Professional development

The development of the journalistic career   is weak in El Salvador, given the fact that it has been structured within a context of strong economic, political and social tensions. Journalists carry out their activity in precarious conditions and high vulnerability, according to the paper research Between Censorship and Discrimination (2014), seven out of ten Salvadorian journalists have suffered censorship at some point in their profession. Half of the information professionals received different kinds of aggressions and three out of ten communicators have suffered some kind of restriction to information.  

The precariousness in which journalism is practiced as well as its low level of professionalisation, can be partially explained by the low interest that this topic has received by the academia, which makes it difficult to receive inputs about the day to day situation of journalists and their challenges. In addition, currently there is no  statistical data or institutions that ensure a stable future for journalists or similar professions. It is a poor situation that the university educational system (private or public) entrusts to their students and alumni. There are, however, some kinds of relationship between universities and communication media. Private universities such as the Central America University José Simeón Cañas or public universities such as El Salvador University, have agreements with some of the main printed and digital media (La Prensa Gráfica, El Diario de Hoy, El Faro, El Mundo, VOCES Diario digital, Diario CoLatino y Contrapunto), so their students can do their internships in their newsrooms. It is not a written rule, but some of these students are hired after they finish their internships.  

This scenario, has limited the chance to consolidate an organised journalistic guild, as it jeopardises its social function. The guild can be identified as a polarised group with low capacity of influence over the actors in the media and political system. This low agency, reduces its autonomy and prevents it from consolidating the identity as a guild (Carballo y Cristancho, 2014).