Natalia Dabija

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.”