• TV Journalism: Writing Under Pressure, Speaking Through Images

    What is the specificity of work at television? How TV reports are created? What is the difference between a feature for print media and a broadcast feature? How can one capture and keep the attention of a modern viewer? How to shoot properly and what is the secret of a successful stand-up? These are only some of the questions that the students of SAJ sought answers to at the course of TV Journalism. The best television professionals – Dorin Scobioala, Dumitru Marian, Oxana Iutes and Andrei Cibotaru – worked together with the students.

    The course lasted four weeks, and it is one of the most complicated at the School. Its purpose is to provide students with not only theoretical, but also practical knowledge necessary for a television journalist, so when they graduate, students will be able to work as reporters, editors, producers or TV hosts.

    To initiate the students into the world of television, the course was divided into four modules, the first of which was held by Dorin Scobioala, director of the “Cat Studio” Production Company and correspondent for Reuters TV and Antena 3 in Moldova. The trainer told students about the functions of television, the specifics of a visual message and importance of images. They also discussed the structure of a TV report. Students have learned what sync, voice over, and beta are and have shot a stand-up each. The emphasis was put on acquiring teamwork skills – a very important aspect for work in a TV newsroom.

    The brief and captivating introduction to television was followed by the second module – Technical TV Skills. Guided and trained by the film director Dumitru Marian, the students learned everything about video cameras and studied the Adobe Premiere video editing application. Dumitru Marian explained why two frames are put together, how to combine different backgrounds, how to shoot a panorama, a detail, a forefront and a general view. Students have learned what composition, frame, scene, shooting axis, video format, non-linear and linear editing are.

    The following two modules allowed students to transform into practice what they had learned in theory. So, having equipped themselves with microphones, video cameras, tripods and documented a number of topics, future reporters produced a number of materials, such as features and TV reports. For five days the TV journalist Oxana Iutes worked together with the students. She spoke with them about the specifics of television language, the content of journalistic materials and, last but not least, the importance of fieldwork. “Try to make your viewer feel, see and hear what you have felt, seen and heard when you were making the report,” the journalist said.

    The students learned how to work in a real newsroom during the last, most complicated but most interesting module: TV Newsroom. For five days, guided by trainer Andrei Cibotaru, the students had to produce several newscasts. For this, every morning, a traditional “editorial meeting” was held at the School, where the students proposed and approved, together with the producer, news topics. Then, after hours of documenting, fieldwork, shooting and discussions with sources, texts were written and reports were edited. And at 16:00 we watched together the newscasts created by the SAJ students... At the end of the course, Andrei Cibotaru congratulated everyone on the work they did and the courage they showed, and urged them to continue doing their job honestly and correctly.

    These days the School of Advanced Journalism is doing the course of Visual Journalism.

  • Online Journalism: A Course That Goes Hand In Hand with New Media Trends

    How do we write things to be published online? What distinguishes a text written for the radio, the TV, or a newspaper from the one written and placed in the virtual space? What elements and applications do we use to attract the attention of consumers and how can we become original online? There are only a few questions the SAJ students answered during the first course taught in 2018 – Online Journalism. Together with them, Liliana Barbarosie, Europa Libera radio journalist, Cristian Jardan, Unimedia.info portal director, and freelancer Tatiana Etco worked together with them.

    The course lasted for two weeks and was divided into three modules. The first module, which lasted for five days, was focused on writing texts to be published online. Journalist Liliana Barbarosie explained to the students what an online article consists of, how to write a title, a lead, and intertitles, and what tricks journalists can use to make their materials as visible and attractive as possible.

    “Whether the reader accesses the news or not depends on the title. A good title must be intriguing”, Liliana Barbarosie says, noting that this is one of the first rules of journalism in general and that of online journalism in particular. In order to become true professionals, the instructor recommends the SAJ students to do their work well, to draw inspiration from the best journalists from our country and abroad, and to tend to progress towards perfection in the profession they have chosen.

    How can you make a journalistic material, having only a mobile phone at your disposal? This is what the students learned in the second module – Mobile Journalism, launched for the first time at the SAJ this year. Course instructor Cristian Jardan informed the students of various mobile accessories and applications that help journalists film and edit videos using only their mobile phones. To memorize how these applications worked, the future journalists made a video. The young people say they could not imagine that TV reportages can be filmed and edited directly on the phone as the only gadget to be used. “We have to adapt to the new trends”, student Alexandra Bodarev says at the end of the course.

    How to stay original even online? How do we integrate various elements such as radio, video, photo, or text into the same material? What are multimedia tools and how do we use them correctly? This is what the students discussed within the framework of the third module of the course. Together with Tatiana Etco, they tested various applications, found out how hyperlinks, ThingLink, and slideshows were working, and at the end, they made a visual presentation in Timeline, Story Map, and Storify.

