社運電影節成員呼籲:真誠新聞學學院緊急籌款 school of authentic journalism

各位朋友:

去年的香港社會運動電影節,我們播放了[底語呢喃:來自佔領運動/雨傘運動/雨傘革命的聲音],在訪問有關製作人員時,了解到他/她在思考這齣影片的製作時是受到美洲的真誠新聞學學院school of authentic journalism所啟發(訪問詳情請參考:https://hksmff2016.wordpress.com/2016/08/27/voicesomumur/)。

今年,我們收到來自真誠新聞學院的緊急呼籲,希望在國際社群當中籌集2017年的經費。真誠新聞學院的創辦人埃.左岸丹勞,在早期做了多年基層組織者,之後做了多年的真誠新聞學的原則,站在被壓迫的人民一方的有立場但不口號化,有視角但不偏頗的報導。真誠新聞學院是一所無經費的學院,沒有地方,只有每年游牧地在不同的地方舉辦,現時為止已為世界培育了五百名畢業生,而這些畢業生大都駐紥在許多受壓迫的邊緣社群的地方,而以南美洲為主。

在南美洲,做這種新聞報導,須付上極大代價,既有生命危險,亦要忍受同樣貧困的環境與生活。過往,香港社會運動電影節放映過不同與南美洲相關的影片,不論是關於社會運動的另類模式,或是建立新社會的嘗試,都對歷屆的電影節成員和觀眾帶來不同的啟發。而真誠新聞學院的創辦人、教師和畢業生們都多少與這些抗爭有關。第十四屆的電影節的部份成員,實在不忍見到處於如此艱辛處境的朋友面對用錢可以解決的問題。

因此,我們呼籲各位去屆電影節的籌委、共工、小精靈、觀眾,可以為真誠新聞學院投入一點點,希望,透過國際的連結,我們可以互相扶持,為共創一個合理合情的世界而投入。真誠新聞學院的創辦人,現身罹癌症的埃.左岸丹勞向國際社群發出了呼籲,我們已翻譯之並放在下方,敬希大家參閱。

現時籌款狀況有些緊急,我們須在四日內向著美金$31,471,即大約$245,473.8港元的目標進發。
希望各位朋友可以各盡所能,支援在遠方不斷努力的朋友。

謝謝!!!

一群第十四屆香港社會運動電影節成員敬約


(click here for the original letter)

中文翻譯如下:

2017年3月9日
懇請廣傳

各位朋友,

已經是十五年了。當時我跟一些朋友開創了真誠新聞學學院,以回應不少年青人想要來覺醒新聞(narco news)跟我們學習的電郵 – 這當時仍是一個相對年輕的通訊方式。創立學院的朋友當中亦包括了現已離世的加利維伯 (Gary Webb) (1954 – 2004)。

我們剛在墨西哥國家銀行控告馬里奧 萬蘭迪斯,埃.左岸丹勞及覺醒新聞的指標性訴訟中獲判得直 – 這在美國案例法中首次確立了美國憲法第一修正案對互聯網新聞工作者的保障。

我當時四十二歲,健康十足,每年,或甚至每月,在這半球上來回穿梭數千哩,報導著拉丁美洲最需被報導的衝突。

今天我已五十七歲,亦需滯留於美國,每天接受試圖治療我於去年十月確診的癌症。而在國境之南,主要在墨西哥,我這二十年來所建立的家庭、社群、生活,都在數千哩外。而可令我抵受這艱苦療程的思考是,如果我可以走過這階段,我就可再與我的朋友和工作伙伴在一起。特別是,回到令這生命最具意義的,真誠新聞學學院。

在完結這訊息之前,我要請你承諾捐助 – 在你可負擔範圍最慷慨的捐助 – 2017年度真誠新聞學學院的起動基金。我們只還有稍多於一星期的時間去籌足一萬五千美圓的目標 (我們現在只籌得一半)。如果你及其他人並不找緊這時刻去達至這目標,你所承諾的捐助將不會被收取,真誠新聞基金亦不會接受它們,而真誠新聞學學院今年亦不會開辦。

