<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español May 28, 2017 | Issue #67


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Take the First Step With Us and Together We Will Change the World

The School of Authentic Journalism is part of how we fight back.


By Bill Conroy, Professor
School of Authentic Journalism, Class of 2004

February 28, 2017

Everywhere we look today, we see reason, freedom and justice under attack by forces bent on dividing us by nationality, race, gender and religion. The media has been declared a public enemy by a sitting U.S. president while immigrants and people of color are under siege by white supremacists who now hold some of the highest offices in the land.

Yes, it seems like the sky is falling. And with each passing day, the insanity of watching a democratic nation turn slowly into some distorted version of the Star Wars Empire is enough to induce a paralyzing depression.


Bill Conroy during the School of Authentic Journalism 2016

There is a Rebel Alliance fighting back against it all, however. One of its training grounds is the School of Authentic Journalism. It’s a small endeavor by comparison to the Death Star wielded by the Empire, but the School literally could play a crucial role in vanquishing the Empire. It needs your support, however. Join the school by contributing to its Kickstarter campaign here

Adding to the crushing weight of the dark force aligned against us is the fact that we all know, based on history, that our institutions, such as Congress and the mainstream media, can’t be counted on to hold out long against the Empire’s assault. The pattern we have seen in the past is capitulation and normalization in the name of maintaining cash flow and power.

Our media institutions have been morally bankrupt for a while, which is why they are so easily attacked now, with no mass rallies staged in their defense. Most members of Congress, likewise, have proven repeatedly that they will take the path of least resistance in their efforts to glean the most personal reward. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, but the fact that they are described as exceptions is part of the problem.

Still, there is a sense all around us that millions of people are looking for a way to fight back, to put the nation and the world back on a track toward a more civil society guided by social justice. How can that be accomplished, however, in the face of the immense destructive power confronting us?

Well, all journeys toward victory start with the first step.

A nation’s institutions are not the same as its people, but they are ultimately shaped by the people. Social movements can force governments to act in the interest of the people if organized around clear goals, guided by smart strategy and practiced in applying creative tactics. Likewise, authentic journalism can operate outside the constraints of profit-driven media companies to tell the truths that would otherwise be censored by the profit motive. We, the people, do have the power to win here, but most of us now must go back to school to learn how to harness that force, and how to take that first step.

The School of Authentic Journalism is about doing just that. Since the early 2000s, the School has been bringing to together social-movement leaders and authentic journalists from around the globe to teach a younger generation the art and science of organizing and committing journalism in the service of the people. And, in the process, that younger generation has been teaching the teachers new ways of seeing and being in the world. It’s an uplifting experience for all, but more importantly, the School has now helped to train hundreds of authentic journalists and community organizers who are already in the field working relentlessly to build an effective resistance in the service of human rights.

The School teaches theory, but it also is heavily focused on practice. Students are taught how to use video- and audio-recording equipment, how to write a news story, how to do investigative reporting. They also learn tactics and strategies for reporting on, building and advancing social movements from individuals who have played key organizing roles in successful social movements around the world — from the Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa, to the Zapatista indigenous Movement in Mexico, to the movement against water privatization in Bolivia, to the Civil Rights movement in the United States, and more.

In short, the School of Authentic Journalism teaches students how to win by giving them the tools that allow them to think, communicate, act and organize in the interest of the common good and with uncompromisingly disciplined strategy. From there, they take those tools back into the world, into their communities, and day by day help to build effective social movements that press back against corrupt power and ultimately empower the oppressed.

Yes, that’s how it starts. One person at a time. One step at a time. One heartbeat at a time. All moving in the same direction, all acting with discipline, all equipped with a few powerful tools, all united around a few powerful and achievable goals that define the mission of the social movement.


Bill Conroy

If we want to help create a social movement that can stand up to and ultimately roll back the madness of the fascist nationalism now seeking to seize power around the globe, then we must take that first step. We must stand up now, with the full commitment of each beat of our hearts, and find a way to become part of the change we seek.

The School of Authentic Journalism is a key that can open the door to that change. Help make it so by donating what you can, so that there will be a 2017 School of Authentic Journalism. It’s a simple first step to take in helping to save our world. The stakes are that high this time. Please give from your heart.

Pledge to the school’s Kickstarter campaign here.

Thank you.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America