• Political Journalism: Identifying and Deciphering Politicians’ Messages

    What is a political system and how is it constructed, who are political actors and what are the relations between them, both seen and unseen? How should the media behave during an election campaign and how can reporters be manipulated by politicians? These are some of the questions that SAJ students sought answers to during the second specialized course – Political Journalism. Students worked alongside trainers Anatol Golea, political analyst and director of the “INFOTAG” news agency; Alina Turcanu, editor at Radio Free Europe; and Sorina Stefarta, director of the SAJ.

    To help students better understand how to identify and cover stories on political topics, the course was divided into three modules. The first one, “Introduction to Political Journalism,” was held by Anatol Golea. He spoke about the internal political system, political parties, election systems, political actors and relations between them. The students also discussed issues of journalist ethics and the way certain political topics should be treated.

    The second module was dedicated to the issues of political life in Moldova. From Alina Turcanu students learned about the rights and obligations of the media in the election process, about relations with sources, and about the characteristics of a successful political report. Future journalists learned how to behave during election campaigns and how to avoid the risk of being manipulated by politicians.

    The topics of the third module, “European and International Journalism", dealt with European integration, the role and functions of European institutions, the Association Agreement and the Free Trade Area with the EU, and, accordingly, the role of the media in their coverage. Students also talked about the relations between Moldova and the European Union with the guest of the SAJ Discussion Club Dionis Cenusa, political analyst and associate expert of the “Expert-Group” center.

    The students noted that this course helped them understand much deeper how the “games" are arranged on the internal and external political arena, and, most importantly, how to resist manipulation. “A journalist must be very careful and always distinguish between promises and facts,” said student Cristina Cornescu.

    Tomorrow, the School of Advanced Journalism starts one of the most interesting and captivating courses – Investigative Journalism.

  • Natalia Dabija: “The School of Advanced Journalism – my gate to freedom”

    Numbers and sciences were her passion, so she naturally started with economics. She studied Economy and Business Administration at the “Al. I. Cuza” University in Iasi, and then got her master’s degree in Regional Development at the Center for European Studies in the same city, the historic capital of Moldova. For the following two years, she worked at a bank in Chisinau. And then, at one point, she gave everything up ... and decided to become a journalist. We are speaking about a graduate of 2009-2010 class, Natalia Dabija, coordinator of a Television School in Chisinau.

    “How can an economist write news, reports and interviews and forget about money, lawns, portfolios, rates and interests? This is exactly what happened to me back in 2009 when I was admitted to the School of Advanced Journalism in Chisinau. At that moment I felt free – free to do every day something I really liked. Writing about people, being in the center of events and telling about them… to the people.”

    I had courage and an insane desire to do journalism

    “At the SAJ, everything was new to me: the way they teach, trainers, assessment, atmosphere in the classroom, and, of course, fieldwork. I liked the practical side most of all, when we were all in search of news, interviews, reports, photos. Today, when I remember the topics covered then, I realize that I had courage and an insane desire to do journalism: we got up at five in the morning to go with the garbage truck to Tantareni [where the garbage dump is]; we went to prison to take interviews; we waited for the release day of some inmates we made reports about; we climbed the roof of a school when the workers were covering it with tar; we interviewed people in Transnistria... That is how we learned to do real journalism – on site, where you collect information and find yourself face to face with your source.”

    I learned from real professionals

    “The School of Advanced Journalism is also the place where I learned how to get over emotions, how to say things as they are and how to do high-quality journalism: objective, balanced and fair. All this would be impossible without our very good trainers, who initiated us into this line: Alina Radu, Vitalie Dogaru, Artur Corghencea, Liliana Nicolae, Vasile Botnaru, Nadine Gogu, Petru Macovei, Angela Gonta, Alexandru Cantir, Liliana Barbarosie, Angela Ivanesi, and many others.”

    The SAJ opened to me new horizons and gave me new opportunities

    “It was the year when I turned my back on the monotony of numbers and a new horizon opened to me, another perspective to look at life. For, as others have said, journalism is a way of life. And, at least to me, this rhythm is good... Thus, although I did my internship at a television, I chose print media, and my first job was with the “Ziarul de Garda” newspaper. I fulfilled myself there, in the life of its editorial office and in the life of the people who knocked at the door of the newspaper to tell about their troubles. Most of the topics we were addressing were social, and I still think this kind of subjects represents me. Although today I do something a bit different, the School of Advanced Journalism meant for me a good change, both professional and personal. In a way, it gave me the freedom to do what I wanted and be surrounded by people who share my interests, values and desires.”