如果你已知道你會去承諾捐助,那你不必再聽我的遊說,以下就是那連結,請點擊它並立即承諮捐助:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1652340249/the-2017-school-of-authentic-journalism

這些籌款衝刺往往令我充滿壓力,但都沒有這次大。畢竟,就好像醫生每天都提醒我,沒可能保證到2018或2019年的真誠新聞學學院時我還會在。當我在今個月或下一個月完成我的療程後,我親愛的人和我將需要等待三個月,亦有可能要六個月,到時再看掃瞄分析顯視那腫瘤是否已被打敗。如一切順利,那之後將會是持續五年的定期檢查。

只有這療程可讓我爭取多數年。如果沒有這治療(要多謝奧巴馬),我將需面對快速來臨的死亡。像這樣的真像,讓生命的優次清晰呈現。而我的就是,真誠新聞學學院的存活和繁衍。

如果2017年的學院不能成事,我懷疑我是否已參與及教導了最後一屆?

多年來,我為國際社群每天報導、組織、培訓、書寫、鼓動,也從國際社群中學習和分享。現時我每天都在守望著是否有足夠的好人們是否對此作出迴響和投入,去看看我用生命所打造的工作是否能在這個國際社群中獲得足夠的支援。在現時身體最少算部份殘障的生活裡,要維持這樣的工作,即使退一步來說,也算是有一點激動或狂妄吧。

過去十五年來,我最大的快樂(和最重要的工作)就是通過真誠新聞學院去培訓年青人繼承這個工作。我把各種相關經驗所學懂的知識,包括調研報導方法;如何在衝突前線保護人身安全(不是只是記者,也包括我們正在報導的人們);抵抗和面對貪腐;避免單純西瓜靠大邊的[新聞包]報導等。同時我也傳遞相關的技巧:清晰的書寫、動人的攝影和收音工作、寫好的新聞讀本令新聞能有感染力、如何在互聯網的荒漠上搜尋有用資訊、有效的調研、公眾發言,不一而足。

我學到和能分享的最寶貴的課堂,不是在傳統的新聞學院裡:那裡不再有人教授新聞學的策略了!

一個記者如何知道他/她的工作是否為世界帶來了什麼改變呢?我們如何保證這改變會發生呢?當報導社會運動和值得報導的事物時,我們如何可以避免好心做壞事,以期令到一個有價值的運動能獲取成功呢?

我從不教什麼[客觀中立]的新聞觀。從不。這個詞語本身是一個謊言。任何人如果告訴你他正在客觀地報導,他不是在騙你,便是對自己所作所為無知至極。任何一個我曾遇過的記者都不過是人類。因此,理論上我們任何一人都無法客觀中立,即使一秒也不可能。

同時,我一直實踐和教導的方法,是一方面了解站穩立場去展開對事情的理解,但另一方面,傳單化、口號化、教條化是必須痛苦地避免的。一個新聞工作者,應該要一絲不苟地誠實。一個真誠新聞工作者會避免廉價和容易的報導,避免資訊錯誤和操控。反之,應要提昇報導內容,去建立長期有信任的讀者、聽眾或觀眾。希望為世界或社群帶來良好改變及幫助別人的新聞工作者,必須學懂去除許多業內已長久養成的惡劣假設。

一個有效的前線新聞工作必須知道和明白真正的組織工作和單純的[行動主義]的差別,以及兩者之間為何經常會帶來不同(而且經常是相反)的結果。能夠好好地報導今天的各種社會運動,我們必須向以往曾成功向目標邁進及失敗的運動例子汲取知識和經驗,因而能明白什麼類型的策略和戰術能協助或傷害運動的目標。

我最後的師傅阿比。荷夫曼告在我廿一歲時告訴我:[沒有比能全身投入去挑戰權力結構並得勝能帶給你更大的亢奮]。

我回望我的生命,我能確認他是對的。沒有什麼比得最終獲勝更能令人滿足。對於我能成為許多獲勝的運動的一份子,我非常感恩。

相類同地,沒有什麼會比投身付出血汗淚水見,見到失敗,更糟糕的事。我們大部份人都有這個失敗的經驗,且次數肯定比獲勝多。被擊敗是對靈魂的衝擊,會養成退縮、悲觀、失落和更差的東西。

另一方面,勝利實在令人感到幸福。想獲勝需要終生的投身、行動、微笑、樂觀和更多的勝利。當我們曾經獲勝,我們就要核心地知道我們可以再勝!

