By Elizabeth Meckel

It’s no secret that the Iberian Peninsula is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe, specifically those in Barcelona.

There were no beaches in Barcelona until 1992 when the city hosted the Olympics. The city replaced two miles of industrial site with the sandy beaches seen today, according to a Business Insider article.

“It’s kind of crazy to think that there was no beach here before 1992, it seems like it’s a natural beach, and it feels like it belongs here,” said Olivia Ruk, a student from Point Park University.

There are five major beach sections in Barcelona. Platja de Sant Sebatia and Platja de la Barceloneta are locations that reach directly to the city and located within them are the cableway Sant Sebastia. Together these two beach sections are 1.1 kilometers and are the largest beach section in Barcelona, according to

Platja de la Nova Icaria is the central part of the beach and stretches approximately 400 meters long down the coast. It’s considered a relatively quiet part of the beach and is frequented by families. Metro stops to access this part of the beach include L4, Ciutadella Villa Olimpica, Bogatell, and Llacuna. The tram stops include T4 and Ciutadella Olimpica.

Spanning approximately 600 meters long, Platja de Bogatell, is considered the Olympic beach since it was created in 1992 specifically for the Olympic games. Because of the nature of the beach, the facilities are mostly sports related. This beach is considered one of the beautiful beaches on the coast of Barcelona and it is located relatively close to downtown.

“I’m not entirely sure, but I think we were at the Platja de Bogatell on free day. It was really beautiful,” says Rilyn Gancia, a Point Park University student.

Playa de Mar Bella is designated as the nudist beach of Barcelona. In Catalonia, there are no general rules on whether nudism is allowed or not, but in Barcelona it is a principle that it’s allowed as long as it’s not a public nuisance.

Connected to this beach is the Platja de Llevant, which stretched 500 meters down the coast between the breakers. It was created in 2006 and is the youngest beach in Barcelona.

The last section of the beach is Zona de Banys del Parc del Forum, a bathing area in the park, a port, cultural and industrial area, which is the northern most part of the beach. There are no sandy beaches here, but there is a seawater pool.

The W Barcelona is located at Placa de la Rosa dels Vents and is ranked No. 60 of 514 hotels in Barcelona. It is located directly on the beach and is a notable landmark on the beach.

Lucky for tourists this beach is easily accessible and within reach of multiple subway stops. Another wellknown feature is the promenade that sits behind the beach called the Paseo de Maritim. Showers, bars and shops are also easily accessible.

There are many facilities located at the beach including kiosks, sports facilities, boat rentals, sailing during the months of April-October, as well as changing rooms. General facilities include lockers, showers, toilets, sun loungers, parasols and bicycle parking.

Ketchum Spain

Story and photos by Kariann Mano


International Media students visited Ketchum Spain in Madrid as one of eight media visits. Female professionals highlighted various public relations campaigns from different disciplines in a multiple case study presentation for them.

Helena Borrás, Human Resources and Change Management director, greeted the class in the Ketchum lobby on the third floor of the building. She led the students and professors into a nearby room, the Training Room as it was titled.

The Training Room had one large window one the one wall, overlooking some houses and buildings in the city. Borrás offered many students a seat at an angular table, while others gathered chairs from around the room, sitting in a semicircle.

Borrás set the stage for the morning as she recited the history and key information about Ketchum Spain.

Ketchum Spain was founded in 1989 by its three CEOs: Teresa García, Tony Noel and José Ramón Caso, who had owned their own agency. It is a top-three full-service public relations agency, and it offers a number of services such as public affairs and lobbying, crisis management, publishing services and special event planning. Some of its clients include Procter & Gamble, Kodak, IKEA and McDonald’s. An agency is a collective noun, so the pronoun agreement is it or its.

Borrás took questions before the first speaker arrived. After being asked what a usual background is for employees, Borrás let the students know many of them have a background in journalism.

Lourdes Bustamante, a senior account executive in Brand Marketing, spoke to International Media students about Rochas, one of her accounts, which is a French perfume line.

