<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
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Announcing Two Scholarships in Journalism and Organizing

Applications Due March 15 to Be Eligible for Free Attendance at the April 24-26 Workshop at the Rowe Conference Center in Massachusetts


By Al Giordano
President, The School of Authentic Journalism

February 19, 2009

The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, together with the Rowe Conference Center, announces the availability of two scholarships to attend the weekend workshop, The Organizing of the President, that I’ll be hosting April 24-26 in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.


The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, Class of 2003, Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
D.R. 2003 Jeremy Bigwood
The scholarships will go to community organizers that seek to better utilize journalism and the Internet in their organizing work, or to independent journalists, media makers or bloggers that report on community organizing campaigns.

The scholarships include the full costs of room, board and conference fee for – but does not include travel costs to and from – the Friday-Sunday workshop, which the Rowe Conference Center’s website describes here:

“27 years ago, at the age of 21, Al Giordano met Abbie Hoffman at Rowe Conference Center. For several years they collaborated on community organizing campaigns from Massachusetts to Pennsylvania, from Canada to Nicaragua. Hoffman, in his final book, called Al “the best under-30 community organizer in the United States,” in part due to his seminal organizing in the New England anti-nuclear movement, including founding the campaign to close the late Rowe nuclear plant.

“Al Giordano’s journalism has brought him back to his roots as a community organizer. Taking a leave of absence from his newspaper, he reported extensively on a fellow community organizer’s successful campaign to become president of the United States. Through his blog, The Field, he covered the Obama movement through the grassroots organizing lens and called the results, in advance, of 51 out of 55 primary and caucus contests, earning the term ‘prescient’ from Vanity Fair. He reported the presidential campaign from twelve swing states and emerged as the go-to journalist and online mentor for a new generation of community organizers.

“‘Obama has done America the great favor of having organized us,’ says Al. ‘Now is the time for us to return the favor and organize him: to change the context by which he governs through organizing our own cities and towns for real and lasting change.’

“Al will share the nuts and bolts techniques of organizing and of utilizing new media to increase its chances of success.”

You can read more about the workshop here.

Because space is limited for this exciting and informative event, applicants who plan to attend the workshop whether or not you receive the scholarship can register for the conference at this link to reserve your seat (should you be fortunate enough to win one of the two scholarships your deposit will be fully refunded).

When the School for Authentic Journalism has granted scholarships for longer sessions in Mexico and Bolivia, thousands of applicants completed a very complex 14-page application. For this April session we’re going to streamline that process…

Instructions for Scholarship Applicants

Please follow these instructions as exactly as you can:

A. To receive the application questionnaire send an email to scholarship2009@authenticjournalism.org and we will email you the application form.

B. Completed applications are due at midnight, via email only, Sunday, March 15.

C. The applications are on a Word document (.doc) and should be returned in that same format.

D. If you would like us to review any of your prior work (writings, video, audio) as part of your application you must post that work to the Internet and send us a link via email. Please do not send any materials as attachments other than the completed application as a Word document. This is an email-only process: submissions sent via snail mail to The Fund for Authentic Journalism’s physical address will not be eligible.

E. We will announce the scholarship winners on or before March 24, 2009, one month prior to the conference.

F. The School of Authentic Journalism does not discriminate based on age, gender, race, creed, sexual orientation or any other factor. Anybody may apply for and be eligible for these scholarships.

If you can’t attend the April 24-26 conference but would like to sponsor an additional scholarship – making it possible for us to grant more than two – please email me at narconews@gmail.com.

There are so many promising community organizers and independent journalists reporting their work – and so many more after 2008 than ever before – that we wish we could grant more than two scholarships. If you know someone that would be ideal for this scholarship please consider sponsoring him or her to attend the workshop.

It was at a workshop very much like this one at the Rowe Conference Center, 28 years ago, that my own calling as an organizer and communicator came of age. The organizer that trained me is no longer with us to witness the renaissances of community organizing and authentic journalism afoot today. But his work carries on because he invested considerable time and effort to train and prepare the next generation. It is therefore my personal debt – and that of all of us – to keep that flame burning bright.

Good luck in your application and whether you apply or not for a scholarship, I hope to see you at Rowe on April 24-26.

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