Community Journalism, the Course that Brings the Spirit of a Neighborhood

The last course of school year 2016-2017, Community Journalism, brought students to a picturesque neighborhood in Causeni district – the village of Saiti, to which the "Vatra" newspaper, the result of this visit, was dedicated. The students managed to reflect perfectly the spirit and identity of the place on the eight pages of their publication. The newspaper covered life stories and destinies of the people living in the village, with their daily cares and worries, with their sorrows and joys. Trainers Petru Macovei, Executive Director of the Association of Independent Press (AIP), and Angela Ivanesi, layout designer, worked alongside and together with the students.

The course lasted six days, during which time the students had to make one of their most important works – a community newspaper. On the first day of the course, Petru Macovei spoke to them about the specifics of this journalistic genre, and then together they analyzed several publications and approved the editorial team. Next came documentation and the visit to the village. The students had a few hours, during which they discussed with the villagers, heard their tales and life stories.

Having gathered all the information needed, the students proceeded to writing, editing and laying out of texts. This course has been a real test of strength for young journalists, as they worked at the pace of an editorial office, with planning and deadlines. The most important thing is that the students understood how much team work matters in journalism. After three days of work, the newspaper was ready and sent to the printing house. The most moving and, at the same time, the most responsible stage of the course was the return to the village. The students shared "Vatra" to all the inhabitants of Saiti, who were delighted to see a newspaper made exclusively for them and about them. “We are proud to have a newspaper about us, those from Saiti,” said Rodica Pavlenco, director of the village's Community Center.

Trainer Petru Macovei appeared satisfied with the result and praised the students for what they managed to do in a very short time. The AIP Executive Director believes the “Vatra” newspaper is one of the best publications ever made at the School of Advanced Journalism. "It is a newspaper that exudes warmth and reveals the spirit of the community. And that is the most important," Petru Macovei said at the end of the course. 

The students also remained impressed by this exercise, which was a real trial by fire for them. "It was not at all easy, but pretty exciting," said student Cristina Cornescu. Cristina, who was the editor-in-chief of the publication, says that the hardest part was writing texts as simply as possible. "We had to use words that would bring us nearer to our heroes, their joys and sorrows. We became real tellers of the locals' stories," Cristina concluded.

In May, SAJ students are working on their final projects. Their public presentation will be held on May 30 and 31.