• SAJ Trainers Participated in the Second Stage of Training for Trainers

    After in mid-June they tested various teaching techniques and learned how to better capture future students' attention and how to teach journalism in an accessible and interactive way, SAJ trainers met for the second stage of the training of trainers. The event was held between July 6 and 9 in Targu Neamt, Romania. Trainers worked along with Cristina Lupu, program director at the Independent Journalism Center from Bucharest, and Vlad Ajder, actor and director from Galati, Romania.

    The second part of the training focused mainly on learning and testing various presentation techniques. Trainers learned how to start a presentation memorably, how to structure their speech so as to keep students "connected" to the topic, and how to use their voice and non-verbal language.

    The coach of the training, Cristina Lupu, presented trainers with some techniques for controlling emotions. "Use various games or interactive exercises. Ask questions and try to find out what expectations students have. You could also tell them short stories from your professional experience. The most important thing is to keep visual contact with each student," the expert suggested. 

    How to speak clearly and say everything we want in a very short time? For this exercise each trainer had 60 seconds, during which he or she had to describe the course they are teaching and to say what they wanted to change or improve in it. After this test, trainers understood how important it is to structure a speech and learned how to emphasize important words and avoid the ones that are inessential: "Speak clearly and to the point. Use various audio and video techniques for your presentations. And don't forget about feedback."

    And since the quality of speech is extremely important in any presentation, the last day of the training was dedicated to this aspect. Trainers went through a real trial by fire, being tested on diction, breathing and ... attitude. Actor and director Vlad Ajder showed them various practical exercises and taught them to correctly pronounce words, syllables and sounds. "What you say is not the only thing that matters; the way you say it matters, too," he said.

    At the end of the training, participants discussed about the findings of the report on the assessment of the School of Advanced Journalism curriculum, which was produced at the end of 2016 by Laura Kelly, an expert in journalism education from the United States. Together with the School's staff, they discussed every suggestion made by the author of the report, so as to see how applicable they are to the realities of the Republic of Moldova, and came up with their own recommendations for improving the study process. So the school year 2017-2018 can have a strong start at the SAJ!

  • Introduction to Journalism, the First Initiation Course for SAJ Students

    The first semester of studies at the School of Advanced Journalism started with initiation into the world of the media. The three-day course of “Introduction to Journalism” gave an overview of the structure of the Moldovan media space and of journalistic principles. The School’s director Sorina Stefarta worked with students as their trainer.

    The course was mostly theoretical and began with discussions about the role and functions of the media in a modern society. Students received explanations about information collections techniques, about approaches to topics in the media, and about such notions as objectivity, credibility, impartiality, sources of information and relations with them, correctness and journalistic ethics.

    Who the journalist is, what his qualities are, what a modern journalist lacks, and why reputation matters – these issues were also discussed during the course. The SAJ director pointed out some of the most important qualities of a journalist. According to her, he must, above all, be curious, have a developed spirit of observation, always ask questions and seek answers.

    A reporter must work for his public and take into account the interests of his viewer, listener, or reader. “The journalist is not a simple passerby. He is the one who sees what others don’t see. It takes a lot of work and dedication,” concluded Sorina Stefarta at the end of the course.

  • Mihai Avasiloaie: “I could write a story about the SAJ teachers...”

    He always knew he would do journalism. But still, initially he studied law. He says he never regretted this choice, because all the knowledge he got over the years helps him today in journalistic work, which he succeeds in. First, however, was the School of Advanced Journalism, which he entered in the spring of 2013, becoming one of the 15 students of the eighth class of graduates. After the School, he worked as a reporter for PRO TV Chisinau and then as an editor of www.protv.md. Now he is a political analyst for the Agora.md news portal, and in early July he has become the host of the “OffSide” show – a new online media project launched by the Agora team. We are talking about our graduate Mihai Avasiloaie.

    Today, three years after graduation, we decided to ask Mihai about the advantages of studying at the SAJ. Here is what the journalist pointed out.

         1. During the ten months of study at the SAJ, you do not just study journalism, you also practice it

    “Whether your materials are read or viewed by 2 or 20,000 people, every journalistic product is like a child that you educate step by step: from documentation to planning and from production to “packaging.” You learn all these things at the SAJ – perhaps the only place in Moldova where high-quality journalism in taught within a relatively short period of time and where some of the best media professionals share their knowledge, flair, and experience. You just need to wish and take what you are given… I think that the biggest advantage of the School – its strength I'd say – is a successful combination of theory and practice instead of boring lectures. At the SAJ you are explained what a news story or a report is, how to write it, and how do an interview or investigation, and then you are given a recorder or a camera and you just do to the scene of events to work on your material. There is also a lot of team work, exactly like in a real newsroom.”