  • Admission Caravan 2017-2018: to Cahul and back to Chisinau

    In the last couple of weeks, Admission Caravan 2017 reached several universities in Chisinau, and also made a stopover in Cahul. At the meetings, where some of the School graduates participated as well, the students of various university departments discussed about the opportunities that open before those who decide to spend a year at the SAJ, and also about the challenges that they will face building a career in journalism.

    We made our first visit to the Free International University of Moldova (ULIM). Young people studying International Relations, Political Science and Journalism learned details about the courses conducted at the SAJ, about the curriculum and the admission conditions, as well as about the opportunities they will have after they graduate from the School. “We pay special attention to the variety of courses and the practical training of journalists. Our students can find work in any media outlet right after graduation from the SAJ – be it a radio station, television, print or online press. Everything depends on the ambition, perseverance and determination of each student,” said Sorina Stefirta, Director of the School of Advanced Journalism.

    The next and farthest destination was the “B. P. Hasdeu” State University in the city of Cahul. Graduates of the departments of law, philology and history, as well as several students from the department of mathematics and informatics, took part in the meeting with the SAJ team. Young people from Cahul wanted to learn more about our trainers and the courses held at the SAJ. “In just ten months you’ll learn everything – from how to make news, interviews or reports for radio and television, to economic, political, investigative journalism, etc. The best journalists and media experts of Moldova work with students, teaching them to do their work correctly and without bias,” said graduate Yuri Botnarenko, reporter of the Adevărul newspaper from Bucharest and administrator of the publication’s website section dedicated to Moldova.

    The last meeting was at the University European Studies of Moldova, where young people from the departments of law, journalism and communication sciences were waiting for us. The discussion was extremely diverse, covering such topics as the media and freedom of expression, charm and risks of the Internet, the status of a journalist in a society affected by economic and political problems. “We need qualified journalists, well-trained people, and we encourage all who want to contribute to changing and improving the media landscape – and thus bring change at the level of the entire society, – to come to the School of Advanced Journalism. We invite graduates of any specialties,” said the SAJ Director Sorina Stefirta.

    Further details about the courses and trainers of the SAJ can be found at www.scoaladejurnalism.md or on our page in Facebook.

  • Investigative Journalism: find the problem, check information and prove facts

    Year after year, investigative journalism is becoming one of the most exciting genres of the press, and more and more journalists are tempted to bring out hidden truths to light. How to identify a problem that is of public interest? How to correctly "read" wealth statements of officials or databases of public institutions, and how to prepare a request for information? About these and many other useful things SAJ students spoke with trainer Alina Radu, director of "Ziarul de Garda" newspaper.

    Investigative journalism is one of the most complex courses that are held at the School of Advanced Journalism. It lasts three weeks, during which students learn various skills and techniques necessary for a beginner in this field.

    Thus, Alina Radu explained to young people what a documentation strategy is, how to do a confrontational interview, how to formulate the hypothesis of an investigation, how to verify information and, not lastly, how to conduct a journalistic investigation. The trainer also talked about the importance of pre-documentation, the relevance of sources and compliance with professional ethics.

    Later, young journalists applied the new knowledge in practice. After several group exercises, students did the most important work independently – their own journalistic investigation. Like in previous years, the social theme was the main subject of journalistic investigations. Thus, Dumitrita Andriuta was interested in the situation with the protection of victims of domestic violence; Mariana Matcovschi learned why the anti-tobacco law is not complied with; Adriana Vlas addressed the problem of unauthorized buildings in Chisinau; and Nicolae Galaju analyzed the list of wine companies that received the right to export their products on the Russian market. Cristina Cornescu found out why Moldova loses positions in the world ranking of the perception of corruption; Eugeniu Kanskii investigated the way in which the State protects national heritage buildings. Their colleague Liliana Botnariuc watched what goes on in Chisinau Circus arena and found out why business people don't want to invest money into the renovation of its building; and Parascovia Spic was interested about an unauthorized building that belongs to a priest and which, according to State Inspection for Constructions reports, had had to be demolished.