    Today, the School of Advanced Journalism starts a course in Media Management.

  • Interview: Learning to Ask Questions and Listen to the Interlocutor

    How to interview shy people and how to get answers from people who, despite having something to say, do not have the habit of speaking? The “ingredients” of a successful interview and how they can be used were the things the SAJ students learned from Mihaela Gherasim, reporter of TV project “Pur și Simplu” [“Simply”], produced by Radio Free Europe. From her, for five days future journalists learned to ask interesting questions, sometimes even uncomfortable, to choose the topic and the character relevant for an interview.

    The course began with several general notions relating to interview as a journalistic genre. Students understood that acquiring information is the main element underlying an interview, learned to formulate questions correctly, discussed about planning and documentation, which come before any dialogue, and discovered several ways to interview an interlocutor. Then, the most interesting part of the course followed – practical work. Guided by the trainer, students did several works: they interviewed one of their parents about themselves, transformed a press statement into an interview, worked on documenting a personality and, finally, wrote their own interview.

    In the end, during discussions that turned into debates, the ethical and deontological aspects of the interview were addressed. Mihaela Gherasim spoke to SAJ students about how a journalist should appear at an interview, how he or she should behave and what questions should better be avoided. “If a journalist can learn from his own mistakes, he is very likely to make a successful career in journalism and make a name for himself,” the trainer said.

    According to students, the practical part of the course was useful and very necessary for them. Some of them had for the first time the experience of a face-to-face interview with an interlocutor. Student Andrei Cebotari admitted that he thus developed his non-verbal communication skills. “I really enjoyed this experience, and I will definitely use it in my work,” he said.

  • Visual journalism, the ability to tell a story differently

    A modern human, to be informed, needs not only text but also data and figures, all presented in a form at most easy to understand. And the struggle for this attention is getting harder for media representatives. What are the new trends in the visual journalism? How to attract and retain the consumer's attention? How could we provide him with information in a dynamic visual format? All these were discussed, analyzed and taught at the Visual Journalism course. Graphic designer Angela Ivanesi was the one who has brought the SAJ disciples itto the world of fonts, logos and infographics.

    The course lasted seven days, during which the students familiarized themselves with the basic concepts of press design, such as alignment, contrast, proximity, repetition. Besides, they grasped to use various graphic elements: font, image, logo, infographics. After a theoretical introduction, the disciples applied all the knowledge in practice, for a few days they stood in the shoes of the real press designers. The young people say that it was not easy at first, and the two-page layout of the newspaper became quite a difficult problem for them. However, it fared very well. "I've never thought that the design of the press could be so exciting. Now I know how much work stays beyond the first page of a newspaper," - said at the end of the course the IJC student Dan Petrusan.   

    According to the trainer, the Visual Journalism gains more and more popularity in the media, and the trend continues in the recent years. Providing the combination of letters and images that are suitable and harmonious, it gives to a journalist the opportunity to tell a story in a different way, unique and unusual.

    A special emphasis was put on creating the infographics. Students have learned how a press release, containing many figures and seemingly dull, can be presented in a dynamic way and be more attractive. Angela Ivanesi showed the young people various online tools that can be used in their work. "Infographics can help you convey an idea into a novel in a compact way, thus to draw attention of larger number of readers. Be creative and think in images", - concluded she.

    Today at the School of Advanced journalism starts the course of Online Journalism.

  • Magazine Journalism, the Course Where Students Make an Actual Publication

    What is the specificity of magazine journalism? What is the difference between a magazine and a newspaper? How can one catch the attention of today’s readers and what are the key elements that make a periodical attractive? These are some of the questions the SAJ students found answers to at the course of Magazine Journalism. Ludmila Andronic, expert in communication, was the one who familiarized them with the world of magazines.

    This is the second year when this course is held at the School of Advanced Journalism. Therefore, the second class of students got the opportunity to learn some of the most interesting secrets that hide behind the cover of a modern magazine, whether it is focused on social life, business or culture. During the three days of the course, students spoke with Ludmila Andronic about the concept and specificity of a magazine, learned why it is important to balance content, sections and images and what elements make such a media product attractive. According to the trainer, “a successful magazine must be thought of as a business.”

    The culminating moment of the course was, as it usually happens at the SAJ, practical exercise. This time students had to create their own magazine, from concept to layout and printing. It was the first time when they felt the way an editorial office works. They formed a team of reporters, delegated an editor-in-chief and started planning. After a week of writing and gathering materials, when the magazine was printed, they admitted that it was not easy at all. Nevertheless, they did quite well.

