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The school teaches journalists and community organizers how to tell effective and exciting stories to help peoples' movements to win.
The school teaches journalists and community organizers how to tell effective and exciting stories to help peoples' movements to win.
305 backers pledged $26,296 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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********Versión en Español abajo ***********

The School of Authentic Journalism is the world's only tuition-free school that teaches the art of effectively communicating the stories of social movements to change the world using all forms of available media. 

It is a school for journalists and community organizers, for winners and dreamers, for doers, for passionate, relentless, and soulful individuals who will dedicate themselves to champion peoples' causes, amplifying the call of communities who are brave enough to believe they can change the course of human history. 

Help the School of Authentic Journalism to raise at least $25,000 to support its 2015 program - to make sure another class of 20 to 40 highly talented young people from around the world are trained and equipped with the tools and tactics of effective media-driven community organizing. If the school raises more - if it gets to $50,000 or more - the 2015 session will also be bilingual, so that not only Spanish speakers, but also English speakers from across the world can attend. The school's program will be extended, it will invite twice as many scholars, and involve more faculty. 

Filming a plenary session during the School of Authentic Journalism 2011.
Filming a plenary session during the School of Authentic Journalism 2011.

The School of Authentic Journalism is free for all individuals who are selected to attend. The school has never charged tuition because scholars should be chosen based on their work, talent and potential and not based on their ability to pay.

The school's professors come from Tanzania to Bolivia, from Cairo to Brooklyn, and it needs as many of them as possible to return to teach again.  The school's directors want all of its scholars to learn the strategic dynamics that help social movements win, and the journalistic skills necessary to make creative and compelling written and video journalism, so that after ten days they are better prepared to report alongside social movements and help them succeed.

It's no secret that the school is also a lot of fun: Scholars and professors learn more and produce better work when they are happy. And to replenish their will to stand up and fight, it is the school's duty to cultivate joy.

The School of Authentic Journalism is not like other schools. It has no official academic accreditation nor does it seek it. It gives no grades, and does not ask applicants for their resume. When the school's directors review the hundreds of applications they receive each year, they don't ask for their GPA, or class rank, or what your current job is, or if you even went to school at all. They look for talent, drive, character, action, and a passionate will to change the world.

A session during the viral video workshop at the School of Authentic Journalism
A session during the viral video workshop at the School of Authentic Journalism

Founded in 2002 by Al Giordano - who prior to his better-known work as a journalist, learned community organizing by doing it, at Abbie Hoffman's side and as a powerful organizer of the anti-Nuclear movement in the U.S. - the School of Authentic Journalism is anything but a typical Journalism School experience.

Al moved to Latin America in 1997, at a time when people's movements were changing the balance of power in the region. He saw thousands of women and men build their own independence, working their land with no boss to control them.

Inspired by these true rebels, Al founded the online newspaper Narco News and together with legendary Mexican journalist Mario Menendez published a series of stories detailing the involvement of Banamex, a major financial corporation, in the international drug trade. Incensed, Banamex sued Al, Mario and Narco News in a New York court, but Al and Mario beat the bank and won their case. The judge's ruling in Narco News' favor set a historic legal precedent extending the same protections to online journalists that the law provides to print journalists.

Since then, Al has cultivated a new generation of hundreds of true, authentic journalists who have attended the School of Authentic Journalism since 2003.

The world needs the School of Authentic Journalism. And the school needs your support.

Greg Berger

2015 Kickstarter Campaign Manager

Co-Director, Viral Video Team of The School of Authentic Journalism

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La Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico es la única escuela gratis del mundo que enseña el arte de comunicar efectivamente las historias de los movimientos sociales para cambiar al mundo usando todo tipo de medios. Es una escuela para periodistas y para organizadores comunitarios, para ganadores y soñadores.

Está pensada para individuos apasionados dedicados a luchar por causas que puedan amplificar la voz de comunidades lo suficientemente valientes para cambiar el curso de la historia. Ayúdanos para que otra generación de 20 a 40 jóvenes talentosos de distintas partes del mundo reciban entrenamiento y aprendan las herramientas necesarias para ser comunicadores y organizadores comunitarios efectivos. Si la escuela junta más de lo mínimo (si llegamos a $50,000 o más) la sesión 2015 podrá ser bilingüe. De esta manera, al proyecto podrán unirse, además de hispano hablantes, anglo parlantes de distintas partes del mundo. El programa de la escuela se extendería, invitaría el doble de alumnos, e involucraría a más profesores.

La Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico es gratis para todos aquellos seleccionados para atender. La escuela nunca ha cobrado colegiatura porque los becarios se escogen por su trabajo, talento y potencial; no en su habilidad para pagar. Los profesores de la escuela vienen de Tanzania a Bolivia, desde el Cairo hasta Brooklyn, y necesita que los más posibles regresen a enseñar.

