Stand Up and Be Counted to Fund Authentic Journalism!

By Al Giordano

There are just 25 days left in 2009, a banner year in which we’ve brought you various hundreds of original investigative news reports and translations from throughout the hemisphere and achieved important advances in the Authentic Journalism renaissance, without ever charging you a peso or a cent to keep yourself better informed.

With this free press, free means you don’t have to pay.

That said, obviously it does cost us resources - both labor and money - to do this for you. And that’s why among the stories we’ve published in recent weeks from Mexico, from Honduras, from Colombia, from Haiti and from elsewhere there have also been appeals from our reporters, professors and students for your contributions to The Fund for Authentic Journalism.

At the end of the year, this is a good moment to remind that your contributions to The Fund for Authentic Journalism are tax-deductible in the United States. You thus might actually be able to save yourself money by donating before December 31, 2009, especially if you contribute enough to keep yourself in a lower tax bracket.

You’ll be hearing more reasons to join with hundreds of fellow and sister Narco News readers-turned-donors in coming appeals from members of the class of 2010 of our School for Authentic Journalism.

And you’ll be with us, day by day, as the excitement builds for our February 2010 school session that – for the first time ever – will largely be shared with you via online video presentations of more than two dozen of its most important and valuable classes and lessons.

Those online skill-sharing videos will include sessions on the basics from “How to Write a News Story,” to “Your Cell Phone: Best Friend and Worst Enemy,” to “Investigative Journalism on the Internet,” sharing with the global public (and with you) our methods, techniques and tricks of the trade to further democratize and decentralize the rising tide of Authentic Journalism.

We will also share advanced discussions, like, “What Is Press Freedom?,” and “Using the Freedom of Information Act,” and “Viral Video, Documentary and Narrative,” from some of the foremost international talents in those fields.

As part of our internationally-shared online teach-in, you’ll be able to, from home, have a front row seat to highlights of discussions from first-hand participants in the nonviolent civil resistance of Honduras, the newly fired up social and indigenous movements of Mexico entering its bicentennial and centennial revolutionary year, and the daring journalists inside Colombia’s dangerous and repressive beat, among updates from many lands.

And you’ll also be invited to develop, with us, a keener understanding of the dynamics of strategic nonviolence, civil resistance, community organizing and how journalists can better cover grassroots and social movements.

There will be in-depth interviews (somewhat in the style of “Inside the Actor’s Studio”) with voices like Mexican journalist Mario Menéndez Rodríguez, Venezuelan Minister of Information and Communications Blanca Eekhout, Bolivian social movement strategist Oscar Olivera, and including with yours truly, interviewed by our students.

All this, too, will be made available to you, free of charge, with written reports and materials to deepen the curriculum for all who want to learn it.

But to make this happen we have to now get the other half of the way toward our $20,000 fundraising goal. And that depends on you and people of conscience like you. Every contribution counts, no matter how modest. We're already halfway there. As the song goes, “drops of water fill a well, singly none.”

I’ll also add that if you work for one of the increasing number of employers that provide for their workers to make tax-deductible donations to nonprofit charities through the workplace, The Fund for Authentic Journalism is legally qualified to be that recipient. Write to Newsroom Coordinator Chris Fee at for assistance in setting that up if you qualify.

Not to beat our own drum too loudly, but, honestly, can you think of any other organization or newspaper that does so much with so little as we do at Narco News?

Our work ethic and the quantity of our productive capacity is matched only by our obsession with providing you quality journalism, accurate reports from the ground level that most media overlook or distort. We don't ever publish just any old thing, or republish work stolen from others, just to fill up space and look busy. Here, you not only get a lot, but the stuff you get is really, really good, and all of it original.

Here you get the maximum bang for the buck. And while it’s true you can get that same bang even if you don’t contribute, that’s only because there are other good people who do. Be one of them. Be one of us: a full partner in the Authentic Journalism movement that will, in our lifetimes, replace the old commercial daily newspaper model as societal glue and social prosecutor on behalf of all of us whom the “dead tree” media ignored and marginalized in recent times. Be a founding father or mother of something important being born as we step, together, into a future more of our own making.

This is the future that finally realizes what a free press was always intended to be.

You can even do it right this very second, by making a contribution online at this link:

Or send a check to The Fund for Authentic Journalism at:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism

PO Box 241

Natick. MA 01760 USA

Thank you for your regular support during this tenth year of Narco News, and for continuing to answer the call.

Thank you for allowing us to recruit and train new generations of Authentic Journalists, like the 31 scholarship recipients that, with your help, we'll be bringing together in February on Mexico's Yucatán peninsula to substantially upgrade their - and our - skills and abilities.

Thank you and thank you again for standing up and being counted.

From somewhere in a country called América,


Al Giordano

Publisher, Narco News

President, The School for Authentic Journalism



I find it a privilege to be

I find it a privilege to be a part of this news organization and a few months back signed up for monthly contributions.  What I really like about it is you only commit yourself to one years contributions and you can then renew or not.

I agree with Al.  You do get more "bang for the buck" here.  The vignettes for the students in the class of 2010 are truly impressive as is the outlined curricula.  But I think it's more than just the difference between "authentic" news and "dead tree" news, although that is an important distinction.  I think it's the difference between stale, dead depictions of news as events on the ground (viewed through varying degrees of mainstream media distortions, omissions and spin) and Narco News's depiction of news as a living, vibrant, breathing entity.  For example the Health Care debate doesn't present as cold depictions of "tea baggers" rage, insurance industry funded massaged polls or what Senator/congressman said this or that but rather as dynamic forces set in motion.

That is, news and political events are seen as a "process" and not a dead "reality" that is seemingly set in stone.  When news is viewed as process then there is no reason to become or remain a "chicken little" because "news" also becomes a paticipatory process and my monthly contributions to Narconews is one way that I can participate.

I can't tell you how important that is to me.  It makes reading the news about the Honduran oligarchy, or health care, or any other topic so much more endurable and hopeful.

Can I Borrow That, Nancy?

Nancy - I love the sound of that. Living news.


Yes, of course you may borrow the idea.  Do you remember Margaret Thatcher's infamous "TINA" ("There is no alternative") referencing corporate driven "globalization" and income redistribution vertically upward and in a Northern direction. And that is just one example of all the static cliches we've been told for the last few decades.  I think there is a subtle power shift when political & global "news" is viewed as a "process", forces set in motion and not cold static "facts on the ground".  The purpose of Margaret Thatcher's "TINA" was to make us believe it.  I will admit through the despairing Thatcher/Reagan years I allowed myself to get sucked in.

The corporate news has consistently presented the Honduran coup as a "done deal" whereas Narco News has presented the "peeling the onion" template as a lense to view a living process that is far from a "done deal".

"TINA" has gone the same route as the corporate news.



its just as simple as asking follow-up questions that actually makes real journalism. Someting those talking point robots on TV just don't grasp.

But maybe in reality, they aren't out to find the truth... they are simply trying to tow the corporate line. Which is the most dangerous thing threatening jounalism.



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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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