About: Ondrej Jurik

Current Status:

Exploring South America

Education

Ondrej Jurik

I studied at universities in Liberec (education), Prague (journalism), Nebraska (journalism) and London (new media). My most advanced degree is Master of Science from University of Westminster.

Journalism

In mid 90s as a college student I began playing with the internet which brought me into journalism. I started my own site Rannishow.cz where we experimented with various things and for example were first to publish audio. Not knowing anything about journalism I decided to take a trip to Albania and through a bit of luck I got to tag along with a reporter of a German newspaper Bild. Later I became an editor-in-chief of an opinion magazine iPort. Since I still did not know much about journalism I convinced my bosses to undertake a tour of online media in the US. I went on to interviewing/spy to MSN, Wired, Salon, Cnet and Yahoo. On this trip I learned more about how a news organization should be run.

Next opportunity I got to learn about media was in the Czech Press Agency (CTK). I manged a launch of local and financial servers and during the process I got to observe how both domestic and financial news departments were run. I learned quite a bit about news gathering there. Next I moved on to launch a technology server Technet for Mlada Fronta. When the project was finished I decided to go back to school and learn about journalism. During my studies at Charles University I interned first at TV Nova under supervision of Pavel Zuna and later that year at CNN’s international desk in Atlanta. Upon completion of my studies in Prague I was awarded Paul Robitschek Scholarship in Broadcasting at the University of Nebraska. While in Nebraska I took classes I could not in the Czech Republic and got a job at local TV Station as a production assistant.

To complete my studies, I felt, I needed to add more formal knowledge to my online background and therfore got a degree in Interactive Multimedia at the University of Westminster in London. Now I was ready to join the workforce as a journalist except I felt I needed more life experience and travel a world little bit more before I do that. Over the years I occasionally filed reports about cultural, political and sport events.

This, for example, is my story from Texas presidencial primary in 2008 for Czech Radio:

Traveling

Traveling has changed my life. My friend told me about volunteering programs when we were in high school and so I went to Prague and signed up for one. All I knew is that I wanted to be by the sea and so I signed up for a program in New Haven, UK. The instructions said: “you must speak English fluently and without any difficulty.” I signed up for the program and upon my arrival home I decided to find out translations for two words from that sentence I did not understand “fluently” and “difficulty”. After two months of hard studying, I made it to London. Somehow I manged to loose all my money on the bus and a bottle of hard liquor Becherovka broke in my backpack and made me smell like an old drunk. I was given the option to get back on the bus home but instead I opted on a long walk through London that lasted about a day and next evening I finally made it to the coast found an old garage full of dog poop where I spent a scary but an unforgeable night. That summer I had an awesome time and I could not stop traveling since. The highlights of my travels are many but worth mentioning are crossing border to Gaza Strip on bike, snowboarding in Utah and biking to the top of Pico de Las Nieves on Canary Islands.

Camps

Sometimes in mid 90s my mom found an advertisement in a newspaper where American camps were looking for counselors. I went and used the salary of 600 dollars to travel around the states and Canada for about a month (after a bus ticket my budget was about two dollars a day). I came to work at camps few more times and I actually opened two camps for a company named Wellspring. The first camp I opened was in Texas and it became the most successful launch for Wellspring, the second camp was in British Colombia and was first camp the company had in Canada.

Here I’m talking to Canadian CBC about the camp:

Sports and Outdoors

Sport is a big part of my life and I don’t do nearly as much of it as I should. My greatest passion is snowboarding. I snowboarded just about every major mountain in the US/Canada West. Just for the fun of it I became certified as Canadian Snowboarding Instructor and got basic Avalanche Rescue Training (AST-1). I also love to ski, mountain bike, hike and kayak etc. I have also been certified as Wilderness First Responder, Red Cross Lifeguard and Lifeguard Trainer.

Languages

I am fluent in Czech, English and for most part in Spanish. I also know German, although I could use a month or two of intensive courses. My classes with Alliance Francaise never got me too far and from two or three years of Russian I took I mostly remember useless communists songs and the beginning of the old Soviet anthem.

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