Using the EDR Trio from Rochas, Bustamante explained, “Each fragrance has a different value.” She presented the entire campaign to the room, complete with PR objectives, strategies, actions and tools. She showed how her team would use TV and other media to promote Rochas, explained the “Press Day” where their celebrity ambassador would bond with bloggers with one-on-one interviews and a meet and greet. The ambassador would pose for photos for their bloggers as well. To create even more buzz, they would send out creative coverage for Christmas and Mother’s Day, two important holidays for fragrance purchases.

Carlota de Lucas, an account supervisor in Brand Marketing, chatted about her campaign: Hugo Boss’ “Man of Today,” which remains in progress until summer 2015.

She began her presentation by showing the four steps her strategic communications plan was built on: creativity, exclusivity and timing, digital and a 360-degree execution that has the campaign touch in the marketing plan.

She discussed objectives and strategies as well, but also described the campaign phases and assets, along with the celebrity international ambassador, Gerard Butler, who embodies the “success, style and ethics of a ‘Man of Today,’” de Lucas said.

Ludi Garcia, director of the Digital Department, did not take the usual path for one of her social media campaigns, “Guti Talks Trash.”

A controversial Real Madrid futbol player, José María Gutiérrez Hernández, or Guti as most commonly referred, was recruited by Ketchum Spain to help make citizens recycle; Spain has a low rate of recycling. It all started with one single tweet made by the party-animal that caused a slew of 19 million impressions in only four days. Guti also posted a video about recycling, and there was media coverage and presence throughout the campaign that helped support eco vidrio, a private, nonprofit organization that manages recycling in Spain.

Teresa García, one of the CEOs and a former journalist, stopped in for a quick meeting with the class. She started at Ketchum in 1992. She told us that Spain has stricter media laws than the U.S., so they aren’t able to do as much as the U.S. She also reiterated what so many Point Park students hear every day in class.

“This industry is about close relationships. You need to be professional but have a social connection,” she said.

Before she left, García empowered many by stating 80 out of 100 people working at Ketchum Spain are women.

Guadalupe Saez, another former journalist and a senior executive in health care, spoke about Allergan, a brand of Botox, for migraines.

Difficult as it may be to not mention the word “Botox” due to Spanish laws, the campaign was filled with how to inform audiences and approach them by appealing to their emotions along with real data.

Allergan was endorsed two years ago for migraines. Creating an event with a “Migraine Square,” an artist stood in the middle drawing activities on a giant head that many people miss out on due to suffering from chronic migraines. Doctors were on site to answer any questions about Allergen, where they were allowed to use the word Botox.

Lara Vilarino, the next speaker presenting her case study on client Abbott Nutrition, works in public affairs and lobbying. Part of her strategy was to create awareness about malnutrition related to illness. Over a few years, there was a different objective, whether it was to introduce national nutritional plans or creating a website.

The last speaker, Elena Gomez, has worked in the Brand Marketing department for the last 15 years. She presented a brand of laundry detergent pods as “Ariel: The Ropantic Show.”

For her client, she strived to maximize Ariel PR and create awareness to avoid waste. She showed us her challenges, strategy, idea and plan. The event brought together people and their old clothes, in which they were either exchanged or made into a necklace or other sort of useable object to maximize the use of garments. There were over 2,000 garments exchanged and the event had the largest media impact of any Ariel product.


Helena Borrás gives a tour of the Ketchum Spain office to the International Media class.

Borrás took the students on a tour of Ketchum Spain after all questions students had posed were answered and speakers returned to their offices. A one-floor spread, the agency reflects a layout similar to other Pittsburgh agencies.

Students and faculty agree that Ketchum Spain showed hospitality and shared valuable information to a group of students who attend school in the city where the Ketchum enterprise was founded in 1923.

By Elizabeth Meckel

The Ketchum Spain office was founded in 1989. It offers a full range of services including public affairs, lobbying, digital media, mobile marketing, editorial services, training and event planning.

Ketchum Spain covers a wide range of topics for its clients, including technology, health care, corporate communications, as well as experience in brand marketing.

The team is a part of the Omnicom Group and the Ketchum Global Network, which included over 100 different offices around the world. Ketchum was founded in Pittsburgh and is the largest communications consultancy in Europe. It is one of the most diverse in the world, which is why it is ranked in the top three agencies.

“Women are more prominent in this field because they seem to be better at it,” stated Teresa Garcia, when asked why so many employees at Ketchum Spain are women.

