<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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Al Giordano

Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
¡Bienvenidos en Español!
Bem Vindos em Português!

Editorial Policy and Disclosures

Narco News is supported by:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism

Site Design: Dan Feder

All contents, unless otherwise noted, © 2000-2011 Al Giordano

The trademarks "Narco News," "The Narco News Bulletin," "School of Authentic Journalism," "Narco News TV" and NNTV © 2000-2011 Al Giordano


Meet the 2004 School of Authentic Journalism Faculty

Coming to Bolivia, 35 of 46 Invited Professors Confirmed

By Al Giordano

March 30, 2004

MARCH 29, 2004, FROM SOMEWHERE IN THE LACANDON JUNGLE, VIA WIRELESS LAPTOP: All good news carries an undertow of consequences: The 2004 session of the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, July 30th to August 8th, in Cochabamba and the Chapare region of Bolivia, has become the year’s the hottest ticket in journalism in our América.

Word has spread far and wide around the world about last year’s unprecedented ten-day gathering of Authentic Journalists on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, in February 2003. The results are seen on Narco News, and at other independent projects by so many of the scholars and professors who were there. As a result, look who is coming this year:

Rose Marie Acha, Bolivia
Sunny Angulo, US *
Jeremy Bigwood, US **
Ana Cernov, Brazil *
Alex Contreras Baspineiro, Bolivia *
Bill Conroy, US
Laura del Castillo Matamoros, Colombia *
Andrea Daugirdas, US *
Blanca Eekhout Gómez, Venezuela *
Claudia Espinoza, Bolivia
Dan Feder, México **
Zabeth Flores, México *
Noah Friedsky, Bolivia *
Alvaro García Lineras, Bolivia
Al Giordano, América **
Luis Gómez, Bolivia **
Peter Gorman, US & Peru
Andrew Grice, US
Charlie Hardy, Venezuela **
Barrett Hawes, US *
Forrest Hylton, Bolivia
Ashley Kennedy, US *
Reed Lindsay, Argentina *
Walter Fanganiello Maierovitch, Brazil
Karine Mueller, Brazil *
Annie Nocenti, US **
Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, Bolivia
Renato Rovai, Brazil **
David Rovics, US
George Sánchez, US *A
Ron Smith, US
Andrew Stelzer, US *
Michele Stoddard, US **
Egberto Winston Chipana Limachi, Bolivia

* Denotes 2003 graduate returning as professor.
** Denotes returning 2003 professor.
Country denotes professor’s current location.

(List is subject to amendment.)

The following guest lecturers have been invited, but have not yet confirmed their participation at press time:

Carlos Mesa Gisbert, President of Bolivia
Alfonso Ferrufino, Interior Minister, Bolivia
Evo Morales, Congressman, Bolivia
Oscar Olivera, social leader, Bolivia
Leonilda Zurita, social leader, Bolivia
David N. Greenlee, U.S. Ambassador, Bolivia
Constantino Rojas, chair, communications department, San Simón University, Cochabamba, Bolivia
Marco Carrillo, Cochabamba Press Federation, Bolivia
Dennis Bernstein, US
Cynthia Cotts, US
Barry Crimmins, US
Carl Ginsburg, US
Tom Lesser, US
Mario Menéndez Rodríguez, Mexico **
Evo Morales, Bolivia
Ethan Nadelmann, US **
Julia Reynolds, US
Gary Webb, US **

Additionally, many coca growers, leaders, journalists, political and academic sources from the Chapare and Cochabamba will be joining us for interviews and lectures over the course of these ten days.

Wow. But the undertow rushes in and out: There just isn’t enough space for every high quality professor who wants to come and who has something of merit to teach or say. Many magnificent professionals have generously volunteered their services this year, so many that we don’t have room to invite everybody.

Soraya Aguilar
The “J-School” will be bigger than ever this year. At least 33 scholarships, very possibly more, will be granted. Participants will be invited to attend through an application process (write to solicitud@narconews.com for a copy of the application that is due on May 1st).

Sarahy Flores
In addition, four scholarship recipients of School of Authentic Journalism workshops last August, September, and November, have been invited back to complete the program. They are: Sandra Alland of Canada, Sarahy Flores of Mexico, Annalena Oeffner of Germany, and Lucian Read of the United States… Additionally, Benjamin Melançon of the United States and Soraya Aguilar of Bolivia have earned and received scholarships for this year’s session, bringing the total number of scholars up to 37.