    To encourage students to do investigations – and do them professionally – the trainer invited to the SAJ reporters Anastasia Nani from the Journalistic Investigations Center and Victor Mosneag and Anatolie Esanu from "Ziarul de Garda". The guests explained to their future colleagues why they do investigative journalism, how they choose topics for investigations and how they work with sources. Anastasia Nani advised students to be fair during their entire careers, and Anatolie Esanu urged them not to let themselves be manipulated, especially by public persons. “A good journalist is an informed journalist. You must read a lot and be up to date with everything going on around you,” advised Victor Mosneag in his turn. It should be mentioned that Anastasia Nani and Anatolie Esanu are graduates of the School of Advanced Journalism.

    In addition to future colleagues by profession, in the three weeks of the course students met with representatives of several institutions relevant for an investigative journalist. With Mircea Rosioru, chair of the Superior Council of Prosecutors, the students discussed the work and role of this institution and found out what journalists have in common with prosecutors. From Dorin Purice, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, young people learned details about the reform of the police and spoke about the importance of collaboration between the press and law enforcement, and together with Sergiu Gurduza, a member of the Central Electoral Commission, students analyzed the institution's website and found out how and where they can find the necessary information.

    At the end of the course, after students' works were presented and analyzed in the group, trainer Alina Radu offered prizes for the five best articles – a book or a personal organizer. The ranking was made by the students themselves, based on criteria such as argumentation of the hypothesis of the investigation, the number of sources and their relevance, the accuracy of the text and correctness of the reporter, illustration of the topic and form of presentation. SAJ students say that this course was a serious challenge for them, but also that it helped them understand much better what kind of and how much work there is behind a journalistic investigation. Cristina Cornescu highly appreciated the experience of trainer Alina Radu, and Maria Svet admitted that it is one of the genres of journalism that requires a lot of involvement and responsibility: "You need a good spirit of observation and analytical skills."

    On Monday, the School of Advanced Journalism starts the course of environmental journalism.

  • Dionis Cenusa: “The European Union is a terribly interesting process, if you get into details”

    These days, the School of Advanced Journalism continues the course of Political Journalism. The last module, International and European Journalism, is aimed to acquaint young journalists with specifics, documents and information about the European Union, relations between Moldova and the EU, the Association Agreement and the Free Trade Area with the EU, and the role of the media in covering these topics. To help students understand EU topics, the course trainer, Sorina Stefarta, invited Dionis Cenusa, political analyst and expert of “Expert-Grup” center, to a discussion club.

    Discussion began with an overview of the European Union and relations between Chisinau and Brussels. The guest spoke to students about technical and financial assistance provided to our country by the European community, about the Association Agreement, about the European Council’s latest conclusions on Moldova, and about the problems the country faces currently.

    The students wanted to learn more about the citizens’ perception of integration into the EU. Dionis Cenusa says that opinion polls, which have been increasingly criticized lately, show a decline in the number of people supporting Moldova’s integration into the EU in favor of those who support integration into the Eurasian Union. That, in the expert’s opinion, is due, among other things, to the fact that this topic is not covered in the media. “Very few journalists write about what is really happening in the Eurasian Union. The media should pay more attention to the situation in this union and cover topics about it,” the analyst said.

    At the end of the discussion, Dionis Cenusa suggested to future journalists to be more curious, to follow the official websites of European institutions and analytical portals, always seek information from primary sources, ask questions and look for answers. “Be very careful when you write about the EU and the European integration,” the guest concluded.

  • ADMISSION 2017: The School of Advanced Journalism Announces Admission for a New Academic Year

    Do you want to work in television, host a radio show or launch a portal with the most qualitative news? Maybe you want to create a newspaper or a magazine? If your answer is “Yes!”, we are waiting for you at the best place to lay the foundation of a career in the media – the School of Advanced Journalism!

    What we are

    The School of Advanced Journalism (SAJ) was launched in September 2006, and it is an important project of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC). From the start, our goal was to help teach a new generation of professional journalists in Moldova. Today, in a world and age when the media are a click away from everyone, the SAJ offers equal opportunities for all those who want to build a successful career in journalism and communication, as well as to those to wish to gain journalistic skills.

    Who the SAJ students are

    To become one of the 20 students in the 12th graduate class (2017-2018), you only need to have higher education. You can be a graduate from a university department of law, economy, philology, technology, medicine, journalism, communications and, why not, theatre and fine arts. The important thing is to have ambition, curiosity and determination. If your answer is still “Yes!”, don’t hesitate and come to the SAJ!