Some of its major companies include Procter & Gamble, Ecovidrio, Kodak, Mcdonalds, Ikea, Hugo Boss, and many others. It also help with smaller companies as well.

Luvi Garcia, director of digital, recently came up with an ingenious campaign to encourage public to r recycle. Guti, a famous soccer player for Real Madrid, was the main focus of the campaign.

“Guti is known for being controversial, and we wanted to use that to our advantage,” Garcia said.

On Guti’s Twitter he tweeted that he didn’t care about recycling and this led to a lot of unhappy responses from those on social media. They were able to spin the story into something positive for the audience and make them think that this was a real scenario even though it wasn’t. Through the campaign they were able to gain quality press and to encourage people to recycle.

Ketchum Spain has also done several other great campaigns for the community, specifically one regarding chronic migraines, in which they had to overcome many rules and regulations set by the government. Through different types of campaigning tactics as well as lobbying, they were able to figure out a way that people could get help without breaking the rules and guidelines set.

The main focus mostly was to boost Botox sales for Allergan, considering Botox has a positive effect for those struggling with chronic migraines. However, they were not allowed to use that brand name in the campaign, a definite drawback. They paired the product with Chronic Migraine Disease Awareness, and they were able to properly promote the product without breaking any laws.

“The issue is that most patients don’t know that they have chronic migraines, so we had to figure out a way to get the patients to the right place,” senior account executive Guadalupe Saez said.

Through the campaign, they were able to organize events that allowed them to spread awareness and eventually get patients the treatment they need. This campaign released a video that was nominated for an award at Cannes Film Festival.


By Greg Schillinger

Flamenco is a style of Spanish folk music and dance. Though there is no written history that gives us much indication on the origin of the art form, historians believe that it began in the south of Spain in the region of Andalusia.

It was first mentioned in documents that dated back to 1774, but it most likely began earlier than that.

The basic concept of a flamenco show is that group of musicians snap and clap to keep a beat and to encourage the dancers, and music is played along to that rhythm. Vocalizations are also used throughout the show. The show that the class saw used two guitars and a violin, as well as other handheld percussion instruments.

We took our seats in the dining room and began to be served. Sangria, salad, bread, paella, cheese and a cream puff dessert were all on the menu. The authentic food was a great start. After we were served our first few courses, the show started.

The curtain rose, and sitting at the rear of the stage was a collection of men and women, some with instruments, all wearing black. Some of the men – dressed in suits and not traditional garb at all – began to snap and clap, and the guitars and violins began to play. Within a few measures, two women strutted out from behind the curtains, one on each side of the stage, and began dancing. Their dresses were elaborate and long and in bold colors. Their dancing was equally bold; quick, precise flails of their arms were matched with quick turns of their torsos and legs. They wore shoes similar to tap shoes, and throughout the dance, they added to the music by banging out intense rhythms on the wooden stage.

Throughout the evening, different performers entered and left the stage. There were a few groups of two women, there was a group of two men, and at times, only a single person was dancing on the stage. Around 15 performers came and went, including the musicians.

Everything that was going on was fabulous and grand, but it took a while to warm up to flamenco. The dances and singing were seemingly improvised most of the time. But that was the fun of flamenco – It’s all about the rhythm created on the stage in the moment and the flair of the dancers. It wasn’t an organized production, such as a symphony. Flamenco is all about creating an exciting, dramatic atmosphere.

And I discovered that the show we saw was the real deal. After we left the venue, I was talking with our tour guide. Mauricio Macarron Larumbe, about what we saw. I hinted that it was so wild and improvised that I couldn’t believe that it was authentic. He joked that if they [the performers] knew that I doubted the authenticity of their show, “They would kill [me].” Looking back to that evening, I have to say the food was incredible, and experiencing the show was a great way to see first-hand the flair and passion of the Spanish culture.

Global Media

By Olivia Ruk

Founded in 1984, Global Media Group is one of the largest and most influential media players in Portugal.

