By Aurora Karameti |

My experience  at the Missouri School of Journalism was exceptional in three aspects:

  • Academically, I learned many new things and I confirmed many of my opinions.

The famous “Missouri Method” surprised me in several ways. It is applied so simply but so seriously. This method of “learning by doing” sources from professors-professionals and succeeds at the student’s achievements. Being a good journalism professor means having the right background and having the right motivation to work with future journalists. At the University of Missouri J-School I experienced all the feelings of being a professor and at the same time being a student in the right place.  

I attended all the training sessions and also had the opportunity to meet with the dean and the associate dean of the journalism school. The organizational level of information they provided gave me new ideas for future action on improving the curricula in my home institution, the University of Tetovo in Macedonia.

I had the chance to get to know some great young journalists from around the world (Ukraine, India, Sudan, Mexico and Jordan) and, at the same time, get to know better some journalists from the country I come from, Macedonia, who fascinated me with the talent they have, which was demonstrated in the great work they did during the training.

This evidence confirmed my opinion about the teaching and the learning in my country’s educational system and the deep reforms we should start as soon as possible. The whole well established system of the Missouri School of Journalism is an excellent model I wish I could see one day applied in my home country.

  • On the personal level, I had an unforgettable experience.

I met some inspirational people: professors like Katherine Reed, Judd Slivka, etc.; former journalists, great librarians like Sue Schuermann and Dorothy Carner; Ann McGruder, who helped me with everything and my very kind host Cindy Kerr. I also feel so lucky to have known people like Prof. Randall Smith, from whom I not only attended a great lecture about business journalism, but he also invited all of us fellows for dinner at his house where I tasted the best cheesecake, cooked by his wife Joyce, a very friendly and elegant woman, and from whom I received a very inspirational book titled “Our Iceberg is Melting,” I am sharing the book with my colleagues here back home.   

  • The time I spent in Missouri was a lot of working hours and many less sleeping hours.

It was not only because of jet lag but more because of the time I spent in deliberations/contemplations about what I can do to export all this experience in my country, how to implement it and how to build a strong bridge between the MU JS, AFPP, RJI and my home university.

At the moment, I am back home and working to make it happen. This collaboration means better journalism in the near future for my country.