• Students of the 11th Graduating Class Have Successfully Presented Final Projects

    Overfilled with emotions and optimism, despite fatigue, proud of their achievements – that is how one could describe the students of the 11th graduating class the School of Advanced Journalism, who presented on May 30 their most important work of the year – the Final Project. Out of the eleven students, four made materials for radio, two made television reports, other four wrote articles for print media, and one tried his hand at online journalism. Final projects were presented to the group of media experts and practitioners, namely: Vasile Botnaru, Director of the Bureau of Radio Free Europe; Viorica Zaharia, Chair of the Press Council; Cristian Jardan, Director of Unimedia.md portal; Elena Cioina, Media Manager of the www.e-sanatate.md platform; Dorin Scobioala, Director of the “Cat Studio” production company; and Sorina Stefirta, Director of the School of Advanced Journalism. They evaluated the final works in accordance with the criteria adopted by the SAJ.

    The students had three weeks to do their final projects, during which they worked under the guidance of tutors, who are also trainers of the SAJ: Liliana Barbarosie, journalist at Radio Free Europe; Alina Radu, Director of the “Ziarul de Garda” newspaper; Alina Turcanu, editor at Radio Free Europe; Andrei Cibotaru, TV-journalist; Tatiana Etco, journalist at Radio Free Europe; and Liliana Nicolae, reporter and editor at the Europa FM radio from Bucharest. Along with their more experienced colleagues, young journalists put into practice all the knowledge and skills they gained during the nine months of training. In their work on materials, students had to take into account objectivity, originality, correctness, accuracy, inspiration, neutrality, and impartiality.

    Like in previous years, the majority of students chose social topics. Thus, Dumitrita Andriuta reported about children suffering from malnutrition; Alina Filimon told about in vitro fertilization as a solution to the problem of infertility; Parascovia Spic presented in detail the current situation at the “Moldova-film” studio; Eugeniu Kanskii reported in his article about the “Nicusor” rehabilitation center located in Gratiesti village of Chisinau municipality, where dozens of children and young people with special needs come daily; and Liliana Botnariuc reported on why young physicians do not want to start their career at home but prefer to leave and work abroad.

    Student Maria Svet told us how Moldova missed the opportunity to fully implement a funding project in the field of energy efficiency (MoREEFF project); Mariana Matcovschi tried to find out how and why the shortage of teaching staff provokes changes in the system; Adriana Vlas told us what a young person should do to become a student of a top university abroad; Liliana Chisari talked about how the law on adoptions functions in Moldova; Nicolae Galaju reminded us about the problem of unauthorized waste dumps; and Cristina Cornescu made a TV report on the so-called “home schooling” and what this method of learning at home involves.

    Members of the evaluation commission congratulated future journalists for their effort. According to them, all projects complied, to a greater or lesser extent, with the standards of journalism. They also drew the students’ attention to the mistakes they made and urged them to focus in their future materials as much as possible on the topic, to write simply and, most important, accurately. “Don’t generate more questions in your articles,” suggested Sorina Stefirta, Director of the SAJ.

    For some of the SAJ students the public presentation of the final project felt like an exam they passed splendidly. Parascovia Spiс said that work on the final project was her most exciting experience at the School. “I couldn’t even imagine that I’d put so much emotion into every word I write. I wanted to prove myself that I can do it, but even more than that I did not want to disappoint my tutor,” the student said.

    Cristina Cornescu is also proud of her report. According to her, the success of a final work is in choosing an original topic. “If you don’t have a good topic, then try to tackle it in a most unusual way. Write something different than other journalists. This is what teachers taught us throughout the school year,” she said.

    The School of Advanced Journalism is a project of the Independent Journalism Center in Chisinau in partnership with the Missouri School of Journalism, USA, and the Center for Training and Perfection of Journalists in Paris, France. The SAJ was launched on September 4, 2006 with a view to prepare universal journalists for the media in Moldova.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • Diana Lungu: “The lessons learned at the SAJ helped us be good in our job”

    Words have always been her best friends, while books and writing were her best therapy in any situation and even a lifestyle. At school she liked writing essays, literary revues and reading more than she had to for classes. She began flirting with media since she was in lyceum, publishing articles in the local newspaper "Gazeta de Vest" in Nisporeni. Of course, years later she smiles at those articles which, in her opinion, were way too far from a journalistic material. However, she says that at that time she did not know the rules of journalism, so she wrote as she felt... We are talking about Diana Lungu, SAJ graduate of 2007-2008, communications coordinator of the Association of Independent Press (AIP).

    Knowledge in sociology helped me a lot in journalism

    “I wanted to study journalism, but I happened to do sociology in Iasi... However, I did not give up my dream, so I didn’t think twice when I heard about admission at the SAJ. I still remember the admission test. I had zero knowledge in journalism, but my knowledge of sociology served me well, especially the notions of objective and subjective and about sources, which, in my opinion, should appear in a journalistic material. The SAJ meant a lot to me. There I learned to write structured texts, to take into account all opinions and to make friendships that last. It was the best year of my life. Everything was new and I absorbed information like a sponge.”