The company owns three daily newspapers: Diário de Notícias, which is aimed at a niche market of more wealthy individuals (classes A and B), Jornal de Notícias (classes B and C), and O Jogo, a sports newspaper. This sports paper covers various different athletics, but about 80 percent of the material deals with soccer. It also has a radio station, TSF, that features breaking news, and two travel magazines, Volta ao Mundo for planning longer distance vacations (which translates to “Around the World”) and Evasões for planning short trips such as weekends around the city. In addition to these publications, Global Media Group also holds ownership to printing and distributing companies.

Global Media currently has around 500 employees, a number that is a result of the aftermath of the 2008-09 worldwide financial crisis.According to CEO Vitor Ribeiro, about 200 employees had to be fired. Ribeiro was brought into the company as a new CEO during this extremely hectic time to try to figure out the best steps to take. He said he was faced with a great amount of pressure when trying to deal with adjusting to a new company and to pull them out of the tough time they were going through. He made the difficult decision to make these cuts and to motivate the current employees to think outside the box. Ribeiro discussed the importance of staying away from debt as much as possible, something true for individuals as well as businesses.

“Your debt should never be bigger than three times the amount of your salary,” said Ribeiro.

Ribeiro said that one of the newspapers’ and magazines’ most important goals is to be known as the first choice for readers. They are currently undergoing a huge push for digital media in order to stay relevant and keep up with the times, a challenge that every media outlet is currently facing in today’s fast-paced society.

Global Media is pushing its way through the economic crisis and hopes to one day come out stronger than ever. He believes the company are certainly on the right track, and it is doing all that it can do to stay on top of the game. A high point: travel magazine Volta ao Mundo and the radio station TSF won Portugal’s 2015 consumer choice award.

By Greg Schillinger

Global Media is a corporation that is highly involved in the Portuguese media landscape, owning three daily newspapers, Diario de Noticias, O Jogo and Jornal de Noticias; two travel magazines, V.N. (International Travel) and City Breaks; two printing companies; one distribution company; and two regional newspapers, one of which is the oldest newspaper in Portugal.

The CEO of the group, Vitor Ribeiro, addressed the class about his strategies for the company over the next two years. He recently joined the company and has made moves to turn it around. Before his arrival, Global Media printed newspapers with trashy advertisements adorned with adult content and sold cheap products. These unsavory tactics made money for the company, but it was important to discontinue them in order to create a respectable image. Global Media Group was experiencing financial hardships, and after firing 20 percent of the workers — around 200 people, which he said was difficult  — the company has returned to making profits, he said.

Ribeiro said they are the most financially stable media outlet in the country. He wants to grow the company to be a “70 million euro turnover group.” In order to continue growth and become a “superbrand,” he and his board members have been looking at how they want to be known by the people of Portugal. The list of credits they would like to be given includes: first choice of readers, have political influence, impact the affluent and be the reference for Portugal.

He stressed that they would like to appeal to the wealthy people in the country. They have the money to spend, and although that segment of the population is not likely to grow, it is a safe market to be dependent on at this point. In order to keep the affluent readers reading their newspapers, Global Media Group has taken a social democratic political stance and compassionate Christian ideals. He noted that anything that is too extreme is not well received by the readers of their papers, so Global Media Group makes sure to only print respectable, credible content.

Ribeiro’s overall strategy for 2015, 2016 and 2017 is built on three pillars: profitable growth, innovation and an increase of product quality, and operational efficiency. The company’s biggest objectives right now include: increase market share, increase advertising, reduce taxes and interest, and, ultimately, reduce their debt. He stressed the importance of increased advertising He and said that they have a good balance worked out, and that there is no intention of decreasing ad space as part of the group publications’content any time soon. The company making money is the most important thing to them to avoid going backward just as the country starts to recover from the 2008-09 economic crisis.


Story and photos by Marissa Rayes


Fado is a certain type of genre of music that is very popular in Portugal. The song can be about anything from love to despair or just about Lisbon in general.

People in Portugal will first attend a Fado show, go for drinks after the show then head to the discotheque. Fados e Folclore was dimly lit when we arrived, which added to the mood of the show. People aren’t allowed to smoke in the place because it could affect the singers’ voices.

First things first: something to eat while we waited for the performers. Appetizers including plates of cheese, sausage and olives were served before the performers began. After they finished their part of the performance, the next course was served. The meal that night included bean soup, chicken and potatoes and a bowl of flan for dessert. Port wine and water were the beverages of the night.


