The Journey: Journalism Bootcamp Summer School, organized by the Bakala Foundation, has raised the bar again with this year’s program. World-renowned journalists came to Prague and joined two dozen journalism students from 11 countries to share their knowledge and cover events surrounding the international agenda.
The first speaker was Jon Lee Anderson, a master war correspondent from The New Yorker magazine. His speech touched on topics such as the US election, January’s attack on the US Capitol, the spread of Russian propaganda within the context of the war in Ukraine, and how such has sparked a global debate on how best to defend against the spread of misinformation, fake news, and manipulation.
In his lecture entitled “Leave Your Baggage Behind,” Jon Lee also mentioned other vital topics such as media independence and the importance of journalism for democracy. The experienced reporter from war zones in Liberia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Uganda appealed to future journalists to see the incorporation of the cultural and historical context of the land in which their story is set as part of their professional commitment. He shared, among other things, his colorful experiences in war reporting and his behind-the-scenes interviews with Charles Taylor, the former President of Liberia. The latter was sentenced in 2012 to 50 years in prison in The Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity. He also spoke openly with students about the moral dilemmas in journalism and the importance of remaining honest and sincere with readers.
Additionally, in an interview with Martin Reznicek for CT, American journalist and principal guest of this year’s Journey, Jon Lee Anderson, spoke on Donald Trump’s long-term impact on America. He also shared his thoughts on how he perceives the current war propaganda; and why he thinks social networks should be regulated.
Other journalism aces in attendance included Brenna Smith, investigative reporter for The Baltimore Banner and member of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize-winning team, Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Entous (The New Yorker), Evan Perez (CNN), Michael Kahn (Reuters), Kenan Aliyev (Current Time TV), Michael Winfrey (Bloomberg), Paul Casciato, a reporter with many years of experience at CNN, currently Director of Communications at the University of Cambridge, and Czech journalist Tomas Etzler. All of them helped to create an unforgettable atmosphere for this year’s Journey Summer School, whose quality and reach far exceed the borders of the Czech Republic.