And we already have chosen 46 professors – of them, 35 have confirmed their attendance – whose unique qualities, so necessary for this school, we absolutely cannot do without. Beyond this “starting team” roster listed below, there are others who wanted to come, and who, I hope, in future will be part of this team, but not this year.

In case you haven’t been doing the math as I’ve written the numbers, that’s a total of 72 to 83 Authentic Journalists coming together for ten days.

One of the hardest, most soul-searching, jobs I’ve had in a long while has been to make hard choices from a long roster of professors who have volunteered their services for this event. I apologize in advance to all the very talented and worthy journalists who offered to volunteer for this year’s session but who we could not find space to include. I turned away some good friends who had made generous offers, so I hope that nobody takes it personally. True friendship doesn’t rise or fall on a single party invitation. There will still be “all tomorrow’s parties.”

The specific needs of this year’s session guided the faculty choices, and in some cases established journalists of great talent, commitment, and who bring their own significant audience and spectacular terrain, were not chosen, in order to make room for other journalists whose specific skills were more applicable for the expanded program and workshops we are planning this year in online, print, radio, TV and documentary journalism, and through our expanded translation training program for developing bilingual and trilingual journalists.

We may be yet become able to shoehorn a few more professors in the door, at the point where we know we can bring more students. That will be determined by Civil Society’s continued support for The Fund for Authentic Journalism and specifically toward the J-School.

As you can see from the starting lineup of confirmed and invited professors listed below, kind reader, this year’s “J-School” will be larger and more diverse than ever, with a greater emphasis on broadcast journalism (radio, TV, and documentary filmmaking) and fully equipped production studios in those fields, added to our continued strong emphasis on written, investigative, journalism.

We, the “professors” (we often feel like apprentices, learning at the feet of our own inspiring students, the ones I call scholars) believe so strongly in the importance of this program (and we have such a good time leading it) that we generally pay our own travel, room, and board, for the privilege of teaching the next wave of this Authentic Journalism renaissance. All the professors (see their bios below) deserve our thanks and undying gratitude for volunteering ten days out of their lives this year, gratis, to pass the torch of their experience as we create an international, self-reproducing, rapidly populating, Authentic Journalism renaissance.

One of the great pleasures of determining this year’s faculty roster was reviewing the work of the 26 graduates of the February 2003 session in Mexico, and of being able to invite 14 of those 26 back this year… as professors, because the skills they have developed and continued to master are precisely those needed to make the 2004 session a success.

The envelope, please! The following professors have been invited and have confirmed their participation in the 2004 session of The School of Authentic Journalism.

Gloria Rose Marie Acha, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, is a human rights attorney, author of various books. The most recent is Huellas de Fuego: Crónica de un linchamiento (“Fingerprints of Fire: Chronicle of a Lynching”, Acción Andina, 2003). She is an expert on prison conditions and the legal statutes on coca and drug laws, and was a panelist at the Drug Legalization Summit, 2003, in Mérida, México.
Language: Spanish.

Sunny Angulo, in San Francisco and El Paso, United States, is a 2003 graduate of the J-School, returning now as a professor, who produces and hosts programs on San Francisco Liberation Radio (93.7 FM), and is a member of San Francisco Indymedia collective, and a natural-born leader of women and men. She is co-founder of Enemy Combatant Radio, and has contributed to Pacifica and NPR stations, Free Speech Radio News, StreetLevel TV, and documentary films including “We Interrupt this Empire.” She and other colleagues from San Francisco Liberation Radio are currently suing the U.S. government in court for the right to speak on the airwaves.
Language: English.

Jeremy Bigwood, in Washington DC, United States, is the returning chairman of the J-School photojournalism department, a veteran war correspondent in Central America and the Andes, the world’s leading expert on utilizing the U.S. Freedom of Information act to uncover classified documents; recently sources as diverse as Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez and the New York Times cited Bigwood’s documentation of U.S. financial support for the pro-coup opposition in Venezuela.
Languages: English and Spanish.

Ana Cernov, of São Paulo, Brazil, a 2003 graduate, returning now as a professor, is assistant secretary for international affairs for the City of São Paulo, a skilled translator, fluent in English, Spanish, and her native Portuguese, and expert on the themes of drug policy and revolutionary political theory.
Languages: Portuguese, English, and Spanish.

Alex Contreras Baspineiro, in Cochabamba, Bolivia, a 2003 graduate, veteran print, TV, and radio journalist, author of four books, biographer of Bolivian coca growers’ leader and Congressman Evo Morales, he is now the South American Bureau Chief for Narco News.
Language: Spanish.

