40 Stories, 40 Translations, and Two Videos from the School of Authentic Journalism

By Al Giordano

This is, first, to thank the hundreds of readers who contributed (and the matching support from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict) to make the 2011 School of Authentic Journalism, May 11 to 21 in Mexico, possible, and also to report back to you all on some of what was made to happen.

There, 40 scholars and 39 professors met for ten days in May to teach and learn from each other both the skills of doing authentic journalism – investigation, writing, video production and use of the Internet – and also to deepen our understanding, as journalists, of the strategic dynamics of social movements, civil resistance, nonviolent conflicts and community organizing. We heard from movement organizers, analysts and strategists including Javier Sicilia (Mexico), Janet Cherry (South Africa), Oscar Olivera (Bolivia), Noha Atef (Egypt), Renny Cushing (US), Maria Rosas (Mexico), Stephen Zunes (US), Ivan Marovic (Serbia), Namees Arnous (Egypt), Joe Rizk (Egypt), Mercedes Osuna (Mexico), Jack DuVall (US), and Johanna Lawrenson (US), among others, as well as experienced authentic journalists including Natalia Viana, Greg Berger, Bill Conroy, Milena Velis, Richard Bell and many more. In addition to learning, everybody did real work.

We haven’t yet finished editing all the videos and articles to come out of the 2011 school, in part because shortly after it was scheduled to conclude, eleven participants stuck around in Mexico to accompany and report on the Caravan of Solace against the war on drugs from Cuernavaca to Ciudad Juárez, June 4 to 12, as well as other actions by that movement in Morelos and Mexico City. That was, likewise, made possible by your support.

From that work came forty news stories – all of them translated in English and in Spanish – and, so far, two videos (the one, above, “Barrel of Laughs,” uses time release video of Tanzanian political cartoonist Nathan Mpangala - of the class of 2011 - providing visuals of the narration of Serbian revolutionary Ivan Marovic on the development of “dilemma actions” by a movement to weaken authoritarian power; it also provides an example of the importance of humor to successful movements).

So much of what occurs at the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism is intangible; after all, how does one measure learning, knowledge and experience? Lasting friendships and collaborations were formed, and this project now counts with even more skilled collaborators across the globe. Add to that what is quantifiable – work that is published, read, viewed, and redistributed by a virtual army of readers, journalists, twitterers and social networkers – and the written work alone that your support made possible (really, 80 news stories in two languages) comes out to a lot of bang for very frugal bucks. Not even included in the list below are a dozen groundbreaking investigative reports by Bill Conroy, and other Narco News stories produced outside of Mexico during these same months; this list includes only the reporting at the school and after it, in Mexico, made possible by the School and everyone who supported it.

And so I’m reporting back to you, this time not to ask you for contributions, but simply, and sincerely, to thank each and every one of you who has supported this project, and to let you see the measurable results of your support, so much of which is infused with the immeasurable energy of how your supported has changed and improved lives, journalism, and the movements that we report. You are all co-authors of these stories… And we have only just begun to write!

Buckle Down and Enjoy the Ride to the Land of Authentic Journalism

By Arzu Geybullayeva, May 18

Egyptian Noha Atef Shatters Silence on Police Torture

By Katie Walsh, May 19

A Revolution Is Like “Good Sex” (The Ivan Marovic Story)

By Kanya Almeida, May 19

Gringoyo Offers Another “Flavor” to Video Journalists

By Alex Elgee, May 20

“We Will Continue Working Even if Julian Assange Is in Jail” (Natalia Viana & Wikileaks)

By Tadeu Breda, May 22

Javier Sicilia and North American Organizers Present Caravan Bound for Juarez

By Lucero Mendizábal, May 22

The Art of Authentic Journalism According to Bill Conroy

By Candice Vallantin, May 23

Online Video Premier of “Egypt: How We Did It When the Media Would Not”

By Greg Berger, Al Giordano & Joe Rizk, May 24

Journalist Anabel Hernandez Won’t Stop Fighting Corruption in Mexico Despite Death Threats

By Tadeu Breda, May 25

Tahrir Square as It Happened (The Namees Arnous Story)

By Alphonce Shiundu, May 25

Egypt’s Revolution Retold by Four Who Helped Make It Happen

By Alphonce Shiundu, May 25

Laughing in the Face of Repression

By Henry Taksier, May 26

Janet Cherry: “Even if You Think There Is No Space, You Can Create that Space”

