By Krenar Sadiku | 

If you think you can’t teach seasoned journalists new tricks, think again.

Think of a place far away. Think of a country with a distant and different way of life, although it might seem so close and similar due to what we see and hear, what we read in the media. There you can see it happen.

Columbia, Missouri, is the first place I’ve experienced in the Midwest, and I was surprised by it. A city of the youth, home to the University of Missouri, a cradle of knowledge for a great number of people from all over, not only from U.S., but really ALL OVER.

How wonderful it feels to be part of this place, a fellow learning at the Reynolds Journalism Institute in one of the first schools for journalism in the world, founded more than a century ago. That is what I call being part of a tradition.

I got to love the brick walls of this city. They gave me calmness. It played as a reminder of places I have been and loved before. Every building told a story. Every block, every quarter. Every road was something new to me. But it all represented part of history of the Land of the Free.

What gave me great content was finding out that diversity is all around the USA. I felt this in Columbia too. Amongst all the old historic buildings, one could not miss all the cathedrals. But just as you’d think you can’t be any more surprised, a mosque arises. A beautiful building of a different culture in the heart of the country. It gives you calmness, it speaks to you and says “Feel at ease; this is everyone’s home.”

You just can’t feel like a stranger in a place where you are accepted with arms wide open, where you are embraced as a fellow, a colleague, a representative or even an ambassador, if I may, of a noble profession such as journalism.

I strongly believe whenever I say that the learning process has no goals, only milestones. Either you close your mind to what mankind brings to light and see yourself standing still, or you open them wide and indulge in the knowledge it serves you.

And I strongly believe I am being served the best until now in the journalism field. I am being given tools about my profession that I truly believed exist, but no one showed them to me until now. At least not in this way. Not with all the practice that supports every bit of theory.

New horizons are being revealed to me, and I plan to explore them, with no regrets. I just hope to stay brave enough!