         2. You will learn precisely what you need from reputable specialists

    “I could write a story about the SAJ teachers. They are the people who come and tell you how to edit, shoot, and cut journalistic materials. They are people who do journalism on a daily basis and know exactly what news should look like to be included into radio or television newscasts. I had a great opportunity and a great honor to work together with Vasile Botnaru, Alina Radu, Nadine Gogu, Artur Corghencea, Angela Ivanesi, Dorin Scobioala, Dumitru Marian, Liliana Barbarosie, Petru Macovei, Liliana Nicolae, Nicolae Pojoga, and many others. The most important thing is that many of the SAJ teachers are also the managers of media outlets, so you may be hired immediately after graduation. After leaving the School, you can be anything: reporter, editor, cameraman, photojournalist, or host. You can work on television or radio, you can write for a newspaper or magazine, or, why not, even run your own media business. It's perfect, isn't it?”

         3. At the SAJ you learn to be a universal journalist

    “From news to creation of your own community newspaper – that's the journey of every SAJ student. Some start from nothing, others have certain knowledge in this area, but all are equal to teachers. We learned to be universal journalists. We know how to shoot and cut a TV report, edit a material for radio, make a newspaper layout, create infographics, and make creative photos of good quality. A proof of that is the fact that I use everything I learned at the School in my daily work.”

         4. You master the tools needed to obtain information of public interest

    “They say that an informed person is a protected person. At the School of Advanced Journalism I learned what rights I have as a reporter and how I can get information, especially information of public interest.”

         5. You will make new friends and lasting relations

    “I think I am not the first nor probably the last graduate who says that the SAJ is the place where not just strong professional relations, but also lasting friendships are made, and... even destinies are joined. I am proud to be part of the large family of the School of Advanced Journalism, of over 160 graduates now.”

         6. Between opportunities and sacrifice

    “Journalism means plenty of opportunities, but it also requires certain sacrifices. In addition, if you do not have the right attitude, then journalism is not for you. Journalism must bring to light problems and improve the world we live in.”

  • The School of Advanced Journalism Has Welcomed its 12th Class of Students

    Young, curious, full of enthusiasm, optimism, and desire to contribute to the improvement of media in Moldova, a new group of young people started the 2017-2018 academic year at the School of Advanced Journalism. During the ten months of studies at the SAJ, students will be working at the pace of a real editorial office and will learn the best practices in the field of journalism. Our trainers – the best media professionals of the country – will be by their side.

    The event traditionally began with the welcoming speech of the SAJ team. SAJ Director Sorina Stefarta welcomed the new students, wished them success, perseverance, and a lot of patience in the profession they’ve chosen. “You have 10 months of intense work ahead of you, with the most exciting experiences and events and the best teachers,” she said. In her turn, social journalism trainer Elena Cioina, manager of www.E-Sănătate.md, encouraged students to never be disappointed. “This is an interesting and captivating profession, and if you grow to love it, it will bring you much pleasure.” Nicolae Pojoga, trainer of photojournalism, shared this opinion. The expert in the art of photography promised students to teach them make not just very good, but also ethical photos. “We’ll do photographic news stories,” concluded the trainer. 

    Two graduates of the class of 2016-2017 also came to welcome new students. Already as reporters of the Ziarul de Garda newspaper, Liliana Botnariuc and Maria Svet told about their experience of study at the SAJ and encouraged the new students to make full use of all that the school offers them. “We had the opportunity to master the profession from the best journalists and media experts of this country. In the ten months we learned everything – from the rules of writing news to the production of our own journalistic investigations and even a real newscast. It was not always easy, but I'm glad I didn't quit. And today we are working for one of the best media outlets of this country,” said Maria Svet.

    The School of Advanced Journalism is a project of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC). It was launched on September 4, 2006 to prepare journalists for Moldovan media. Since 2006, this post-university educational institution has been graduated by more than 160 young journalists. Most of them work in the country’s media outlets.

  • The First Discussion Club at the SAJ: Gender Equality in the Media and the Experience of Sweden

    How should we represent a man and a woman in photos and in other journalistic materials? What could men gain from gender equality? Why is it necessary for women to participate in politics and decision making, and what is the work of a woman journalist or photojournalist like? These are some of the issues discussed at the first discussion club meeting at the SAJ, which was attended by Swedish journalists Gunnel Bergström and Maria Dahmén as well as photojournalist Åsa Sjöström.

