It's the place where journalists could better understand the strategies and tactics of winning social movements
By Mkhuseli "Khusta" Jack Class of 2013, School of Authentic Journalism
April 23, 2015
When I was invited to the School of Authentic Journalism in 2013, I was not quite sure what to expect. They wanted me to talk about my experience organizing in the South African movement against apartheid, and its Port Elizabeth boycott, so that journalists could better understand the strategies and tactics of winning social movements.
This was unlike any school I’d ever seen. First, even as a professor I was assigned one of the three workgroups of the school to learn how to practice authentic journalism. I was placed in the viral video group, where I learned to use a video camera for the first time. At the school, professors learn alongside the scholars, who at other times serve as teachers, too.
And we’re all expected to work. In our group we wrote scripts, designed, filmed and edited short videos for the Internet on the themes of journalism and civil resistance. I’ve told many people around the world that the school’s leader, Al Giordano, must have some kind of magic, because he gets so much work out of those students, and the more work they do, the more fun they have together!
They also made a video with the Bolivian social leader Oscar Olivera and I talking about our experiences as organizers of social movements in our countries, and we discovered that although we are from different continents that speak different languages, our struggles encountered many of the same obstacles and came up with many of the same solutions. If you haven’t seen the video – “Two Struggles, One Story” – I invite you to see it here:
The School of Authentic Journalism must continue. I hope we can bring it to South Africa one day. The graduates of this school – from every continent – become very close as a result of the experience, and are working hard to keep the school going. For 2015, the school can happen in Mexico again if enough people around the world pledge donations to the Kickstarter campaign that the graduates have organized. Here’s a link to join the effort:
The deadline to raise these funds and make the 2015 School of Authentic Journalism happen is May 18. Please click the link and give whatever you can. Many small contributions, working together, can move mountains.
On a personal note, I can report that when I returned to South Africa, my children were very excited to see that I had learned how to use a video camera. If you’re a parent you know that it’s not always easy for a father to impress his children, but the School of Authentic Journalism gave that to me, too.