to work with Colombia Reports. However, most of our volunteers stay between 3-6 months in order to get the most out of their time at CR and the learning experience. If, upon completing an agreed volunteer period, both the volunteer and the Director are happy with the direction of the volunteer’s work, the volunteer period can always be expanded.
Volunteers work full-time, Monday – Friday. Working hours are from 8:00am-5:00pm for the first 3 months of a volunteer period. Once a volunteer has stayed longer than three months they can speak with the Director about reducing to part time in order to pursue other interests.
Full-time volunteers rotate between 2 other shifts:
Upon arrival to Colombia Reports you will receive training which will equip you to fulfill your role as a volunteer. Volunteers also receive regular assessments and feedback sessions with the workers in order to ensure that their goals are being met and any challenges that volunteers experience are addressed. Colombia Reports also arranges free workshops and lectures for volunteers to attend throughout their time volunteering in order to increase their skills and knowledge of Colombia.
Colombia Reports volunteers are from all over the world, including Colombia. Volunteers come to the newsroom with different levels of both English and Spanish. As volunteers research and interview in Spanish, we ask that volunteers come to Colombia Reports with a minimum of a basic level of Spanish. We encourage volunteers who feel they have a beginner’s level of Spanish to take an intensive course the first week they arrive in Colombia in order to give them the confidence the need to jump into the newsroom. That being said, we would not discourage people who have a basic level of Spanish from participating in the program as we have found that volunteers learn the language at a much quicker pace one they arrive. However, it is important to realize before coming that what volunteers are able to report about and write will be limited depending on their language level.
In order to volunteer please send an email of interest to email@example.com with your CV and a paragraph outlining why you are interested in volunteering and when and for how long you are available. Applicants will then be selected for a phone interview with the Colombia Reports director. References of current or past volunteers are available on request. Please feel free to email with any questions.