Aprendiendo a usar camaras durante la Escuela de Periodismo Autentico
Aprendiendo a usar camaras durante la Escuela de Periodismo Autentico

Los directores de la escuela quieren que los becarios aprendan las estrategias que ayudan a que los movimientos sociales ganen y las habilidades necesarias para crear periodismo, escrito y en video, que sea creativo e irresistible. Todo para que después de diez días estén más preparados para reportar con y para movimientos sociales, y los ayuden a salir victoriosos. No es secreto de estado que la Escuela es divertida: los becarios y los profesores aprenden más y producen mejor trabajo cuando están felices. La escuela tiene como deber cultivar alegría para recargar sus pilas y su determinación para levantar la voz y luchar.

La Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico no es cómo otras escuelas. No tenemos reconocimiento académico oficial y no lo buscamos. La escuela no da calificaciones y no pide que los aplicantes presenten su curriculum para entrar. Cuando los directores de la escuela revisan los cientos de aplicaciones que reciben, no se fijan en calificaciones, rankings académicos, cuál es su trabajo, o si fueron a la escuela. Los directores buscan talento, dedicación, carácter, acciones y una decisión apasionada de cambiar el mundo.

Fundada en el 2002 por Al Giordano - quien antes de trabajar como periodista aprendió de organización comunitaria al lado de Abbie Hoffman, y como organizador del movimiento anti-nuclear en los Estados Unidos - la escuela es todo menos la típica experiencia de escuela de periodismo.

Al se mudó a América Latina en el ´97, en un momento en que los movimientos populares estaban cambiando el balance de poder en la región. Vió a miles de hombres y mujeres construir su propia independencia y trabajar su propia tierra sin jefe que los controlara. Inspirado por estos rebeldes, Al fundó un periódico en línea Narco News. Junto con el legendario periodista Mario Menéndez publicó una serie de notas que describieron el rol de Banamex, una enorme corporación financiera, con un el tráfico internacional de drogas. Enfurecidos, Banamex demandó a Al, Mario y a Narco News en una corte en Nueva York, pero Al, Mario y Narco News vencieron al banco y ganaron el caso. La decisión del juez en favor de Narco News sentó precedente histórico y extendió las mismas protecciones legales a los periodistas de medios en línea que a los periodistas de medios impresos.

Desde entonces, Al ha cultivado a una nueva generación de cientos de periodistas auténticos que han atendido a la Escuela desde el 2003. El mundo necesita a la Escuela de Periodismo Auténtico. 

Y la Escuela necesita de su apoyo. Ve el nuevo diseño de la página web del Fondo para el Periodismo Auténtico o ve directamente a la campaña de Kickstarter para donar!

Greg Berger

Administrador de la Campaña de Kickstarter en el 2015

Co-Director, Equipo de Video viral de la Escuela de PEriodismo Auténtico  

Risks and challenges

During the 13 years of the school's existence, it has been funded by thousands of readers of Narco News and by people who share a desire to see emerging, independent journalists get the training they seek.

Occasionally, a larger donor has given the school special matching support.

Some years, the school has no single major donor to provide matching funds. Such was the case in 2014. Last year, new sessions on nonviolent civil resistance training were added but the school also had to be shortened. The school normally runs for ten days, but last year ran for only four. The School is traditionally bilingual, with plenary and workgroup sessions conducted in both English and Spanish with constant and precise interpretation. But last year the school was limited to Spanish speaking participants in order to cover more material in less time.

The school has no major donor waiting in the wings this year. It will be made possible only through the support of you and everyone else who loves this project.

The major challenge of this campaign is to allow the school to return to its traditional, bilingual, ten day format, even without a matching grant.

The school and its team needs your support to make this happen.

As the director of this year's fundraising campaign, I know we can do it, because the strength of this school is its team: Its alumni and its readers and its viewers.

Help the class of the 2015 School of Authentic Journalism to tell the story of a better world in the making.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Receive an e-book of investigative journalist Bill Conroy´s novel "Las Almas" if you give $20 or more between now and May 1st at 11:59 PM. Las Almas, traces the paths of characters on both sides of the US/Mexican border who are caught up in the currents of the drug war, some by choice, others by happenstance. The one common thread for all of them is that their lives collide in the fictional border community of Las Almas — and each pays a price for confronting the truth of the drug war...