By Aoife Allen, May 26

Radio: A Medium that Revolutionizes

By Sandra Vi Sanchez, May 26

The Measure of a Movement: Stephen Zunes on Nonviolent Resistance

By Tyler Stringfellow, May 26

Javier Sicilia to Narco News: “Journalists Amplify the Voice of Civil Society”

By Henry Taksier, May 26

Organizer of US Families of Murder Victims, Renny Cushing, Responds to Mexican Call for US Involvement in Stopping Drug War

By Terri Bennett, May 27

Oscar Olivera: “The People Are Ultimately Those Who Are in Charge, and Governments Must Know That”

By Irene Caselli, May 27

“I Think My Son Would Be Very Proud”

By Javier Sicilia, Transcribed by Henry Taksier, June 1

Pilgrimage to the Sources of Javier Sicilia, the Poet Who Is Shaking Mexico

By Marta Molina, June 1

The Nonviolent Occupation of the City of Juarez

By Antonio Cervantes, Translated by Al Giordano, June 2

The National Caravan to End Mexico’s Drug War Begins

By Erin Rosa, June 6

Javier Sicilia Slams the Politics of Insult and Gives the Movement a Lesson in Nonviolence

By Marta Molina and Al Giordano, June 6

“The Violence Is Not in the Guns or the Drugs. The Violence Is Within Us.”

By Julian LeBaron, Transcribed and translated by Marta Molina and Al Giordano, June 6

Federal Police Raid Human Rights Center in Ciudad Juarez

By Candice Vallantin, June 7

“Do You See How Much Power We Have?”

By Julian LeBaron and Antonio Cervantes, Transcribed and translated by Marta Molina and Al Giordano, June 10

“Authentic Journalism Offers a Solution to Problems,” Al Giordano Says

By Ingrid Morris, June 10

Mexico Caravan vs. Drug War Finds Coherence and Unity in Chihuahua

By Marta Molina and Al Giordano, June 10

“May This Caravan Live Forever!”

By Julian LeBaron and Antonio Cervantes, Transcribed and translated by Marta Molina and Al Giordano, June 12, 2011

Community Organizing as a Strategy to End the Violence

By Julian LeBaron and Antonio Cervantes, Transcribed and translated by Marta Molina and Al Giordano, June 14

“The Solution Is With Us”

By Julian LeBaron and Antonio Cervantes, Transcribed and translated by Marta Molina and Al Giordano, June 16

A Mexican Movement at a Crossroads: A Paper Pact or an Organized Community?

By Al Giordano, June 16

If Crime Is Organized, Why Not Us?

By Marta Molina, June 16

Video: Barrel of Laughs

By Viral Video Workgroup, School of Authentic Journalism, June 17

Drug War Victims Confront Mexican President

By Carolina Corral, June 17

Mexican Government Treats Disappeared like “Collateral Damage”

By Investigative Journalism Workgroup, School of Authentic Journalism, July 5

Mexican Military Accused of Drug War Disappearance

By Erin Rosa, July 6

Mexico’s State of Morelos: “We’ve Been Trained in the Art of Resistance”

By Hanna Nikkanen, July 11

Mexican Military Commander Removed Following Disappearance Investigation

By Erin Rosa, July 13

Remarks of Javier Sicilia to the Mexican National Congress

By Javier Sicilia, Translated by Erin Rosa

After Four Months of Struggle in Mexico, A Lesson for the Cynics

By Al Giordano, August 2

“It’s Time for Us to Stop Being Victims”

By Julian LeBaron and Antonio Cervantes, Translated by Erin Rosa

I confess that this isn't even all of them. From the School we still have stories by Clarice Mishel Boddin and Joe Rizk to finish editing, and another by Aldo Orellana yet to be translated to English. (If I've forgotten any others, someone will surely remind me now.) And most of the videos started at the School, of course, take even more time to complete, and we'll be releasing those works in the coming weeks and months as we complete them.

And! Coming soon to this page... the announcement of the 2012 School of Authentic Journalism, dates, the list of who will be teaching, and the application form with which all can apply.

Update: Now we've got the 41st story up...

Civil Resistance in Tepoztlán, Mexico: What Can Social Movements Learn Today?

By Aldo Orellana López, August 4

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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