<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
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Narco News’ Al Giordano to Tour Northeastern United States and Quebec in April 2007

Book a Lecture, Workshop or Fundraising Event in Your Campus, City or Town


By Chris Fee
Newsroom Coordinator, Narco News

January 21, 2007

Al Giordano, publisher of Narco News and founder of the School of Authentic Journalism, may be coming to your city, town or campus as soon as April 2007. That is especially possible if you live, work or study in the Northeastern United States or Quebec. Whether he comes to your corner of América this spring is largely up to you and if your school or organization will host a lecture and/or workshop by him.


Al Giordano in Bolivia’s Chapare Region
This upcoming tour is important to all of us. Your Webmaster David Briones and I have been in the newsroom “somewhere in a country called América” for four months now. We have seen first hand how efficiently and frugally this project has been organized and how much time Al spends hunting the modest resources to keep us all “reporting on the drug war and democracy from Latin America” in seven languages. You’ve seen the fund appeal letters from Al and others but they’re only part of what makes this work possible. At times over the past decade, Al has also funded the project by writing for other publications (you may have seen his 22-page essay on Mexico’s Stolen Election in New Left Review last October) and by offering lectures and workshops at colleges, universities, conference centers and for other organizations. He’s lectured at Columbia University Law School, Boston University, Washington University in St. Louis, George Washington University in Washington DC, and the Rowe Conference Center in recent years and soon he’ll do more.

Since we learned that Al has to travel to New England briefly this spring, we got thinking that perhaps more could be made of his first visit there in four years. The journalist named “Hot Muckraker” by Rolling Stone magazine (2001) and awarded the Upton Sinclair Freedom of Expression (“Uppie”) Award (2004) by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, has, from South of the Border, made things happen up North for a decade now, and his experience should be shared more widely. And so we are issuing a call to our readers and colleagues in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Quebec, Connecticut, New York (city and state), and New Jersey to organize your colleges, universities, and other schools (and their lecture funds), as well as Bar Associations and other organizations, to invite him to speak (and to listen), to teach (and to learn).

As is our way of doing things at Narco News, we’re not contracting some big “speakers bureau” to organize this for us. We’re doing it ourselves. But we know we can only do that, as always, with your help and collaboration. So if you live, study or teach in any of those regions, and are interested in making such a visit happen, please write me, Chris Fee, at chris@narconews.com
today.

There are various kinds of events we want Al to do up there. Maybe you can think of some other useful ones, but these are the concrete proposals we have so far:

Campus Lectures: Al has two main lectures he does now; Mexico In Crisis and Journalism’s Civil War (each run 45 minutes plus audience participation). These lectures are especially ideal for classes in Latin American studies, journalism and communications. Al also gives a special lecture for law scholars about his and Narco News’ experience with the landmark Internet First Amendment case of Banamex v. Narco News, won in 2001. Professors, students and barristers: contact us (and your campus lecture funds or organizations) today to make it happen.

Campus and Organizational Workshops: More advanced workshops can last 90 minutes or more (or even amount to a day-long seminar). Among those we offer are Authentic Journalism 101, a shorter version of the ten-day Narco News School of Authentic Journalism program; Zapatista & Oaxaca Video Newsreel CineClub, in which he’ll screen seven short documentaries produced in 2006 by Narco News’ The Other Journalism with the Other Campaign, covering the Zapatista listening tour by Subcomandante Marcos throughout Mexico, and; When ‘Revolutionary Tourism’ Does More Harm than Good, for activists, journalists, and human rights observers that wish to go to Latin America and truly help matters rather than impose First World conceptions of activism upon social movements there.

Fundraising Events for The Fund for Authentic Journalism: For those readers that are not on a campus (probably most of you) but think you can gather a small crowd to raise money to help keep this work of reporting from Latin America going, please write me and tell us your idea. These can be house parties, concerts, and other kinds of events. Here’s one more option: As we’ve learned (and many of you knew already), Al, beyond journalism, is a popular musician and singer-songwriter with the Mexico-based jazz and blues quintet, Zapa-Sutra. Co-composer and singer Cha-Cha Connor will be able to join him at some of the April 2007 events. Or, if preferred, he’ll leave the Dobro guitar behind and simply show up to talk. That’s up to those who organize these events – whether house parties or concerts or something else – to decide.

For more detailed information on these workshops and lectures, see this page about 2007 Lectures and Workshops by Al Giordano.

Finally, there may be readers and colleagues in other parts of North America that want to organize something similar. Feel free to make a pitch. Al would prefer to travel by land (rather than air) between these events and that’s why we’re focusing on the Northeast US and Quebec. But if an event in another place makes sense, please don’t be shy in suggesting how it could be made to happen.

In sum, during April 2007 Narco News publisher Al Giordano will go North, with the goal of spreading the good word of the Authentic Journalism renaissance and the growing struggles in Mexico and the rest of Latin America and of securing the resources to continue this work in the future.

Please contact me directly – Chris Fee, at my email chris@narconews.com – if you can help organize or sponsor these events, and let’s get to work.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America