”The SAJ was a challenge, but also a chance to get a new profession”

She studied at the department of Foreign Languages and Literature of the “Alecu Russo” State University in Balti city, but she got to work at an important security institution in Moldova. Today she is part of the Communication and Relations with the Media Department of the Ministry of Defense. She even has a military degree – she is a Major…  She started flirting with the media immediately after graduation, when she got the job of translator-editor at an independent media outlet, the DECA-press Agency in Balti city. It was then that she felt the desire to do journalism. She hoped someday to become a successful reporter and to study in this field.

That “someday” came by chance in the summer of 2007, when she successfully completed her master studies in modern and classical languages at the “Alecu Russo” State University. She quickly prepared application papers and filed the application to the School of Advanced Journalism. That autumn she became one of the 16 students in the second promotion of the SAJ. We are speaking about Maria Arama, a graduate of the School’s 2007-2008 class, currently and a press officer of the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Moldova. 

“From the very beginning I understood that the SAJ is not a school in the classical sense of the word. It is rather an editorial office, where everyone does real journalism. Learning by doing, experimenting, writing, editing, filming, assembling, designing – it was and is for me the motto of the School. There, in the ‘editorial office of the SAJ,’ every day had its color and uniqueness. In addition to lessons, we, students, had the opportunity to meet well-known journalists from Moldova and from abroad. We also went on site of events and brought from there all kinds of materials and, most importantly, lots of impressions and energy.”

Ten months of study passed like ten days

“That year I was always ‘trapped’ (in the good sense of the word) in daily activities, and I didn’t even feel how fast the time went by. I learned from the best journalists and media experts how to write a news story, how to make a radio or TV report, how to be fair in making a journalistic material, how to make a professional photo, and how to edit a video material. Moreover, I had first-hand experience of working under pressure while editing a newspaper or preparing a newscast. It was then that I understood what deadline is…”

I made friendships that are still alive

“In addition to journalism, at the School I learned that teamwork, interaction with people, meetings outside working hours complete the work of every reporter and ensure the success of a media outlet. All of the above we experienced in press clubs, meetings dedicated to media freedom, visits to television and radio studios. I did my internship at the Chisinau branch of the BBC. For four weeks I worked in the editorial office of a reputable radio, being helped by a wonderful team of professional journalists and open-hearted people. It was a challenge for me, but also a chance to work in this field.”

I’ve never regretted this choice

“Although I eventually chose another line of work (I’ve been a press officer at the Ministry of Defense for over five years now), journalism is still part of my life. I believe that the relationship between a press officer and a reporter must be professional and based on mutual trust. That is why it is very important for a press officer to have experience in journalism. And if you’re wondering whether it is possible to become a journalist in less than a year, then I say ‘Yes, it is – with and at the SAJ.’ Here, in this short time you can become a quality journalist!”

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