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    For $40, get a set of three DVDs featuring legendary experimental filmmaker Crag Baldwin's classic works: Tribulation 99, Mock Up on Mu and Spectres of the Spectrum!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Workshop for journalists, storytellers, media-makers, and community organizers.
    (Community organizer / social worker / student level)
    Join us for a limited admission digital workshop organized by Latino Social Innovation on behalf of the School of Authentic Journalism. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn directly from experienced and accomplished journalists and world-renowned organizers of some of the most effective social movements from recent history, including Oscar Olivera, who was spokesperson for the movement to end water privatization in Bolivia, and Greg Berger, filmmaker and Co-Director of the Viral Video team of the School of Authentic Journalism.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Get a DVD of some of the best videos produced by the viral video team of The School of Authentic Journalism and some of our outrageous satirical videos about the Mexican Drug War and the movement to stop it. "Narco-Mania And Other Parodies of the War on Drugs in Mexico" with your gift of $50!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Need a poster for your event? Our star professor Karina González will design a poster for your event for a gift of $50 or more!

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    School of Authentic Journalism Director and Founder Al Giordano has been an essential voice on politics South and North of the U.S. Border for decades. In 2007 he called the following year's U.S. presidential election for Obama before any other media took him seriously. His subscription-only newsletter, "Al Giordano's América" contains essential commentary on politics from throughout the Americas. Get a one year's subscription for a $70 gift!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Workshop for journalists, storytellers, media-makers, and community organizers.
    (Standard level)
    Join us for a limited admission digital workshop organized by Latino Social Innovation on behalf of the School of Authentic Journalism. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn directly from experienced and accomplished journalists and world-renowned organizers of some of the most effective social movements from recent history, including Oscar Olivera, who was spokesperson for the movement to end water privatization in Bolivia, and Greg Berger, filmmaker and Co-Director of the Viral Video team of the School of Authentic Journalism.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Have you seen "Frack U. Mexico!" It's the viral video sensation by Narco News TV whose outlandish narrator, Texan gas tycoon "Joe T. Hodo" taught millions of Mexicans what fracking is and what the consequences would be for Mexico. Get School of Authentic Journalism professor Uriel Perez's epic poster for the film with your gift of $100 or more.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    New York City´s Lower East Side Tenement Museum has been called "one of the most interesting museums in the country." We have a limited offer of two admission tickets to the museum for anyone who gives $100!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    It's the School of Authentic Journalism combo pack! For $150 get a "Narco-Mania" DVD, a "Frack U. Mexico" poster, and a one year subscription to "Al Giordano's América"

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Heading to Arizona anytime soon? Journalist Mari Herreras, Class of 2012, will host you for a night and give you a tour of the city including dinner...for a gift of $150 or more!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Would you like to know more about any of the topics that School of Authentic Journalism founder Al Giordano has reported on? Up to five people who give $150 or more will have the opportunity to chat with Al via skype on The Drug War, Latin American Social Movements, U.S. Politics, or any topic you like!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Want a tour of Manhattan with a guide like no other? Alex is like no other performer in New York. She has created and performed her own sensational theatrical works around the world to rave reviews, appeared in the Internet television series, "Zhe Zhe," and once even fooled the national press into thinking that she was the long lost daughter of comedian Andy Kaufman! (Trust us, it will make sense when you meet her.)
    The school's most charming professor will spend an afternoon or evening with you and friends discovering New York's hidden gems, secret hideaways, neighborhood characters, histories and legends -- with a special emphasis on the city's best food and performance spots between Loisaida and Chinatown.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Leehee Rothchild, Class of 2013, is an Israeli journalist and political organizer involved with several causes, including the movement within Israel to support the Palestinian cause. For your gift of $200, Leehee will host you at her home in Tel Aviv and provide important background information on the Palestinian struggle from the perspective of the Israeli solidarity movement.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Coming to Mexico City? Would you like to spend some time with School of Authentic Journalism and Narco News founder Al Giordano? Al will take you and up to four friends out to an establishment in Mexico City and treat you to an open bar with your gift of $250 or more!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Come visit Cuernavaca, Mexico, the City of Eternal Spring! School of Authentic Journalism Co-Director Greg "Gringoyo" Berger will host you at his studio apartment in the center of Cuernavaca for three nights with your gift of $250 or more!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Three nights lodging in the Bed and Breakfast owned by our professor Maia Facen will be awarded to two donors who give $300 or more between now and 5PM Eastern time Tuesday, May 5th

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Do you like the new Fund For Authentic Journalism website? Be an Authentic Benefactor and reap the rewards! For your generous gift of $2000 you will receive two sets of each of the previous rewards, PLUS we will create a personalized website for you with the same design layout as ours.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Be a Legendary Auténtico! Have you seen Narco News TV's videos? For your gift of $3000 or more, our team will edit and deliver a fabulous video for you created with your own video footage. Plus three copies of the "Narco-Mania" DVD, a "Frack U. Mexico" poster, and a one year subscription to "Al Giordano's América!"

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Funding period

- (28 days)