Bill Conroy, in San Antonio, United States, is a veteran investigative reporter and editor for the past eighteen years at newspapers in Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota and Texas, his investigative reporting over the past five years has focused on corruption and discrimination within federal law enforcement agencies, and he is author of the book, Borderline Security, published by Narco News.
Language: English.

Laura del Castillo Matamoros, of Colombia, is a 2003 graduate, returning this year as a professor, is the Narco News special correspondent on Plan Colombia; she combines investigative journalism with one of the most powerful writing voices in the hemisphere. Read her account of last year’s School of Authentic Journalism.
Language: Spanish.

Andrea Daugirdas, in New York City, United States, is a 2003 graduate, returned as professor in the August 2003 session of the J-School, returning again as professor of documentary filmmaking, producer of the documentary “I Live in the Bronx,” will be wed in July to August 2003 professor Barrett Hawes, they will spend their honeymoon at the J-School.
Languages: English, Spanish, and Lithuanian.

Blanca Eekhout Gómez, in Caracas, Venezuela, a 2003 graduate returning this year as a professor, is coordinator of Catia TV, one of the longest Community Television stations in the hemisphere, and the model upon which Venezuela’s first-in-the-world law legalizing formerly unlicensed TV and radio stations was partly constructed. Blanca was one of the most vocal and respected scholars of last year’s session of the J-School, who rapidly emerged as a teacher to all about the authentic battle for press freedom – that which must be waged against the private sector censors of the Commercial Media – that her Venezuela lives and pioneers today.
Language: Spanish.

Claudia Espinoza, of La Paz, Bolivia, is an investigative journalist and political reporter for the national Bolivian weekly Pulso, and expert on the US-imposed war on drugs in Bolivia. She has worked for the Bolivian dailies La Prensa and La Razón) and in independent media including the Hora 25 newspaper and the Bolivia Indymedia collective. She also edits the monthly labor bulletin, Alerta Obrera. During the uprising of September and October 2003, she reported courageously from the trenches so that the people could know what had happened.
Language: Spanish.

Dan Feder, in México City, México, returning 2003 professor, is the Narco News Webmaster, and the designer of many websites including BigLeftOutside, Salón Chingón, and the all-new Narcopshere. He has also worked for Narco News as a translator and correspondent. Dan was an award-winning student journalist who served as editor of Boston’s Student Underground.
Languages: English and Spanish.

Zabeth Flores, of Mexico City, México, is a 2003 graduate, returning as professor, former national television reporter for TV-40’s “Contenido Neto” news program, former translator for El Universal, Mexico’s largest daily. Zabeth is a skilled translator, fluent in Spanish and English, and spent three months last year in Brazil learning Portuguese.
Languages: Spanish, English, and Portuguese.

Noah Friedsky, in La Paz, Bolivia, is a 2003 graduate, returning as professor, freelance journalist and photojournalist for New York Times Magazine and other publications, he is fluent in Spanish and English and has reporting on the coca wars and social movements of Bolivia for various years.
Languages: English and Spanish.

Alvaro García Lineras, in La Paz, Bolivia, is a national television commentator, former political prisoner, author, columnist, and university professor, and was a panelist at the 2003 Drug Legalization Summit in Mérida, México. His works include a book on mining in Bolivia and various collective books about the social movements and insurgency in this county, such as The Return of Plebian Bolivia and Times of Rebellion.
Language: Spanish.

Luis Gómez, in La Paz, Bolivia, was Narco News Andean Bureau Chief (2001-2003), and is a returning professor, an experienced investigative journalist, born in México City, currently writing a book about the October 2003 rebellion in Bolivia.
Languages: Spanish, English, and Portuguese.

Peter Gorman, in Austin, Texas, United States and Iquitos, Peru, is a veteran Amazon reporter and High Times editor, former consultant to the Museum of Natural History in New York, with more than 15 years experience covering the War on Drugs, both nationally and internationally, is owner of the Cold Beer and Blues Bar on the Iquitos, River, in Perú, a favorite stop of US DEA and intelligence agents who come spilling information and disinformation… in 2002, when government drug warriors shot down a small airplane, killing a Christian missionary and her infant child, unleashing an international controversy, the airplane fell in Peter’s front yard.
Languages: English and Spanish.

