• For the First Time, SAJ Students Tried Digital Journalism at the AGORA News Portal

    The virtual world has become an important part of our lives. Today, you can listen to your favorite radio, watch live TV-shows or read the latest news in the Internet. In order to be as close as possible to their reader, listener or viewer, journalists are trying to adapt to new information technologies. Keeping up with competition and combining original content with maximum speed were the things that the students of the School of Advanced Journalism learned at the course of digital journalism. Dumitru Ciorici, co-founder of www.agora.md, worked with the students. 

    The course began with a brief introduction to digital journalism. Students learned how to self-finance a news portal, how make an online platform profitable and how to promote the web content. The trainer also explained how to calculate the audience of a site and what criteria influence the increase or decrease of online traffic. Young people tested various search engines, found out why it is important to adapt to mobile versions and what the features of this type of journalism are. The trainer pointed their attention to the importance of proper application of various multimedia tools – the thing that differs online journalism from classical journalism – and noted that a reporter specialized in online journalism should know how to harmoniously complement a text with audio, video, photographs and graphics.

    After this introduction, rather theoretical, beginner journalists proceeded to the practical part of the course. This year, for the first time, the SAJ students worked side by side with the team of AGORA, experiencing the job of an online reporter first-hand. For four days, after editorial meetings, they would have several hours to research stories, write news, and make photos and even videos. The best articles of the School’s students were posted on www.agora.md.  For the first time at this course, young people simulated a live broadcast and made interviews in the AGORA studio.

    Young people were impressed by this unique experience and noticed that everything they learned at this course will help them later in their chosen careers. “I liked having this course in a real newsroom, along with other journalists. It was very useful for us,” said student Maria Svet at the end of the course.

    Dumitru Ciorici was also pleased with the results of the course, which, he said, was an opportunity for the students to systematize their knowledge. According to the trainer, digital journalism is a “trend, and it will become a priority for all media outlets in a not so distant future.” This is why it is very important that students are familiar with optimal working tools and with how they can make their product more attractive to readers. “I liked the fact that the experiments in the newsroom, in the studio and with the drone fascinated the students. It is a sign that they may really enjoy journalism,” concluded the co-founder of the www.agora.md news portal.

    Tomorrow, the SAJ starts the last course of this year – Community Journalism.

  • 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!

  • Natalia Sergheev: “I don't regret that I chose the SAJ instead of a master's degree in journalism. And here's why ...”

    She is one of the graduates who came to the SAJ knowing exactly what her future should look like. It was happening in the spring of 2013, when, after she took her license degree in journalism, she felt the need for practical training, very necessary for a beginner journalist. Between a master’s degree and courses at the School of Advanced Journalism she chose the latter. She submitted the application, and in September 2013 she became one of the students of the eighth SAJ graduating class.

    Today Natalia Sergheev is reporter for Radio Free Europe in Chisinau, and the year 2016 brought her one of the first trophies in her career – the first prize in the Youth category of ADAMI Media Prize 2016 contest, for the film “Generation of Emigration”, produced together with producer and cameraman Alex Blumberg within the “Simply” project of Radio Free Europe. The movie brings to the light the phenomenon of migration in Moldova, telling the story of three young men forced to abandon their poorly paid jobs at home and to go abroad in search of better living.

    We asked Natalia to share with us her success story, but the young journalist came with a different “proposal” – to make a retrospective of the choice she made and highlight seven reasons why she decided to study at the School of Advanced Journalism. We invite you to see what they are.

