Help Keep the Vision Alive
A Letter from Bill Conroy
By Bill Conroy
Narco News Copublisher and Correspondent
April 13, 2005
Narco News, for the past five years, has continued relentlessly to provide authentic coverage of the war on drugs and democracy movements throughout Latin America and north to the U.S. border.
Readers have been brought behind the scenes of revolutionary social movements in Bolivia, into the midst of the high-stakes politics of the presidential election in Mexico, behind the curtain of narco-corrupt government policies in Colombia, and into the House of Death and an unconscionable cover-up of U.S. law enforcers’ complicity in mass murder along the Texas border.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Narco News also is a forum for open, participatory discussion of the issues surrounding the war on drugs, democracy movements, mainstream-media mediation of reality, and matters of the heart – such as the insightful and moving coverage of the tragic death of authentic journalist Gary Webb.
Al Giordano, for those of you new to Narco News, is the founder of this project and continues to be, in my view, the heart that pumps its blood.
Al Giordano turned his back on a successful career some years back and walked off the edge, into the jungle, risking everything to find and keep the truth alive. If truth really had a monetary value, he should be a millionaire for what he’s done. But he’s not – he has to struggle to keep his head above water, and this project continues to squeeze by on the generosity of its readers; people like you.
Giordano is not alone in this effort. There is a small cadre of folks behind the scenes, people like Dan Feder, Luis Gómez, Andrew Grice, and Laura del Castillo Matamoros, who wake up each day, and, for little more than the cost of food and water, keep this publication alive.
And then there are the 200-plus co-publishers of Narco News, who out of nothing more than their convictions, participate in this project to assure that readers see all sides of the issues.
Giordano penned what I consider to be the creed of authentic journalism in a recent tribute to Gary Webb. It bears repeating, in part, here:
… I am going to walk back into the jungle now, to the place where in 1988 I found my vocation as a writer, and the place to where I returned some years ago to fulfill my destiny as a revolutionary. ...
... Authentic Journalist: If you need money or a place to stand on this earth, I will do my best to help you find it. … Nobody in this network goes hungry or homeless anymore. Got it? We can forgive ourselves for Gary’s death, but now, having received his last desperate message from the isolated place where we allowed him to be cast adrift, we will not be able to forgive ourselves for the next one.
Likewise, if you love any member of my family of Authentic Journalists, but don’t know how to love him or her, or want support, mi email box es tu email box. It bothers me, today, that I don’t know the name of anyone who was that close to Gary. Being there for him would have meant being there for anyone who he let inside his beautiful, romantic, truth-telling vision for humankind. To you, I apologize for not having seen this one coming. To those of you who similarly love my “kids” or my surviving professors, my door is open. You are not alone.
If you don’t know what to do without Gary here, listen to the compañeros: Do what he did. Do Authentic Journalism. Put all the other bullshit matters aside and just do it.”
Narco News is a visionary project. But visions can be fleeting, particularly if people choose not to see them, to nurture them, to ultimately embrace them and make them concrete expressions of their own lives.
Giordano, who has very little in the way of material goods, is willing to open his doors, to offer food, a roof overhead and a piece of his heart, to those who believe in this cause of authentic journalism. Likewise, the staff of Narco News has the same generosity of heart. I know that firsthand from my experiences at the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism in Bolivia last summer.
Now, it is time to ask for your generosity. It doesn’t take much beyond sheer force of heart to keep Narco News alive, but it does take a bit more, something that is far easier to give. Please consider supporting Narco News with whatever spare change you can pull together. Narco News is a nonprofit endeavor, so any money raised goes into the basics of keeping the publication in front of the readers – water, electricity, Internet and server fees, food and some humble shelter from the storm that the staff regularly braves in pursuing authentic journalism.
Please make a donation for Narco News, online, at this link:
Or by sending a check today to:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism
P.O. Box 71051
Madison Heights, MI 48071
I can put it no better than Giordano – please, “Put all the other bullshit matters aside and just do it.”
Narco News is funded by your contributions to The Fund for Authentic Journalism.
Please make journalism like this possible by going to The Fund's web site
and making a contribution today.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism
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