84 New Co-Publishers in Three Weeks, and 42 Regional Groups
Narco News Continues Breaking the Information Blockade, Now on Both Sides of the Border
By Al Giordano
Publisher, Narco News
July 7, 2008
The little web site that could – www.narconews.com – begun eight years ago with a laptop and a mission to break the information blockade from Latin America, continues to grow as an international online newspaper. In the past week, correspondent Bill Conroy has broken two major stories: the role of US government agencies behind the hostage raid in Colombia and the release of a kidnapping victim in Mexico that is related to a US Congressman. And correspondent Kristin Bricker has identified the Miami-based company that trains Mexican police forces in torture techniques. These developments have come to light just as US President George W. Bush signed the Plan Mexico intervention into Mexican affairs.
Careful readers may have also noticed that the number of co-publishers of Narco News has risen dramatically from 317 on June 14 to 401 today; an addition of 84 colleagues in 23 days. Most of them came over when I moved my political blog, The Field, reporting the US presidential elections, over to its new and uncensored home on Narco News.
You may have also noticed that in addition to the unmoderated comments by co-publishers on our reports (to which they add valuable additional information, links, corrections, critiques and ideas), we’ve added the opportunity for all readers to submit moderated comments, more than 95 percent of which end up approved for publication.
For those of you that have been longtime readers of our newspaper, I wanted to clue you in to these developments, which bring new ways of participating.
You may also be interested in meeting fellow and sister readers from your local area. To that end, regular readers of The Field have formed independent local “Field Hand” groups via the networking site ning.com. There are groups now in 41 North American regions plus a large Field Hands Abroad group that will eventually form regional chapters. In 17 regions, the groups have already qualified as “locals,” having recruited ten or more members: Chicago, Northern California, New York City, Washington DC, LA County California, Southern New England, Denver, Twin Cities Minnesota, Oregon, Washington State, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Florida, San Diego and Texas. To see the full list, click here.
The Field Hands are mainly readers that passionately follow the story of the US presidential elections this year. They will be holding face-to-face gatherings in their (and maybe your) area soon. Each Field Hands group is autonomous and independent: Narco News is not responsible for their activities (and they are likewise not to blame for anything we say or do here). The good idea is that readers can meet and organize toward common goals together on the local level. Readers that are mainly interested in Latin American issues and reporting will also be welcomed and I’m sure will have opportunities to spread the word of your projects with these locals of talent and conscience. The cross-pollination may lead to great things.
I’ll be visiting the Texas Field Hands group in Austin on July 16 during our coverage of the Netroots Nation Convention there, and the Denver group in Colorado on August 24 during our coverage of the Democratic National Convention in the United States. Stay tuned for more details and your invitation to those events and more.
Please welcome the newest members of our Narco News extended family (and we hope you find our incursion into reporting North of the Border during this historic moment as interesting and important as that we’ve done for eight years – and continue without missing a step – South of the Border). As at other key moments of our eight-year journey, Narco News is growing fast. If you have questions about these latest developments, you may write to me, as always, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you haven’t applied for your copublisher account yet, this is a great time to do it, via this page:
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