    I had the best journalists and media experts as mentors

    “Everything I know about journalism is thanks to the School and to the trainers I had. They were the best; they came from the best media outlets in the country, they got to know each of us personally and gave us the chance to get a job at the outlets they represented. Thus I did my internship at PRO TV channel and realized that... television is not my scene. Everything was happening too fast there, while I like having long talks with sources and making reports. That's why I chose print media. I started working as a reporter in “Ziarul de Garda” newspaper, then I worked with the Association of Independent Press, then I moved to online portals, and eventually got into the other camp, among communicators. For over five years I have been doing communication. My experience as a journalist served me well, because I understand reporters' needs. I know how important it is to timely provide them with the requested information or to send them to other institutions or sources that could help in case we don’t cover the segment that is of interest to them.”

    The School of Advanced Journalism is a real practical laboratory

    “At the SAJ you don’t learn theory from books, but you do real practice, just like at an editorial office. Trainers take our works seriously – they analyze, criticize, cut them, where necessary, and, of course, give constructive advice and recommendations. But the most important and most beautiful was the team. My classmates at the School were the best. We discussed topics, helped each other when we had writer’s block. It happened a lot. I remember my first written report for Alina Radu’s course. I was excited and changed phrases a hundred times. It took me a day to write a page. Teachers treated us as equals, even if they were older and had a greater life experience. And it helped us to feel comfortable, ask questions, discover answers and not be afraid to make mistakes...

    At the SAJ I learned about fairness, neutrality, objectivity, punctuality, tolerance, and I learned that you must always observe the presumption of innocence and not label people. I sharpened my sense of curiosity and my observation skills, but, above all, I learned to always ask myself questions, to be skeptical until I check the answer, to anticipate reactions and to discover people or places that at first seem trivial, without a story behind.”

    I still remember lessons from the SAJ

    “Although nine years have passed since I finished the SAJ, I still remember some moments as vividly as if they’ve just happened – stand-ups for the course of TV (for one of the reports I had to climb into a sewage well to show how deep and dangerous it was); street noises that I recorded for a radio report (I did not even suspect until then how many sounds there are in the central market!); a trip to Floreni with the whole team, where we talked with locals and wrote articles for the School newspaper; how I sat on the first bus leaving from the Central Bus Station and talked with people there, and an old man gave me a recipe for red-beet soup; advice by Mr. Vasile Botnaru – to choose another profession if we dream of fixed working hours and fixed lunch breaks, and that every second matters, especially on the radio, especially when you are on air; the red line drawn by Alina Radu on paper and how important it was to follow it if you want to keep the readers’ attention; deontology rules explained by Petru Macovei and the fact that a reporter who accepts gifts cannot be an honest reporter; Artur Corghencea’s question: what’s the news?!; advice by Mr. Pojoga on how to write a legend and make good photos; lesson learned from Liliana Vitu that news beginning with “yesterday” is no longer news and that a headline longer than seven words is good for the “delete” button; fieldwork, in any weather. This list of good advice and lessons learned that helped us get where we are and be good in the job that we chose, whether we remained in journalism or chose communication or something else, can continue. The proof is in the many good journalists who grew at the SAJ.

    So I recommend the SAJ with great fondness and trust, and I call upon those who pass its threshold to get the most out of the trainers – they might become real mentors and even your friends whom you can appeal to in difficult situations.”

  • 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.

  • The School of Advanced Journalism Announces the Start of the Second Stage of Admission for the 2017-2018 Academic Year

    Are you a university graduate specialized in law, economy, philology, polytechnic, medicine, journalism or political science? Or, maybe, you studied theater, but now you see that you would like to act on another "stage", in the media? Besides, you are curious, persistent, and caring about what's going on around you? If the answer is “Yes!”, then don’t hesitate – put your papers together and come to the School of Advanced Journalism!

    We will not automatically turn you into a TV star; instead, we will show you how to actually build a successful career in journalism. In ten months of study, we will show you how to write the most interesting and accurate news, reveal to you the secrets of the most viewed TV report, and teach you how to make the most colorful report for the radio. You will shoot, edit, photograph and, last but not least, do fieldwork. You will master the standards and practices of modern Western journalism and how they can be applied in our media.

    You will work together and next to the best journalists and media experts from Moldova and from abroad, who will share 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 Garda” newspaper), Elena Robu (PRO TV Chisinau), Liliana Nicolae (Radio “Europa FM”, Bucharest), Nadine Gogu, Ina Grejdeanu, Cristina Mogildea (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. 

    From them, you will learn what news, interview, radio and television reports are and how to make them. You will write materials on political, economic and social topics and conduct your own journalistic investigation. You will learn how to lay out a newspaper, how to edit radio news and television reports. You will learn all about photography and the specifics of a magazine. You will learn to correctly use various multimedia tools. And, to be an honest and fair journalist, you will have a course of media law and journalistic ethics.

    If you are intrigued, hurry up to become a part of the twelfth class of graduates! Applications can be submitted by July 7, 2017, at 17:00, and they shall include:

    • CV
    • Form (download)
    • Motivation Letter
    • Essay on a free topic/published article (if any)
    • A copy of the of higher education diploma  
    • A copy of the identity card

    Applications shall be submitted to the SAJ office (49/4 Tighina Street, 3rd floor), or e-mailed at: vmarinATscoaladejurnalismDOTmd (*replace AT with [email protected] and DOT with “.”)

    For details, please contact: Veronica Marin – tel.:; 079909414.

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

  • 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.


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“The lessons learned at the SAJ helped us be good in our job”
„Journalism does not tolerate laziness and fear”
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