The Narco News Bulletin

July 20, 2018 | Issue #67 - Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America

The world needs more information freedom fighters, help train the best ones

The School of Authentic Journalism makes ex­fugitives look cool

By Alphonce Shiundu
School of Authentic Journalism, Class of 2013

February 28, 2016
This report appears on the internet at

I use the term "ex­fugitives" loosely, in reference to the advocates of free flow of information, who have been tormented for doing the right thing -telling the world what power and big business do to the masses.

Here's why: When I was at the School in 2011 and 2012, I spent time with Bill Conroy. Conroy was an editor. A guy who has been there, done that. When I told him about the advertising pressures in Kenya and how they affect journalism, he smiled knowingly, and asked me to stick to the straight and narrow - to be authentic and to tell all the sides to a story. Little did I know that Bill was going through the same.

I came to learn about that much later when he published "the long version" of his resignation letter. In it, he said, he had had a "philosophical disagreement with a new publisher, who failed to appreciate the line of separation between editorial and advertising/sales". That right there was serendipitous for me.

With their balls of steel (these things rub off on you over time thanks to the digital presence), I found myself on the wrong side of the law in Nairobi Kenya.

I was doing my job, telling the world about government spending on military and security equipment in Kenya. When the story hit the streets, I got summoned to the Serious Crimes Unit of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Kenya. I ignored the summons thanks to lessons from Al, Gregory Berger (Gringoyo) and Ivan Marovic.

I'd got the information from the privileged sitting in Parliament and I thought everyone should know.

The government didn't agree.

For a week, I thought the matter had died down. Then, one evening, they arrested my colleague and hauled him to the DCI for interrogation. They sent their sleuths after me. I went into hiding. I came out the following day. Everyone was anxious. I went to the police and just when I got there, I was told the issue had been dropped. I was amazed.

When I was away from the police radar, I recalled a story of Al Giordano about his numerous arrests and I just kept cool and collected. Authenticity can never be intimidated. It is enduring.

And that's why, I am happy to be part of the growing world of information freedom fighters and that is why I appeal to you to help the hundreds of people out there with intellectual hunger to meet the experienced souls in organizing, journalism and social movements at the School of Authentic Journalism in 2016.

You ask how? Here is how: You can help us get there by sending your donation to the Fund for Authentic Journalism ­ it's a 501c3 nonprofit and contributions are tax­deductible in the US. It supports the investigative journalism of Narco News and its reporters, and the training of new generations through the SAJ to do this work.

Join the Kickstarter campaign or go to to learn more about the school.

Thank you!

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