    Bringing journalistic photography to the forefront, the agenda of the discussion club fully coincided with the Photojournalism module that is studied at the SAJ this week, since the first topic discussed was the promotion of gender equality through photographs. The photojournalist Åsa Sjöström presented to young people a number of photographic projects implemented in different countries and told them about the role of the media in general and of the journalist in particular in promoting the image of the man and the woman. According to her, gender equality should begin in early childhood and journalists should “educate the public through their own self-education.”

    Gunnel Bergström and Maria Dahmén talked about gender stereotypes, about sexism and about the ethics and deontology of modern journalism. Swedish reporters insisted on the importance for the press to have articles not only on gender equality, but also on equality in terms of age, ethnicity, nationality, disability, color, religion, etc. “Try to find people and characters and write about their stories and destinies. Journalists represent the voice of the people, which too often remains unheard. Write not only about young and beautiful people, but also about the elderly or the disabled,” the guests noted.

    At the end of the discussion the Swedish journalists came up with some useful advice and encouraged the students of the School of Advanced Journalism to pay more attention to gender issues in their future materials. In their opinion, a good reporter should be curious and brave and an active citizen, but he should always remain neutral to the issues covered in his articles.

    The discussion club was organized jointly with the Association of Independent Press in cooperation with the UN program “Women in Politics,” implemented by UN Women Moldova and UNDP Moldova, with the financial support of the Government of Sweden.

  • Students of the 11th Graduating Class Received their Certificates of Study

    Ten months of intense work, unprecedented challenges, memorable encounters and heated discussions have passed in the blink of an eye. And at a festive ceremony on Thursday, June 29, eleven young people received their long-awaited certificates of completion of the School of Advanced Journalism for academic year 2016-2017. Enthusiastic and optimistic, students say they will not stop here and will make their way to a successful journalistic career.

    SAJ trainers, who guided and taught our students for ten months, did not miss the event, either. Mentors congratulated their former trainees on the courage and perseverance they showed in this not at all simple attempt of exploring the media. They also urged them to do quality journalism, to build a good reputation in media and to translate into practice the things they learned at the School. Namely…

    From Diana Railean and Elena Robu young people learned what questions a news story should answer; Nicolae Pojoga told them the secret of a successful photo. Together with Ludmila Andronic students created their own magazine, and Vitalie Dogaru explained what an informative, investigative, interpretative and analytical interview is. Alina Radu initiated them into long articles and explained, step by step, how to conduct a journalistic investigation. From Tatiana Puiu they learned what a subject of public interest is and when a child can be interviewed, and with Nadine Gogu young people discussed journalistic ethics and deontology.

    Together with Liliana Nicolae, Diana Railean and Vasile Botnaru they discovered the specificity of radio journalism and learned how to “create” images in listeners’ minds. From Denis Rusu and Dumitru Marian they learned everything about the camera and mastered video editing software. Together with Dorin Scobioala, Oxana Iutes and Andrei Cibotaru they got a first-hand experience of being a TV reporter and made their own newscast. Liliana Barbarosie and Tatiana Etco talked about the peculiarities of online journalism, and Dumitru Ciorici taught them to combine original content with maximum speed.

    Lucia Bacalu-Jardan, Adrian Petcu and Dorin Scobioala explained how to launch and manage a media business, and Ina Grejdeanu – how to develop and manage a media project. Ion Chislea taught them to “humanize” figures in economic journalism; with Anatolie Golea, Alina Turcanu and Sorina Stefarta they discussed the latest events on the domestic and European political arena. With Lilia Curchi students explored the environment; from Elena Cioina they learned how to correctly cover sensitive topics; Cristina Mogaldea taught them grammar; and with Petru Macovei young people made a newspaper about and for the inhabitants of Saiti village in Causeni district.

    If you want to become a part of this big family called the School of Advanced Journalism, to learn from professionals and to enter the exciting world of the media, we remind you that admission for academic year 2017-2018 at the SAJ continues. But only the year is academic; the rest is a lot of practical work, field exercises, open discussions on the most diverse topics, because this is how journalism is learned and done.

    Details about the procedure and criteria of admission can be found on www.scoaladejurnalism.md and on our Facebook page.


Success stories

“I could write a story about the SAJ teachers...”
“The lessons learned at the SAJ helped us be good in our job”
„Journalism does not tolerate laziness and fear”