Just look into their eyes

Published: 05 December 2010

Mirra Banchon Ramirez is the reason why you know that you would like to become a journalist. She has been sitting in the room of an Indian restaurant for half an hour, lonely, waiting for a group of young journalists losts somewhere under the snow and when they arrived she had just  a big smile.

“Oh yes, I am a free lance based in Bruxelles. I am working for the Deutsche Welle. (Oh, it’s sounds so great to could say it. Please, listen to me: I am a free lance based in Bruxelles and I am doing what I exactly wanted to do. It’s my first time that I am invited to speak about my experience here, and to be honest, I am so excited.”).

She is an experienced and talented journalist who has been working for the german media for the last years. She is from Ecuador and she is writing in Spanish for the Latino America countries. She arrived in Germany at the end of the high school and she speaks four languages. She started being in Bruxelles really often in the last years for personal reasons and then, when they offered her to work here, she couldn’t believe it. To work as a free lance is really stressfull and you never know until when they will want you. Isn’t it?


I mean, yes. But they will want my articles, because I love what I am doing and every day I spend my time finding stories. I feel free to go and follow things that I consider interesting for my media. I know that I cannot speak too much about Merkel for example, because the Latino America audience can be interested in European stuff but not too much. I have to find the interesting part of every news and event and opportunity. It’s a way of living and now I feel like I don’t want to leave this place and this job.”

She smiles, she smiles a lot and not of a fake smile just for the right circumstance, but because she has things to say and to communicate and she doesn’t want that they could be loose. Journalism is fun, is love, is to be involved and to be passionate by something. It’s communication through the spirit and through the feelings and she needs to tell us all these things. She has a secret: looking into the eyes of people.

“You can get an interview from everybody, you just have to approach them, both at the end of the press conference or while they are eating somewhere for the final cocktail. Just look into their eyes and show your journalist card and then ask whatever you want. Show them that you are there and you are really determined.”

Are you going to document the European Development Days? Are they important for your job?

“Yes, sure. My boss asked me two articles. I don’t think that the event will be just a bla bla. Ok, we all know that they are politicians and that it is a political action, but still it is an important matter. For my public, to whom I am addressing, development is one of the fundamental issues and they are really interested in discovering what in the european world are planning to do. I will be there and try to get more information as possible.”

End of the official interview. Mirra takes some Indian tea and she offers to me: “Please, now”, she says taking out some professional equipments, “can you answer some questions for me?”. This is the real journalist that I dream to become: a passionate person who thinks that could get something from everything, even from a young journalist without experience. She was looking into my eyes, so I couldn’t refuse to give her an interview. My first one.

Martina Castigliani