<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
 English | Español August 15, 2018 | Issue #65

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Al Giordano

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

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


You'll Never Walk Alone

“Solidarity, Friendship, Inspiring and Authentic Journalism; You’ll Get It All”

By Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
Class of 2010, School of Authentic Journalism

June 8, 2010

Dear Reader,

When I travel anywhere on my own, the first 24 hours are normally the worst.

I turn into an emotional ball of nerves, crying at the drop of a hat. Questions run through my mind endlessly: Why am I here? Did I really travel thousands of miles away from home, alone? Am I suffering from a chemical imbalance of some sort? Sometimes, I even think about cutting my trip short and coming home earlier than planned.

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours (standing, second from the left) and the Investigative Journalism Work Group at the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism.
As I said, the first 24 hours? They’re the worst.

So far, there have been only two instances when traveling alone that this sense of fear hasn’t taken me hostage. Landing at Tel Aviv airport two weeks ago was one. And the other, the first, was when I arrived in Quintana Roo for the 2010 School of Authentic Journalism this past February.

What was it about walking to my room in Puerto Morelos – the School’s first of three separate campuses – that didn’t immediately send me into a frenzy of nervousness? Was it Al, our ever-inspiring Authentic Journalism leader, offering me a beer, before I even had the chance to put down my bags? Was it the smiling faces and over twenty names that were yelled my way, impossible to remember all in one shot? Or maybe were the lively conversations taking place everywhere around the table what put me at ease?

Whatever it was, I know that my fears and anxieties were suddenly a thing of the past. In fact, as the ten days of learning, sharing and discussing went by and I returned to snowy Montreal, I realized that I had made deeper connections than I ever could have hoped for. And in essence, I think that these connections are the ultimate strength of Narco News and the School of Authentic Journalism.

Through the inspiring time spent discussing and sharing with like-minded people, a community was formed. And it’s a strong one, at that. Wherever any one of us is in the world, there will always be someone to talk to that can relate to the challenges and issues we’re dealing with. There will always be someone on the other end of the phone, or computer, giving us advice and some much-needed words of encouragement.

So why didn’t I have an emotional breakdown when I passed through Israeli security two weeks ago, you may be wondering? In large part, it was because I knew that Kara Newhouse – a 2010 School of Authentic Journalism grad – was waiting for me in nearby Haifa. It might also have been because I knew that once I got into the country, it wouldn’t be long before I would be visiting another J-School grad, Noha Atef, in Cairo. Or maybe, it was simply because I knew that should anything happen, I have a network of colleagues, teachers and most importantly, friends I could turn to.

By contributing to Narco News and the School of Authentic Journalism, you are entering into this network, this community of generous and inspiring individuals. And as you think about making a much-needed and appreciated donation, know that you will be welcomed with open arms. Solidarity, friendship, inspiring and authentic journalism; you’ll get it all.

You can donate online at this link:


Or you can send a check (please note the new address):

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

And who knows? You might be as lucky as I was, and finally get to leave behind that uneasy, nervous feeling you get when traveling alone. Because as I’ve learned, with Narco News and the School of Authentic Journalism in tow, you never will be.

Thank you always for your support,

Jillian Kestler-D’Amours
Class of 2010, School of Authentic Journalism

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