Thursday, September 29

The School of Authentic Journalism

Perhaps the highlight of my year so far has been my time spent at the School of Authentic Journalism (SAJ or J-school). Imagine a group of fascinating people from pretty much around the world coming together to learn, work, teach, share and experience during a 10 day intense educational voyage to the world of authentic journalism. Yea, I know, kind of hard to imagine.

This year, the school was held in Mexico, which made the whole experience even more special. For me the time spent there turned into a great opportunity to talk to some of the most interesting and inspirational people from various corners of the world.

The school runs on funds raised throughout the year. You can support the cause by contributing here and read more on the school and Narco News here.   

Some of this year's speakers included people like Ivan Marovic- founder of Serbian Otpor movement that brought down Milosevic; Oscar Olivera- one of the main protestors during Bolivia's water privatization and many more. Click here to see other speakers.

Above all, what makes this school unique experience is its approach to the field of journalism. This year split in three different workshop groups- investigative and online journalism, viral video/audio group the school hosted 40 scholars and about 40 professors. But its not your usual school, here at the school of authentic journalism scholars and professors learn from each other during workshops, free time, and plenary sessions. You shouldn't be surprised if at some point someone would like to interview you either for their paper, project or idea. Its a chance to pass on your message and hear many others speak about a number of different issues. 

I am actually several months late in writing this post but I wanted to take this opportunity and share another great production of that school (to see some of the other creations you can visit here, here, here and here). Among its professors, Andrew Stelzer, an award winning radio producer and news reporter based in Oakland, CA. Working as a producer with the National Radio Project Adrew was one of my highlight individuals to meet at the school. He interviewed me and many others for his Radio Project "Making Contact" and so here it is: "Tales and Tools of Revolution: From Serbia to Egypt" with interviews from Ivan Marovic (Serbia/Otpor); Namees Arnous (Egypt/Journalist); and me (in case, you can't open it here please visit this site to listen to the full program):

Note: During the time of the interview, I knew I would have difficulties coming back to Azerbaijan after the whole March 11th Facebook saga. But I do hope, to travel to Azerbaijan soon, safe and sound.

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