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What is Reporters Without Borders doing in Cuba?

A revealing interview with Néstor Baguer by Jean-Guy Allard in Granma International may provide some important clues to the nature of Reporters Without Borders' activities in Cuba.  Baguer was president of the so-called Independent Journalists Association when he was hired by Reporters Without Borders, but he was also working for Cuban counterespionage services.  

Thanks to everyone for helping us make our deadline!

Thanks to all of you, we made our fundraising deadline.  Click more to read details and thanks from myself and Al Giordano.  

Otto Reich is Outa There

According to Reuters, Otto Reich has resigned.  "For personal and financial reasons."  Which is more or less what they all say.  If things haven't been going so well for poor Otto, I wish him nothing but more of the same in his future endeavors.  

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=poli ticsNews&storyID=5440997

24 Hours - The Final Stretch

This is so exciting!  We're coming down to the last 24 hours in our all important quest to raise $10,000 by the end of March 18th and qualify for another installment of our matching grant.  Honestly, when I wrote that "10 Days to Save J-School" plea, I doubted whether we could pull it off.  That's why I'm so absolutely thrilled to report that we are now within spitting distance of our goal.  We've raised $9542.55.  Just $457.45 to go.  

So how about it folks?  If you've been putting off your contribution until the last minute because you liked the extra drama, now is your chance.  Who will be the heroes riding to the rescue in the final reel?  Who's click on a PayPal link will echo like a mighty thunder throughout the Americas?

Please, go to the website and give generously.  Thank you.
http://www.authenticjournalism.org

Broken PayPal links -- "unclaimed" donations

Apparently a strange bug in yahoogroups mangled the links in my "Ten Days to Save J-School" plea we sent to the Narco News alert email list.  Because of this, trying to donate directly from those links may have yielded either an error page on the PayPal site or one where the "Pay to:" field begins with an = sign.  

Ten Days to Save J-School!

March 7, 2004
Please Distribute, especially to those who can help

Dear Friends and Readers,

Good news.  We've now passed the halfway mark and raised $5,403 toward our next $10,000 matching grant installment to Narco News. The hard part is that we have just ten days - until March 18, when the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism must decide how many scholarships to offer for the upcoming summer session in South America, and open up the application process in time - to raise another $4,597.

Your responses and donations over the past two weeks - especially to guest appeals by Tim Meehan, by Colleen Glynn, and by Laura del Castillo Matamoros - have brought us more than halfway.

It's inspiringly clear - from your contributions, increased readership, and renewed enthusiasm from our journalists throughout Latin America - that there is tremendous response to the re-launch of Narco News that occurred on February 16, just 19 days ago!

Enter the Authentic Letter Scholarship Contest

This year's full session of The School of Authentic Journalism promises to be better than ever.  An absolutely astounding faculty of gifted and renowned journalism professionals is being put together for this intensive ten-day program, and this year's campus has the space for a significantly larger student body. This can mean more journalism students than ever before and more Authentic Journalists, trained in the skills, ethics, and issues of reporting on the drug war and democracy from Latin America, who will be challenging mass media distortions in the years to come.  

The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism has offered one scholarship slot to The Fund for Authentic Journalism as a special incentive to help us to recruit good writers in our fundraising campaign on behalf of Narco News.  This scholarship provides the ability for somebody to attend the ten-day session, tuition free, with room and board included.  Narco News already has a rigorous application process for finding the most promising scholarship applicants. Duplicating it didn't seem to make sense. Since the art of good writing and the art of successful fundraising are so entwined, here is what we're going to do:

Announcing:  The Authentic Letter Scholarship Contest

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Hard Number Time

Hard Number Time.

$7,023.  That's the grand total raised for Narco News through The Fund for Authentic Journalism since we started over New Year's.  Much of that money, along with funds raised for Narco News last year via the (now defunct) LiveArt1st, allowed us to qualify for that first $10,000 installment of our matching grant from Tides.  

$3,443.  That's the total raised since February 5th.  That's everything we can be certain counts toward the next $10,000 batch of matching funds.  That's just over one third of the way there.  

$129.69  That's the average per day of what we've raised this year.  That's a handful of people.  Sometimes even one person.  But always someone.  One person at a time, putting their money where their beliefs are, who wont let mass media distortions go by unchallenged.  

1   Minute.  That's all it takes to contribute, right now.  Please, go to http://www.authenticjournalism.org and use the PayPal buttons to make a contribution today.  Thank you.  

How We Got Here

Hi folks.  Al Giordano suggested a regular blog from the treasurer of The Fund for Authentic Journalism would be a great way to keep people involved in the fundraising end of this operation, up to date with our progress and fully informed about the twists and turns that come up along the way.  Our aim is more than just keeping the Narco News funded.  We want to demonstrate a new model of financial support for journalism that provides the resources necessary to produce the finest journalism without any of the corrupting pressures inherent in advertising and other models.  So hopefully this space will keep your interest.  I'm humbled by having a blog appear alongside such fantastic writers as are lined up for the NarcoSphere, but I'll do my best to keep up.  

First, I want to tell you a bit about where we are and how we got here….

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