    Student Elmira Orozova, who was the editor-in-chief, says that the magazine, which they named L’ART DE VIVRE, represented the work of the entire team. “The effort is visible in what we managed to create. It was quite hard, but very interesting and exciting at the same time,” the young journalist concluded.

    At the end of the course, Ludmila Andronic congratulated students for the final product and encouraged them to continue what they started this autumn at the School of Advanced Journalism. “Don’t give up your dreams. The first step is always hard. But never be afraid of failure,” the trainer added.

  • Radio Journalism: Learning to Spread Messages by Radio Waves

    What is the specificity of radio journalism? What distinguishes a text written for a newspaper or online publication from a text written for the radio? Why is information ephemeral, and how can we attract the attention of radio listeners? The SAJ students found answers to these questions at the course of Radio Journalism. For three weeks, Liliana Nicolae, reporter and editor at Europa FM in Bucharest, along withTamara Grejdeanu, Liliana Barbarosie, and Diana Railean, Radio Free Europe journalists, were working together with the students.

    Radio journalism is one of the most complex courses at the SAJ. To offer the students as much useful information as possible, it was divided into four modules. The first one – Technical Skills – was intended to introduce the students to the secrets of radio sound. Together with Tamara Grejdeanu, the young journalists learned to work with digital editing software and mastered the entire process – from sound recording to broadcasting.

    The second module was focused on the rules for writing a text for the radio and on the content of radio materials. Under the guidance of Liliana Barbarosie, participants prepared several materials: sound pictures, an interview, and a news report. The trainer insisted that the choice of words you use on the radio is very important and recommended students to write as simple and understandable as possible. “On the radio, information is ephemeral. A reporter or a radio presenter has only one chance,” the journalist added.

    Students discussed the features of radio report and radio package within the third module. Guided by Liliana Nicolae, they tried pre-documentation and field work, and produced their own journalistic materials. At the end of the four days of the course, the trainer encouraged students to be the most curious, informed, creative and original possible in the profession they chose.“You cannot be a journalist if you stay in the office,” Liliana Nicolae concluded.

    The last module, Radio Newsroom, was the most complicated and, at the same time, the most interesting one. It lasted four days, during which the students teamed up to create two radio shows and a newscast. The young people worked at the pace of a real editorial office and learned that the final result depends on each member’s involvement. Trainer Diana Railean was pleased with the result and suggested that the students aim at a successful career in journalism. “Do not stop here. Read every day. Document yourself and always stay informed!”

    Today, the School of Advanced Journalism starts the course of TV Journalism.

  • Longform Articles: Learning to “Tell Stories” in Details about People or Events

    Report, feature, obituary and press documentary are some of the new journalistic genres successfully learned by the School of Advanced Journalism students at the course dedicated to longform articles. The course lasted five days and it was held by Alina Radu, director of “Ziarul de Gardă” newspaper. Young people tested their observation skills, attended an event, made a detailed character sketch and learned writing obituaries.

    The course began with a general presentation of the journalistic genres that fall under the category of longform articles. Students found out about different types of reports, learned the principles and structure of such materials, and the trainer drew their attention to the fact that the most important – and mandatory – element of a report is the journalist’s presence on the scene of events. Alina Radu also mentioned that, unlike news stories, reports allow the journalist to use various literary techniques to describe the atmosphere clearly and with plenty of details. “Readers should see, hear and feel,” she said. Then, the practical part of the course followed, and students had to make a report, a character sketch and an obituary.

    How are ideas for reports “born”? Where can we find topics? How can we write in a different, interesting and captivating manner? To help students find answers to these questions, Alina Radu invited two journalists specialized in writing reports and character sketches to a meeting with students. The guests were Polina Cupcea, one of the founders of the “People and Kilometers” web portal, and Dorin Galben, a presenter for 10 TV station. They had both successfully studied at the School of Advanced Journalism, and now they shared with students interesting details from their professional experience, discussed about the way an idea turns into the topic of a report and noted the importance of observation and of details.

    Polina Cupcea, who specializes in longreads – articles written in the storytelling technique, – mentioned that a report or a character sketch should be written in a simple language, but attractive to the public. “The topic should be as exotic and picturesque as possible, and also different from what others have written. Get away from the ordinary, go to villages, talk to simple people. They are the most important source of ideas for your stories,” the journalist said.

    The next course for SAJ students is Media Law.


Success stories

“The SAJ was a challenge, but also a chance to get a new profession”
“I’m proud of my first job and I like what I’m doing”
“I Will Become a Detective, Anyway, Only in Journalism”