The Narco News Bulletin

July 15, 2018 | Issue #67 - Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America

My Journey Is on a Path Called Authentic Journalism

Please Help Us Cover the Tolls Along the Way

By Jika Gonzalez
Class of 2012, School of Authentic Journalism

March 19, 2012
This report appears on the internet at

Last year I found myself speaking to a teenage girl in a women's shelter in Bangladesh. I knew Saba's story before I knew her; a volunteer at the shelter had shared it with me. This beautiful Bengali girl stood in front of me while we attempted conversation using sign language and charades. My presence seemed to make her happy, but I couldn't stop thinking of her story.

Saba had been born in the slums and married at age 14. When her husband found himself in debt with his boss, he let the man rape his young wife to pay off the debt. Her husband, the entrepreneur, then realized he could earn a living by making her sleep with local clients. She was repeatedly raped and beaten; her life had become an absolute hell.

By the time I met Saba, she had managed to get out of the marriage and was living at the shelter, but today I wonder what the future holds for her, in a world where all her basic human rights have been violated.

Stories like this rarely make headlines, and when they do, there tends to be a focus on victimization. But there is another side to this story, the part about Saba being an agent in her own life, of a girl fighting to better her situation against all odds, and this is the story I want to tell.

Journalism exists to provide information, but it is also a medium that is meant to create awareness and hopefully ignite conversations and debates that can pave the way to change the story and situation of a girl like Saba.

I am currently preparing to go on journey, not somewhere distant or half way around the world, but a journey home to Mexico City. I will be accompanied by 80 people, coming from all walks of life and from all around the world. We are coming together to learn about journalism and civil resistance from one another.

We are coming together thanks to the Fund for Authentic Journalism, which is supporting 40 scholarships for students to attend the School of Authentic Journalism. I am one of these fortunate scholars. For ten days we will be challenging ourselves to think beyond the latest headlines in the news and grow in our craft, exploring how to tell stories in more powerful and effective ways.

While it is our job as journalists to report on the violation of human rights, it's also our job to report on those who are fighting these violations. It is our responsibility to report on movements of resistance, community organizing and strategic non-violence.

As I am sure you know, journalism is not the most lucrative business these days, and it takes money and resources to get the job done.

You can donate right away online via this link:

Or by sending a check to:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism
PO Box 1446
Easthampton, MA 01027 USA

This school depends on donations from people like you. Nothing is too little and anything helps.

Jika Gonzalez

Mexican Journalist in New York City
Class of 2012, School of Authentic Journalism

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