Dancers in classical Portugal costumes —  women in colorful, peasant-like dresses and men in vests, bright-colored trousers with suspenders, and flat black hats — filled the stage.

The male singers and female singers, dressed in formal outfits, all performed three songs each accompanied by three male musicians. Some songs that were performed seemed to be upbeat, while others were more depressing. It was hard to tell the actual meaning of their songs because of the language barrier. While a man was warming up on his instrument, he played a cord or two from the United States’ “The Star Spangled Banner.”

The crowd seemed enamored with the final gentleman who performed. He raised a white napkin and began waving it in the air. The crowd joined him in the action as if it was a normal thing to do. As a finale, they chose people from the crowd – including Alicia Greene, Rilyn Gancia and Kim Prelosky from our group – to go on stage and join in a wedding dance with the performers. The people chosen danced and carried flower covered hoops in a circle on the stage, passing by a professional photographer who captured the experience for them.


“The Fado Show was a unique experience. Although I couldn’t understand what was being sung by the beautiful singers, the folktale/storytelling part of the show was a bit clearer,” Kariann Mano, a student on the trip, said. “I liked how the show blended music, dancing and singing. It was awesome seeing some of our students dance in the “wedding” — What a treat!”

Finally, all the performers came back on stage to take their final bow. They seemed to be wellknown by the crowd as they went crazy over this Fado show, and the Point Park students considered themselves lucky to experience the event that unfolded before them.


Story and photos Sara Payne


RTP Director of International and Public Relations Joao Lopes de Araujo presents to the International Media class.

With the unemployment rate as high as 30 percent in Portugal following the economic crisis, the people have used their creativity to start overcoming the vast financial issues. Radio e Televisao de Portugal, the country’s public broadcaster, is doing its best to innovate and overcome the same obstacles.

RTP was founded in 1957 and is 100 percent owned by the Portuguese state. It is supported by license fees and income from advertising and sponsorship. Each household paying for electricity also pays 2.65 euros per month toward RTP’s operations.

Because of the severe financial situation, RTP stopped receiving funding from the Portuguese government in January 2014, according to Director of International and Public Relations Joao Lopes de Araujo.

RTP currently has eight TV channels and eight radio channels. There are two free to air TV channels, two thematic cable channels, two regional channels for Madeira Island and the Azores Islands, an international channel and a channel for those in African countries.

In order to stay in operation, RTP has had to show the Portuguese people the importance of their public broadcaster. Not to forget, the class learned, the good content throughout its channels.

“Public service doesn’t have to mean boring,” de Araujo said. “It can be interesting.”

In order to maintain an audience to fund itself, RTP has to think of popular programs. As a public broadcaster, RTP must meet certain quality measurements that private companies do not.

“We have a difficult situation to balance,” de Araujo said.

Despite needing the revenue from advertising sales, RTP is only allowed to have six minutes of commercials per hour on its first broadcast channel. There are no commercials on the second channel. Yet, private companies are able to have 12 minutes of commercials each hour. This shows the sharp contrast of advertising revenue that is available to RTP compared to its competitors.


The class was able to watch a live broadcast of RTP’s morning show.

RTP has brought on a number of programs to try to boost its numbers. Years ago when the broadcaster first tried to bring the American show “The Price is Right” to Portugal, it was not received well.

But when the country joined the European Union and adopted the euro, citizens were struggling with trying to understand the exchange. “The Price is Right” was aired on RTP once again, but contestants had to change the amounts to the euro. It stuck and has remained popular up until today with the help of a comedic host, de Araujo said.

Younger audiences have also been considered when developing new programming. RTP understands the importance of building a new generation of viewers in order to keep the company alive. De Araujo acknowledged the popularity of the show “Five to Midnight,” created with the U.S. “Tonight Show” and “The Late, Late Show” in mind. The late night talk show featured young, comedic presenters that came closing to touching “the redline.” A double screen was displayed, so viewers could interact live with the show.


The newsroom of RTP is multifunctional as it is used as a studio for broadcasts.

The two oldest buildings in the RTP complex were built between 1960-1966. In 2003, the main building was renovated to hold new TV and radio studios and newsrooms.