對我而言,早期作為一個社群組織者,而過去三十年作為一名新聞工作者,我承認這些全都是獲勝的經驗。糾正一個錯誤、阻止一個欺凌者(或一群),把公義還給受欺壓的人,把自由還給無辜的人,這些都是新聞工作的生涯中最重要的時刻。

還有什麼能令一個正常人把自己投身給公共生活(無論是新聞工作或是組織工作),還要接收隨之而來的各種攻擊、妒忌與惡意?(當你有什麼一點成就時,這些滋擾就會隨之而來)。我做這些從不是要說服自己[我是好人/超人]。我知我不是。我只是投身其中以助帶來了那些改變:阻止建設核電站、停止破壞社區的巨型建設、撬開那些受權力操控的檢控官的手、去阻擋像所謂的毒品戰爭這樣的暴政、去為大眾(而非少數人)開放互聯網新戰線等等。

腎上腺素(阿比所指的[亢奮])在這些戰役中不斷湧現。不過,在我經驗中最持久的改變,是發生在每次一對一的人與人之間,是在一個擁抱和容許這個過程的社群中。這就是為何要創辦真誠新聞學院。這是一個創造出來讓新一代可以受到啟發,和獲得裝備去承傳這些工作的空間。

當然,這仍未能成為一個常年都存在的校園。我們從未享有這種資源。十五年來,這都是一所游牧學院。學院曾存在於墨西哥尤加坦半島、玻利維亞那邊的阿瑪遜叢林、中墨西哥山區、喧囂的馬德里市區、寧靜的伯克希爾山區、紐約市區。我們一直持續著,現在已有500名畢業生。

2017年,學院是否可以持續,全都看這個Kickstarter籌款的進度,在下周五前,便知道成敗了。

即使在這個被診斷出致命疾病的幾個月裡,我都沒有請求大家為我做什麼。我的<美州>通訊的訂閱者們和奧巴馬醫改已讓我看到成功治療的希望。但學院呢?即使我被治好了,如果在我長期缺席下學院就不能存活,我病好要回到哪裡去呢?更糟糕的是,那些年青的組織者和新聞工作者,需要相關的培訓時要到哪裡去呢?如果今年籌款不夠,我要向很想參加的他/她們說什麼好呢?

求大家了,請不要讓我去回答這個問題。請現在就按下此連結和投入你的一份吧(如果你已捎款,實在十分感恩):
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1652340249/the-2017-school-of-authentic-journalism

在每個人的生命裡,總有些人比當下的[自我]和[我們]是更重要的。而這些就是我們在路上將遇上的另一個[自我]和[我們]。這些就是真誠新聞學院將來的學員們,又或被棄諸路旁的人們。一切只看你是否投入這次的籌款活動了。

你的投入,是關於成就下一個驛站上將臨的[我們]。在一起,才能抵達。

愛大家的

埃 左岸丹勞
創辦人. 真誠新聞學院
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
這封信是日前在寄給[埃 左岸丹勞看美洲通訊]上公開的。通訊訂閱者今年(2017)將會捐訂閱費$70美元給真誠新聞學院,而通訊本身將會是一個禮物,贈予在Kickstarter 籌款運動中捐贈至少這個數目的朋友。


(original letter)

March 9, 2017
Please Distribute Widely

Dear Colleague,

It’s been fifteen years since some friends and I, including the late Gary Webb (1954-2004), invented and launched the School of Authentic Journalism as our response to a clamor from young people who were asking – via email, then a relatively young form of communication – to come work with me at Narco News.