Andrew Grice, in Madison Heights, United States, is treasurer of The Fund for Authentic Journalism, instrumental in the Civil Society campaign that brought Narco News back to life this year, has the distinction of having raised $10,000 in 42 days to support the work of Narco News and the J-School, will share what he and the project have learned, from necessity, about fundraising and financing authentic journalism without selling out.
Language: English.

Charlie Hardy, in Caracas, Venezuela, is a 2003 professor who returned for the September 2003 session of the J-School in Mexico, a former Catholic priest, columnist for Vheadline.com, he has lived in a poor neighborhood of Caracas for fourteen years.
Languages: English and Spanish.

Barrett Hawes, in New York City, United States, has produced videos and documentaries for MTV, VH1, the Discovery Channel and many other leading media organizations, a professor of the August 2003 session of the J-School in Mexico, and engaged to wed colleague Andrea Daugirdas this summer.
Language: English.

Forrest Hylton, in La Paz, Bolivia, writes frequently on news events from Colombia and Bolivia for Counterpunch, Znet, and Left Turn magazine. He has also written for New Left Review, Against the Current, Green Left Weekly, New Socialist, Rebelion.org, Desde Abajo, El Mundo Ciudadano, and Pulso magazine. With Sinclair Thomson, he is co-editor of Ya es otro tiempo el presente: Cuatro momentos de insurgencia indigena (“The Present Is Already Another Time: Four Moments in Indigenous Insurgency”, La Paz, 2003), and is the author of An Evil Hour: The Colombian Crisis in Historical Context (London, 2004). He is co-founder of the Committee to Free Pacho Cortés and the Committee for Social Justice in Colombia. A Ph.D candidate in history at New York University, he is currently conducting doctoral research in Bolivia on the participation of indigenous communities in the Federal War of 1899. His wealth of knowledge of the political history and struggles of the Andean region make him an excellent source and advisor for scholars learning about, and reporting on, the Andean news.
Languages: English and Spanish.

Ashley Kennedy, in New Orleans, United States, is a 2003 graduate returning this year as a professor. A writer for High Times magazine, she is a skilled investigative reporter and one of the most creative writers, able to apply her potent sense of humor to make complex social issues understandable and interesting to the public, that we have ever met. Her 2003 masterpiece, “The Superior Bush,” about the humble coca plant, appears on Narco News.
Language: English.

Reed Lindsay, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is a 2003 graduate returning this year as a professor, whose prolific reporting from Argentina, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Haiti, during times of crisis has been published extensively throughout the world including in the Boston Globe, Newsday, the Washington Times, The Guardian of London, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Australian, Hi Pakistan, the Toronto Star, and the Baltimore Sun, among others; he is rapidly setting the gold standard for English language daily newspaper correspondents in Latin America.
Languages: Spanish and English.

Walter Fanganiello Maierovitch, in São Paulo, Brazil, was his country’s first “drug czar,” and now is an editor and columnist for the leading national newsweekly CartaCapital.
Language: Portuguese.

Karine Mueller, in Brasilia, Brazil, is a 2003 graduate returning this year as a professor, a skilled reporter and writer, who has covered the national Congress and chronicled the evolution of Brazil’s drug policies extensively.
Languages: Portuguese, Spanish and some English.

Annie Nocenti, in New York City, United States, is a 2003 professor returning this year, editor of High Times magazine, previously the editor of a screenwriting magazine, Scenario and editor-at-large at Prison Life, she has interviewed scores of great directors including Francis Ford Coppola, Roman Polanski, Mary Harron, Steven Soderberg, and Darren Aronofsky. She has written numerous comic books and graphic novels for Marvel and D.C. Comics, including Typhoid, Kid Eternity, Daredevil, Longshot, and upcoming Batman stories. She was the script editor for The Fifth Night screenplay reading series at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Nocenti’s plays have been included in the 24-hour Play series and the Lincoln Center Out of Doors series.
Language: English.

Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui, in La Paz, Bolivia, is one of the world’s leading authors and experts on the coca leaf, with long experience in the Yungas region of Bolivia. She is the author of Oprimidos pero no vencidos (“Oppressed but not Conquered,” 2003, Edicciones Aruwiri) and Las Fronteras de la Coca (“The Frontiers of Coca,” 2003, Edicciones Aruwiri) – that is now included in video and monograph form – and a visiting professor at Columbia University in New York, University of Texas in Austin, Andina Simón Bolívar University in Ecuador, International University of Rábida in Spain, and Salta and Jujuy Universities of Argentina. She is a former Guggenheim Fellow, and one of the more interesting trilingual personalities in our América.
Languages: Spanish, English and Aymara.