The RTP newsroom and main news studio are housed in the same room. This layout allows reporters to quickly take breaking news to anchors. Right now RTP produces and airs about 91 programs from this studio alone: 15 each day and eight on the weekends.  The staff for these news and current affairs programs totals around 200.

IMG_0672On the second floor of this building, RTP has 26 of its radio studios. Each channel has its own studio that is used at all times. The channels include: Antena 1, news and generalist programming; Antena 2, classical and world music; Antena 3, young public radio; two channels in the Madeira Island; and one channel in the Azores Islands.

Antena 2 is the only station that allows the DJs to have total control over their playlists.

“I have about six centuries more or less to choose from,” an Antena 2 DJ said.

Portuguese food and drink

By Sara Payne

From shoes to post cards, almost anything can be found made of cork in Portugal. Traveling through the country, it is obvious that the people effectively use what is available to them.

When it comes to food, it’s no different. The Portuguese have a supply of fresh food because of the location and climate of their country.

Along with cork trees, Portugal is home to many olive trees. A typical meal usually starts off with bread and a tray of these salty snacks. Olives are also used in more creative ways such as an olive and orange salad served with roasted duck thigh. The sweetness of the olives is a great match for the saltiness.

Odete Oliveira,the tour guide for our group in Lisbon, said Portuguese cooking style is influenced by the Mediterranean. It includes fresh salads with the typical lettuce and tomato. Salads are often dressed with the ever-present olive oil.

“Our food is very healthy,” she said.

Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, seafood can be found throughout Portuguese menus. The most popular ocean creature is cod, which the people joke that there is a different way to prepare the fish for each day of the year. A common preparation of balcalhau, or cod, is dried and salted.As seen with salads, simple preparations of cods often involves a drizzling of olive oil.

When it comes to dessert, custard pastries are found in every nook and cranny. Each town has its own specialty, with each pastelaria, or pastry shop, competing to have the best. The most popular in the country are pastéis de nata, which come from Lisbon. These small desserts have a thin, flakey crust filled with a rich custard.

In the Medieval town of Sintra, the local pastry is the travesseiro, which means pillow.  Travesseiros are rectangular, airy pieces of dough covered in granulated sugar. They make a mess to eat, but the sweetness is just right. These “pillows” are filled with a cream made from eggs and almonds.

If the name doesn’t give it away, Port wine is a specialty made in Portugal. This drink is a fortified wine, which means a distilled spirit is added. The alcohol content is boosted by something similar to brandy. A small glass of the Portuguese drink smelled more like drinking a liquor than wine. As the group learned at a welcome reception at Universidade Nova de Lisboa, the strong wine pairs well with the traditional sweets of Portugal.

The final night in Lisbon, the group had a dinner at a fado venue. We were greeted with bread and butter as well as a bottle of red wine. The waiters then brought an appetizer tray of cheese, sausage and (once again) olives. Between each course, the crowd was silenced to focus their attention on the music – and the food. A thick bean and vegetable soup was served next, showcasing the country’s fresh produce. In what I believe was an effort to satisfy everyone’s tastes, we were served a fall-off-the-bone chicken rather than a more traditional seafood dish.

A typical dessert in Portugal is caramel custard, which was the final course of the meal and the trip. While the flavor was perfect because it is not too sickly sweet, the texture was just too thick for some of the group’s tastes. It could be compared to the skin that forms on top of a homemade pudding.

Lecture with Joao Palmeiro

By Abbey Newhouse


Joao Palmeiro speaks to the International Media class about the state of the Portuguese media.

International Media students of Point Park University visited The New University of Lisbon the first full day there, and the visit included a lecture by Joao Palmeiro, discussing European media policies and the history of Portugal.

Palmeiro is the president of the Portuguese Press Association and board member of European Newspaper Publisher Association. Palmeiro has had a long respected career in the publishing industry. He also served in the Portuguese civil service as chief officer of public information.

Starting off the lecture, Palmeiro reflected on Portuguese history. Portugal has had its boundaries longer than any other European nation and has been at peace for over 200 years.

He was proud to talk about his participation in keeping the peace during his time of service.

“As long as I knew that I am here, in Africa, then I knew that my family is safe at home,” Palmeiro recalled.