We had just won the landmark lawsuit – Banamex v Mario Menendez, Al Giordano and Narco News – that established the earliest First Amendment protections for Internet journalists in US case law.

I was 42, of bountiful health, crisscrossing the hemisphere thousands of miles each year – sometimes each month – reporting from Latin America’s most newsworthy conflict zones and regions.

Today I’m 57 and under daily medical treatment with intent to cure the cancer I was diagnosed with last October, and stuck in the United States to receive it. My home, community and daily life – built for two decades south of the border, mainly in Mexico – are thousands of miles away. The thought that keeps me most hanging on through this treatment’s brutal side effects is that if I get through this I can get back there among my friends and colleagues, and most specifically, to the School of Authentic Journalism; the project that brought the most meaning to this life.

Before this message is done, I’m going to ask you to pledge – as generously as you can – to the School of Authentic Journalism’s 2017 Kickstarter campaign. We have only a little more than a week to raise another $15,000 (we’re only halfway there) and meet the goal. If you and others do not rise to the moment and meet the goal, none of your pledges will be collected, the Fund for Authentic Journalism will not receive them, and the school will not happen this year.

If you already know you are going to pledge, and you don’t need to hear my pitch, here is the link. Please click it and pledge right now:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1652340249/the-2017-school-of-authentic-journalism

These fundraising drives are always stressful for me, but none more so than the present one. After all, as doctors remind me daily, there are no guarantees I’ll be around for a 2018 or 2019 School of Authentic Journalism. When I finish my treatment this month or next, my loved ones and I will have to wait three months – maybe even six – for the first scans that might show whether the tumor has been defeated or not. From there will come, if things go well at each step, another five years of regular tests.

Only this treatment can buy me more years. Without it (thanks, Obama) I’d be facing fairly rapid death. Realities like that make life’s priorities crystal clear. Mine is that the School of Authentic Journalism survive and thrive.

If a 2017 school can’t happen, I wonder: Have I attended and taught at the final one already?

Watching, checking daily to see if enough good people have responded and pledged, waiting to find out if my life’s work still enjoys enough support from the international community that I’ve reported for, organized, trained, written to, learned from, shared with, cajoled and provoked all these years, to sustain it even while I’m at least temporarily disabled, is, well, a bit agonizing to say the least.

Over the past fifteen years my greatest pleasure – and most important work – has been training younger people to do this work through the School of Authentic Journalism. I’ve passed on my experiences of investigative reporting, safety in conflict zones (not just for journalists but for the communities we report from), resisting and confronting corruption, avoiding the lazy “pack journalism” that merely follows the crowd – the knowledge I’ve learned from those experiences – and, of course, the skills: clear writing, compelling camera and microphone work, scripting video to go “viral,” navigating the rowdy Wild West frontier of the Internet, effective investigation, public speaking and so much more.

The most valuable lessons I’ve learned – and share – are not taught in traditional journalism schools: Nobody teaches the strategy of journalism any more!

How can a journalist tell if his or her work is making a difference? How can we assure that it does? When reporting on social movements and worthy causes, how can we bypass the proverbial road to hell that is paved with good intentions to help – and never harm – a worthy movement’s chances for success.

I don’t practice or teach “objective journalism.” I never have. The term itself is a lie. Anybody who tells you he is objective at reporting is either being knowingly dishonest to you or is so gracelessly unaware of his or her own limitations that he and she are not worth following at all. Every journalist I’ve ever met is human. Therefore, by definition, none of us are objective or even capable of it for a New York minute.

At the same time, I’ve practiced and taught that while it’s vital to choose a side and disclose it, the pitfalls of pamphleteering, sloganeering and dogma must be painstakingly avoided. A journalist must also be fair and scrupulously honest. An authentic journalist avoids the cheap and easy shot that misinforms and manipulates to instead do the heavy lifting that build long-term trust from the reader, viewer or listener. Journalists who seek to change our communities or the world and help others do so have to unlearn so many of the bad assumptions that most of the profession has so unthinkingly adopted.