Renato Rovai
, in São Paulo, Brazil, is a 2003 professor returning this year, veteran investigative journalist, editor and publisher of the national magazine, Forum, he launched Narco News’ Portuguese language coverage in February 2003.
Languages: Portuguese, Spanish, now learning English.

David Rovics and his guitar, on the road in the United States and elsewhere, is a prolific singer-songwriter whose lyrics on topical events are them selves a form of authentic journalism, he’ll be strumming around the campus poolside and composing new works about the news stories that our students and professors report on from coca growing lands.
Languages: English and music.

George Sánchez, a 2003 graduate returning this year as a professor, is a Pocho from Los Angeles and staff reporter for the Salinas Californian, who has published in Mother Jones, The Nation, Punk Planet, and El Andar magazine. Together with Julie Reynolds, his investigative reporting on Latino gangs in Northern California has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, La Jornada, and the Oakland Tribune.
Languages: English and Spanglish.

Ron Smith, in Eugene, United States, is an independent documentary filmmaker who has chronicled popular movements for social justice, and the human impacts of U.S. military aid, throughout América. He has reported for Pacifica Network News and several alternative newspapers. Ron reported for Narco News from Venezuela and Ecuador and is currently working on a feature documentary about U.S. intervention in Plan Colombia. His first film, about grassroots resistance to globalization in El Salvador, Resistance as Democracy, has been featured by numerous film festivals throughout the world and has been translated into four languages.
Languages: English and Spanish.

Andrew Stelzer, a 2003 graduate returning this year as a professor, is a reporter and producer at Community radio station WMNF in Tampa, Florida. In the previous three years he reported news and produced radio theater for KBOO community radio in Portland, Oregon, where he was the station’s youth advocate, training teenagers in radio reporting and production. Andrew regularly reports for Free Speech Radio News and for Independent Native News, and has been featured nationally on programs including Makin Contact, Workers Independent News Service, Pacifica’s PeaceWatch, and Sprouts. Recipient of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Excellence in Journalism Award, he has also managed a homeless shelter, works with kids a lot, and plays basketball wherever he can find a good game.
Language: English.

Michele Stoddard, in New York City, United States, 2003 professor returning this year, is the former editor of Covert Action Quarterly, now board member and secretary of The Fund for Authentic Journalism. She has the distinction of being the individual who, in the 1980s, convinced your college president that he had to start reading books and understanding critical theory.
Languages: English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

Egberto Winston Chipana Limachi, in Chichipiri, Bolivia, is director of Radio Soberanía (“Radio Sovereignty”), the most-listened-to radio station in the coca-growing Chapare region, about to expand into television broadcasting, too.
Languages: Spanish and Quechua.

The following professors have been invited but have not yet confirmed their attendance at press time:

President Carlos Mesa Gisbert, Bolivia, Alfonso Ferrufino, Interior Minister, Bolivia, Evo Morales, national congressman, Bolivia, Oscar Oliveira, social leader, Bolivia, Leonilda Zurita, union leader, Bolivia, David N. Greenlee, U.S. Ambassador, Bolivia, Constantino Rojas, Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Bolivia, Marco Carrillo, Cochabamba Press Federation, Bolivia, Dennis Bernstein, San Francisco, United States, host of Flashpoints Radio – Cynthia Cotts, United States, media critic and “Press Clips” columnist for The Village VoiceBarry Crimmins, United States, political humorist and commentator for Air America, the new national talk radio network debuting on March 31st – Carl Ginsberg, New York City, United States, programming director, Air America, former national TV network news producer – Tom Lesser, Northampton, United States, free speech attorney, 2003 professor, invited back – Mario Menéndez Rodríguez, editor and publisher of the daily Por Esto!, Merida, Mexico, 2003 professor, invited back – Ethan Nadelmann, New York, United States, criminologist and leading drug policy expert, 2003 professor, invited back – Julia Reynolds, California, United States, investigative journalist, El Andar magazine – Gary Webb, United States, author of Dark Alliance, 2003 professor, invited back.

That is the starting lineup for the 2004 session of the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, to be held July 30th through August 8th in Cochabamba and the coca-growing Chapare region of Bolivia. In mid-May we’ll tell you the names of the scholars selected to work with them for ten days in July and August.

To receive an application for this scholarship in Authentic Journalism, send an email to solicitud@narconews.com.

Cosponsored By:Transportation Provided By:
Universidad Mayor de San Simon
Lloyd Aereo Boliviano

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