Creating a setting where his audience felt connected to the background of Portugal, Palmeiro spoke about the issues that Europe faces within the media.

He discussed four major issues that face the media, including creating quality and content, regulating content, and delivering to consumers within all platforms.

One concern is just conveying information across mobile phones because in Europe, phone users must pay roaming charges when calling across countries. This cost is prohibitive to media via mobile devices, obviously, he said. Work is underway in the European Union to correct this.

He was proud to tell the students that the Portuguese media is not legislated or reviewed by the government, a departure after years of the Salazar dictatorship. Outside media companies have to pay, he said, to work within Portugal.

While talking about the future of technology in Europe and China, Palmeiro referred back to the issue of sharing too much information and the current backlash against Google News across the continent. Right now Google News has stopped linking content in both Spain and Portugal, among other European countries, because of nonpayment for content and copyright issues – a matter currently being reviewed. He described a situation he encountered with China’s new search engine, Baidu, which he referred to as the “new” Google. He told a story about a meeting he had with this new search engine and the information the Chinese hold behind their computer screen.

“I entered a room where the walls were covered in screens with the personal information of the site visitors,” he said. Why do they have that information you may ask? People voluntarily give these corporations access to personal information as specific as their home address. And he said this is indeed alarming and cause for concern.

Getting around

By Abbey Newhouse

When it comes to getting to places like Conde Nast in Madrid, the beach in Barcelona and Rossiro Park in Lisbon, International Media students of Point Park University had no trouble using the Metro or taxis or walking to destinations during their time in Spain and Portugal.

The use of pubic transportation is very popular and inexpensive in the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon, where the Point Park students visited for two weeks. The metro, bus and taxis are all common ways of getting around in each city for a low cost, and there is always one way that is free: walking.

Madrid public transportation consists of 13 Metro lines and 170 bus lines. One ticket costs under two euros, and there are passes for unlimited usage during one, two, three, five or seven days. Buying a pass is very simple; pay by cash on a bus or pay by credit card or cash at the machines in the metro stations. This is very similar to the process of buying a metro ticket in the United States.

The Metro runs from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. This makes the Metro very convenient to ride during any part of the day. The frequency is fast and reliable, and most rides in the central part of the city vary between 2 to 5 minutes.

“Our second day in Madrid, we took the metro to Conde Nast,” said International Media student Bryn McClay. “It was different at first because the signs were in a different language, but luckily Mauricio, our tour guide, was there to guide us.”

While riding the Metro always hold on to your bags in case of pickpocketing. Luckily, during the International Media trip no one faced any problems with that. The class had their eyes on their bags at all times after a reminder from the Metro intercom to stay clear of the petty crime. Other than being aware of your surroundings, the Metro is a safe way of traveling and easy to access at an inexpensive price.

“If I am not in a hurry, I take the bus because it is less crowded, but if I am in a hurry the Metro is the one to take. It is much faster,” said tour guide Mauricio Macarron Larumbe.


While visiting Barcelona, depending on the neighborhood, the Metro and walking are the most common ways to get around for tourists.

The metro covers mostly all of the area, and tickets are purchased at machines or ticket offices located in the Metro stations.

A single ticket costs 2.50 euros, but if you are planning to ride the Metro multiple times, the best option is to buy a T10 ticket. A T10 ticket will give you access to 10 rides on the Metro for 9.95 Euros. There are always two entrances to the Metro, so when exiting always know which way to head in order to avoid backtracking.

Like Madrid, the stations are very clean and always busy with people. And discounts are available to large groups. For instance, because the class consisted of 21 people (with Jan and Mauricio) they were able to ride the metro to Passeig de Gracia to eat dinner for 1.20 euros a person.

To catch some scenery, walking is always an option. Walking around the streets of Barcelona is a great way to experience the lifestyle, artwork and entertainment such as street performers and living statues that fill the streets. But, watch out for street vendors who will try and sell whatever they have to you. Most restaurants will have employees stand outside and sell their menu or street vendors will try and sell you knock off “Ray Ban” sunglasses called “Roy Bons.”

“For the most part, I walked everywhere. We stayed in a touristy area, so there was a lot to do within walking distance, including the beach and shopping,” International Media student Dana Bohince said. “While we walked, I was able to buy a beautiful painting from a local artist.”