    What you will learn at the SAJ

    The academic year at the SAJ lasts ten months, during which you will learn the best current journalistic practices from Europe and the USA. You will learn writing the most correct and balanced news stories, discover the secrets of the most viewed online materials, find out how to make a colorful radio report, and master the recipe of a successful photograph. Together with your classmates, you will make photos and video recordings, edit, design a newspaper and a magazine, create infographics, and participate in making a real radio and TV newscast. You will be doing it all in conditions similar to a real editorial office. And the School will provide you with all necessary equipment: recorder, photo and video camera, and personal computer.

    Who will teach you

    You will work with the best journalists and media experts from Moldova and from abroad, who will share with you their professional experience: Vasile Botnaru, Liliana Barbarosie, Diana Raileanu, Alina Turcanu, Tatiana Etco (all from the team of Radio Free Europe). Petru Macovei (Association of Independent Press), Alina Radu (“Ziarul de Gardă” newspaper), Elena Robu (Pro TV Chișinău), Liliana Nicolae (Radio “Europa FM”, Bucharest), Nadine Gogu (Independent Journalism Center), Dorin Scobioala (Reuters TV and Antena 3), Anatol Golea (RTR Moldova), Lilia Curchi (“Natura” magazine), Dumitru Ciorici (www.agora.md) freelancers Ludmila Andronic, Oxana Iutes, Nicolae Pojoga, Angela Ivanesi, Andrei Cibotaru, and many others.


    Where you could work after graduation

    After ten months of study you will be able to work in any media outlet in this country or abroad, because the School of Advanced Journalism is the “laboratory” that cultivates the professional skills necessary to a “universal” journalist, as required by today’s media all over the world... You could be a reporter of a top-rated television or radio; you could write news for an online portal or host your own show. Everything is up to you! And the proof that any dream can come true is in the over 160 graduates of the SAJ, many of whom have already made a name in journalism, communication or public life.

    Files shall be submitted by May 15, 2017 at 17.00, and they shall include:

    • CV;
    • Form (download);
    • Letter of motivation;
    • Essay on a topic of your choice / article published (if it is);
    • Copy of higher education diploma (2017 graduates can submit a certificate from their university department confirming that they are in their last year of study);
    • Copy of identity card.

    We are waiting for you at the following address: School of Advanced Journalism, 49/4 Tighina Street (3rd floor), ChisinauFor further details regarding admission, please contact: Veronica Marin - telephone:, 079909414.

    e-mail: vmarinATscoaladejurnalismDOTmd (* replace AT with „@” and DOT with „.”).

    We guarantee the quality of studies, and your success is our priority!

  • Business journalism: “humanizing” figures and “reading” them correctly

    Business journalism has become one of the most important realms of the media; this is why the information journalists report to the public should be as clear and understandable as possible. How to write simply, how to “read” and then communicate figures correctly, the SAJ students learned at the first specialized course of this year – Business Journalism.

    The course was divided traditionally into two modules: theoretical and practical. The first module, mainly theoretical, was held by businessman and expert in economy and law Vladimir Bolea. He deciphered, together with the students, such notions as formation of prices in free market economy, currency, raider attacks, supply and demand, interest and dividends, trade balance, import and export, monopoly, competition, remittance, off-shore systems and money laundering.

    After the theoretical initiation into business journalism, students passed to the practical part. From the editor-in-chief of the www.eco.md portal Ion Chislea future journalists learned what a news story on economy should contain to be good, what the criteria are for selecting a topic for a report on economy, how to use numbers and statistics in articles. He also explained to the students what a financial report is, how to find the right angle of approach and how to use specialty terms correctly. All knowledge was enhanced with practical exercises. “Articles can appear from any sphere of economy, but a good news story starts with a figure. Think analytically, ask questions and search for answers,” advised Ion Chislea the students.

    About entrepreneurship and the difference between it and business SAJ students learned from the president of GEN Moldova - Global Entrepreneurship Network Moldova, Olesea Fortuna. Together with the trainer, young people did several practical exercises, where they learned how an idea can turn into a business and then into a success story. Students say that this course, which was held for the first time at the SAJ, helped them better understand how to cover the news that might influence a country’s economy and promised from now on to read and think analytically. “Now I understand much better the terms and know how to read reports and statistics,” concluded Parascovia Spic.

    Next week the School of Advanced Journalism starts the second specialized course – Political Journalism.


Success stories

“The School of Advanced Journalism – my gate to freedom”
“The School of Advanced Journalism Offers Equal Opportunities for All”
“Thanks to the SAJ, journalism has been a stroke of luck”