    1. SAJ trainers are potential employers. I even got to work next to my ex-teacher (and current teacher, in fact, because I keep learning from him), Vasile Botnaru. The fact that instead of submitting a CV you can write on Facebook to a manager, who knows that he taught you, is a valuable advantage in the labor market.
    2. Teachers are not even “teachers” in the classical sense of the word. I call them so because of “academic” habits. They are, in fact, trainers, and with some of them you will go out for a beer. Some might even become your mentors, if you are lucky. Of course this can happen at the university, too, but in a university lecture hall there is, however, a different dynamic of authority. Someone always is in the front and someone always listens...
    3. While you learn journalism, you already in a way work in an editorial office. The number of students in a graduating class is extremely small compared to a group at university – about 13-15 people. It is how many people work in some editorial offices. It teaches you to work in a team, which is not as easy as it sounds.
    4. You find yourself in a space where the majority of your colleagues really want to do journalism in the future. My words might seem strange, but when most of your university colleagues see themselves working in other areas, it is difficult to assess your own abilities, and especially the progress that you make. The stronger the people you work with, the stronger you get.
    5. You will do fieldwork. In rain, wind or frost. My belief is that, without trying fieldwork, it is quite hard to become a journalist, even though you might have a master’s, doctor’s or any other academic degree. And the sooner you do it, the better. But it is an opinion; I have nothing to compare it with.
    6. You will live in a pace similar to that of an editorial office. Deadlines over deadlines, day after day ... Yes, it is a good idea to invest a lot of time in a material (or in a master’s thesis), as it results in the best works. The truth is, however, that in reality you will rarely have such opportunities. In the little time I was given for a material, I often did mediocre articles. The problem is that there is always too little time, even when you work “officially”. I start thinking that your entire life you actually have to work just to improve, little by little, this level of “mediocre”. Unless you leave this field of work.
    7. If you are very lucky, you will find real friends. During studies, whatever they are, you have the chance to make strong friendships. But getting a master’s degree, I think, is a largely solitary job ... Instead, at the School of Advanced Journalism the curriculum is made in such a way that teamwork becomes daily routine. With someone (because you’re afraid to go alone) you go to Tiraspol to make a report, with someone else you do a newspaper layout until late at night, other colleagues defend your final academic work in front of teachers, who a few minutes ago tore it to pieces... At the SAJ you have a lot of experiences that show you what you and the people you study with are made of. In my graduating class, these links have not been lost after graduation or change of fields of work. And it is probably the main reason why I am glad that I chose the SAJ instead of a master’s degree.
  • Career Days, a First Employment Opportunity for SAJ Students

    The end of April brought the end of courses at the School of Advanced Journalism. After eight months of study during which students learned to write news, reports, interviews, journalistic investigations, etc., young journalists met with the managers of several Moldovan media outlets and discussed with them about employment offers, wages, and opportunities young journalists have on the Moldovan media market. The meetings were held within Career Days, which are organized at the SAJ annually.

    This year the School’s disciples met with Dumitru Tira, owner of the “Realitatea” online media group, with Cristina Gutu, general director of TV 7 channel, and with Cristian Jardan, director of UNIMEDIA news portal. From these guests the students found out about the working schedule of a reporter, about the jobs they offer, and, certainly, about the salaries they can provide. The three guests said that the Moldovan media market needs professional journalists who would produce powerful materials and would abide by ethical principles and rules of professional conduct. “You should do your job so as not to be ashamed to look at yourselves in the mirror in the morning”, said Cristian Jardan, who is also a successful graduate of the School of Advanced Journalism, 2007-2008 graduating class.     

    To see how news and journalistic materials are actually produced, students visited several media outlets. The first stop was at the office of PRO TV Chișinău television. Students had the opportunity to see the studios of such shows as “În PROfunzime” and “O seară perfectă”. There they also found out how film editors work and made a few pictures at the news anchor’s desk. Then, young people spoke with reporter and anchor Sorina Obreja. The journalist recommended to her future fellow professionals to love this job, to be passionate about what they do and ... to read a lot of fiction. “A good journalist must know grammar and write correctly in the Romanian language,” said Sorina Obreja.

    Radio Free Europe in Chisinau was the next. Students saw the studios where shows are filmed and recorded, discussed with reporters, and met their trainers – Vasile Botnaru, Diana Railean, and Liliana Barbarosie.

    Beginning on May 5, the students of the School of Advanced Journalism will work on their own, guided by a tutor chosen from among trainers, to produce their final projects. Their public presentation will be held on May 30 and 31.

  • Debate on Book Reviews in Newspapers, Magazines, Blogs, and on Facebook, Hosted by the SAJ

    “Book Reviews in Newspapers, Magazines, Blogs, and on Facebook” was the topic of the public debate hosted on Friday, May 19, by the School of Advanced Journalism. It was part of a larger event that took place this week in Cahul, Chisinau, and Balti – Days of Romanian Literature, third edition. 