The transportation system in Lisbon includes a variety of options: Metro, taxis and trams. But metro system has only five lines, so compared to Madrid and Barcelona it is very small. The Metro is the most common way to get around because it is the most efficient according to goLisbon. The metro runs from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Old trams add to Lisbon’s unique charm and are a must to ride while visiting Lisbon. If you want to enjoy the neighborhood of Bairro Alto, catch the tram to avoid the walk up the steep streets.

An additional way to get around the city is taxi. Even though, it is more expensive than the Metro, it is a reasonable price.

While in Rossio Park area, International Media student Liz Meckel carried her hotel address card, available to all students in every place the students stayed on the trip, so she could give one to her taxi driver on the way back to her hotel.

But using the Metro there has its advantages.

“I would suggest riding the Metro because you get to participate in the living of the city,” said Cinta Fernandes, an intern at the Portuguese public broadcaster RTP. “Also, you can experience the better landscape and culture for a cheap price.”

Royal Palace of Madrid

By Anthony Mendicino

The Palacio Real de Madrid, or Royal Palace of Madrid, stands as the city’s largest building and one of its most historically important.

The largest palace in Western Europe, it was erected on the same location as the Alcázar (a Moorish castle that burned down in 1734). Phillip V decided to rebuild the palace and employed one of the best architects in Europe at the time, Filippo Juvarra, to design it. The palace was also damaged during the Spanish Civil War, but restorations made after the war repaired the damage and reinstalled all broken decorations and damaged walls as exact reproductions of the originals.

The palace itself is made up of a series of domes without a single piece of wood. The final stone was put in place in 1751, and the palace was open for business, although the exterior grounds were not complete until 1759. While the exterior of the palace is imposing and beautiful, the inside is even more spectacular. High vaulted ceilings, grand stairways, even grander rooms and priceless pieces of art fill out the inner quarters of the palace.

Paintings and frescos by Tiépolo, Velázquez and, most notably, Goya line the walls of the building. Every room contains some priceless piece of art. The palace has 1.45 million square feet of floor space and a grand total of 3,418 rooms, making it the largest palace in Europe by floor area.

The sizes of the rooms differ depending on their use; one is big enough to house a huge table that can be modified to seat up to 140 people and is only used when the king is present, another much smaller room is totally made up of Chinese porcelain. One room even houses the world’s only complete Stradivarius string quartet. The rest of the rooms are used for a wide range of things: a room specifically for breakfast, one for lunch and one for dinner, one for royal meetings with guests and others to accommodate royal audiences. The Royal Armory of Madrid is also located within the palace walls.

The courtyard on the inner grounds of the palace is huge, roughly the size of two full soccer pitches and houses the Almudena Cathedral directly across from the palace. The square courtyard was the brainchild of architect Enrique María Repullés who laid out the plans in 1892. However, the space itself dates back to 1553 when King Phillip II ordered a building to house the royal stables.

According to our guide Mauricio Macarron Larumbe,the palace is not frequently used much these days. Although the palace is still the official residence of the King of Spain, he rarely uses it, and it is more of a tourist attraction than anything. But when the king returns, it can still be fully functional for any occasion.

For example, in 2004, the wedding of then Prince and now King Felipe and Letizia Ortiz took place in its courtyard. Larumbe said the 1,500 guests barely fit.

The exterior of the palace is a wonder of architecture and landscaping. The Plaza de Oriente connects the eastern side of the palace to the Teatro Real (royal theatre). The rectangular park is divided into three different parks: the Central Gardens, the Cabo Noval Gardens and the Lepanto Gardens. Each garden consists of up to seven flowerbeds with varying types of flowers.

The Campo del Moro Gardens are located outside the palace walls and were constructed in the Romanticist style of the times. Amongst the various gardens are fountains brought from the Royal Palace of Aranjuez. The current king will periodically use this space to host receptions and dinners during the summer.

Finally, the Sabatini Gardens were designed in 1933 under the last Republican government of Spain. They are named after architect Francesco Sabatini, who designed the royal stables. The main attraction of the gardens is a large, rectangular pond surrounded by fountains and statues of royal kings. The Sabatini Gardens are located on the north side of the palace.