An effective journalist on the front lines of a social movement has to know and understand the difference between real organizing and mere “activism” – and why the two often cause different – too often, opposite – results. To be able to report well on the movements of today we have to study those of the past – movements that achieved their goals as well as causes that have failed – and know what kinds of strategies and tactics helped or harmed their successes or failures in each case.

My late mentor Abbie Hoffman told me, when I was 21, “There is no greater high than challenging the power structure, giving it your all, and winning.”

As I look back at my life since then I can confirm that he was right. Nothing has been so satisfying as the victories. I feel blessed to have been part of so many.

Similarly, there’s almost no worse feeling than devoting our blood, sweat and tears to a cause only to see it fail. Most of us have had that experience – far more than have been part of an organized triumph. Defeats can be soul crushing. They foster resignation, apathy, depression and worse.

Victories, on the other hand, are entirely, blissfully, the opposite! Winning foments lifelong commitment, action, smiles, optimism and more victories to come. When we have won before we know then in our core that we can win again and again!

For me, early in life as a community organizer and for the past three decades as a journalist, I confess that it’s all been about the win. Righting a wrong, stopping a bully (or a mob of them), bringing the predatory to justice and the innocent back to freedom, these have been the moments in journalism that mattered most.

Why else would any sane person take on the hard work of public life – whether in journalism or organizing – and invite the slings and arrows, the envies and resentments that come with it? (Those molestations appear especially when one becomes successful at a venture in any way.) I’ve never done any of this to be able to convince myself I’m a “good” or “superior” person. I know I’m not. I’ve only ever been in this to make the changes I have set out to make… to close the nuclear power plant, to stop the mega-project from destroying a community, to pry the overzealous prosecutor’s hands from power, to end tyrannical policies like the drug war, to free the new frontier of the Internet for all and not just for a few.

The adrenaline – the “high” that Abbie referenced – has been in those battles. But the most lasting change, in my experience, happens person to person, one at a time, and in the context of a community that allows and embraces that process. That’s what the School of Authentic Journalism has become: the place that creates the space in which new generations are inspired and equipped to continue doing this work after previous generations have passed on.

Of course, it’s not – not yet – a place with a year-round campus. We’ve never enjoyed those kinds of resources. For fifteen years, it’s been a nomadic school. It’s happened on the shores of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, in Bolivia’s corner of the Amazon jungle, in Central Mexico’s mountains, in the bustle of downtown Madrid, in the serenity of the Berkshire Mountains, in downtown New York City and it’s continued wherever its more than 500 graduates have come together to do the work we learned there.

Whether it happens again in 2017 is all on this Kickstarter campaign and whether it rises or falls between now and next Friday.

Even in these months since being diagnosed with a life threatening illness, I have not asked you for anything for me. Subscribers to my “América” newsletter and Obamacare have already made this treatment toward a full cure possible. But what of the school? Even should the treatment go well, what do I have to go home to if the school doesn’t survive what has already been my too-long absence? Worse, what about the young journalist or communicator or organizer who needs and seeks its training? What do I tell him and her if we cannot secure the funds this year to bring them in?

Don’t make me answer that question, please, I beg of you. Click this link right now and make your pledge today (and if you’ve already pledged, thank you so much):
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1652340249/the-2017-school-of-authentic-journalism

There’s somebody in this life that is far more important than the “me” or “we” of the present moment. And that is the “me” and the “we” that we next encounter on this road. That’s who will come to the next School of Authentic Journalism – if, and only if, you pledge to its fund drive – or who will be left at the roadside if you do not.

Your pledge is about the “we” that we will next become. Only together can we get there.

Love,

Al Giordano
Founder, the School of Authentic Journalism

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This letter was first published yesterday to subscribers of the “Al Giordano’s América” newsletter that goes to donors of $70 to the Fund for Authentic Journalism in the same calendar year. The subscription is also offered as a gift in exchange for pledge of that amount to the current Kickstarter campaign.

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