    For four days, booklovers had the opportunity to meet and speak with authors and literary critics from Moldova and Romania. On Friday, the team of literary figures made a stopover, for the first time ever, at the School of Advanced Journalism, where they met with students and trainers, as well as a group of future journalists from the Journalism and Communication Sciences Department of Moldova State University, who joined us, and with renowned journalists from various media.

    “Why do we need book reviews today and how can we attract the younger generation to reading?” – this was the question addressed to writers Vitalie Ciobanu, Tatiana Tibuleac, Paula Erizanu, Iulian Ciocan, as well as to book reviewers and critics Lucia Turcanu, Alina Purcaru, Dan Coman, Eli Badica, and Mircea V. Ciobanu. Discussions were diverse – on book reviews, reader’s perception, cultural journalism and its perspectives in the modern era, – but the book itself and the role the journalists can and should play in the book’s relations with the audience were at the foreground. The guests highlighted the importance of book reviews and noted that the contemporary reader is much more informed and has now the possibility to express his views freely, including in social networks. “A reviewer is the one who represents the reader’s opinion, and we must take his interests into account,” said Mircea V. Ciobanu.

    Another topic was the adaptation of the journalists writing about culture and literature to the digital era. “Innovation and novelty are key words,” said Eli Badica, editor at Suplimentul de Cultură and Arte și Meserii from Bucharest. She pointed out that in order to attract the reader’s attention, you must constantly surprise him, always give him new, interesting, and unique information. “You have to be different than others,” she added.

    The idea was supported by the writer and journalist Iulian Ciocan from Radio Free Europe. “You should try to be different,” the guest said.

    The debate about the more or less natural connection between literature and journalism prompted special interest, as for many of the guests journalism either preceded literary activity or remained a concern parallel to fiction or book reviewing. Young people were interested to learn how a beginner journalist can convince the publisher to write articles about culture and literature, topics that are increasingly rare in the press. Paula Erizanu said it may be possible if you come up with an original approach, and to exemplify, she brought one of her recent articles, written for CNN.com, where she made an evaluation of fictional houses from several famous literary creations, such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Sherlock Holmes, or The Master and Margarita.

    Young journalists are lacking curiosity,” said writer Tatiana Tibuleac. The former journalist recommended young journalists to be as curious as possible, ask as many questions as possible, and look for methods to make their writing interesting, whether they write about literature or anything else. “Curiosity is free, and it is your most valuable tool, which doesn’t cost you anything,” concluded the author of the novel The Summer When Mother Had Green Eyes.

    The Days of Romanian Literature are at their third edition. The event was organized by the Union of Moldovan Publishers and the “Cartier” Publishing House.

  • Final Work, the Most Important Project of SAJ Students

    Having learned to write news, conduct interviews and make reports for radio and television, SAJ students began work on their most important project – the Final Work. To achieve a good result, young people will have to comply with and implement all the good practices they have learned during the courses at the School of Advanced Journalism, as well as to demonstrate objectivity, accuracy, originality, fairness, inspiration and neutrality. The public presentation of the works will be held on May 30 and 31. 

    The final work is a product made by the student independently, but under the guidance of a tutor chosen from among SAJ trainers. Students have three weeks, during which they will choose topics, research them, film, cut, lay out, write and edit texts.

    Out of the 11 students of the 2016-2017 graduating class, four will write articles for print, two will try their powers in making TV reports, four other chose to make radio reports, and one student will write an article for the Internet.

    Final works will be presented to a commission that will appreciate them according to the following criteria:

    1. Timeliness and relevance of the chosen theme.
    2. Good structure and completeness of the material.
    3. Objectivity, neutrality, and impartiality.
    4. Balance of sources.
    5. Compliance with the rules of professional ethics.
    6. Separation of facts from opinions.
    7. Originality and inspiration.
    8. Accuracy.

    The best works will be posted on the School's website, www.scoaladejurnalism.md.

  • 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.


Success stories

“I don't regret that I chose the SAJ instead of a master's degree in journalism. And here's why ...”
“The School of Advanced Journalism – my gate to freedom”
“The School of Advanced Journalism Offers Equal Opportunities for All”