Time to Plant The Field

By Al Giordano

"Sí se puede!"

- César Chávez, born 82 years ago today

Some readers of The Field may not be aware that while I’ve posted 75 stories and essays on this page - and responded to so many more of your comments and questions - since January 1, I’ve also been directing an international online newspaper, Narco News, which has published 150 important news stories and translations from throughout the American hemisphere in these same first three months of 2009.

Narco News also hosts The Field, where since we moved here in June 2008 we haven't had to worry about any pesky censorship problems!

Many of those reports have investigated and broken important news stories, especially, lately, regarding the increasingly heavy cloud of drug war violence in Mexico along the US border and its true causes. As a parade of US officials conduct high profile visits south of the border – last week, Secretary Clinton, and, soon, Secretary Napolitano, Attorney General Holder and President Obama next month – our reporters are daily supplying the public and those that make decisions with better, more accurate, information that the commercial media and agency bureaucrats have shrouded with their false narratives.

That part of my daily workload - one that's been my joyous responsibility for the past nine years - may not be as interesting or important to every single reader of The Field (many simply share my status as “political junky” and come here to share that special fix that I enjoy offering) but keeping the Narco News projects doing that work is the Sina Qua Non (that without which “nothing else can happen”) of keeping The Field publishing, too. And one need only peruse the front page of Narco News to see the gravity and excellence of authentic journalism at work.

As I note in today’s appeal, the $10,000 readers donated in December has fueled, over three months, a total of 225 reports on these pages, a third of them – 75 in 90 days - at The Field.

Today we’re asking for your donations to keep this work going in the coming months, with a goal of $15,000. And we’re inviting all donors of $100 or more to attend the Narco News Ninth Anniversary Celebration in New York City on April 22. (We did it in Manhattan two years ago, and folks still talk about that great party today: not to be missed, if you can make it.)

So please donate what you can (you may have some Stimulus tax rebates coming soon, no?) and, to help encourage others to do the same, use the comments section here to let us all know the amount you’ve contributed or that you pledge to contribute in the next three weeks.

Know the satisfaction when you watch the scales tip, on our fund campaign graph, that they do so thanks to your contribution, and that you are part of shifting power away from Big Media and back toward Authentic Journalism.

Please donate today, online, via the website of The Fund for Authentic Journalism (where your contributions are tax-deductible in the US).

Or send a check via snail mail to:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism

PO Box 241

Natick, MA 01760 USA

In the past 90 days, we’ve accompanied you through the change in administrations in the United States, navigated with you through the shoals Big Media lies and the squalls of panicked blogosphere poutrage, administered countless Chicken Little vaccinations free of charge, kept the spotlight on the grassroots and community organizing activities that almost everybody else has ignored, granted six scholarships in journalism and organizing, and, according to what many of you have said, saved some of you from expensive mental health care costs, too!

Most importantly, I hope I’ve regularly provided you with news and information you otherwise wouldn’t know today, offered some different and more interesting lenses through which to view it all, and given you plenty to think about, discuss out there in the real world, and act upon.

If you’re appreciative of what we’ve offered here absolutely free of charge, and hope as I do that we can keep giving it away, please consider making such a donation. You already know that size doesn’t matter: that this project is fueled by many small contributions, saving us from dependence on advertisers or other pressures from above.

And whether your contribution is $5 or $500, it qualifies you for a co-publisher account, which allows you to comment without moderation here at The Field, and also at Narco News and on The Narcosphere, where co-publishers have your own blogs, too.

The sooner we meet our spring appeal goal of $15,000, the sooner I can get back to focusing the attention I'd like to give to reporting politics and policy in the United States via The Field. Many Field Hands make light – and fast – work. You’ve always risen to the challenge before. Thank you so much for that. And thank you, in advance, for rising again to it today.


- Al



Just contributed $25

Keep up the great work, Al (and all your fellow journalists and students)!  I truly appreciate and look forward to reading, thinking, and acting upon it.

One Benjamin coming

Unfortunately, it appears that dollar bills at my bank still have Henry Paulson's signature, but if you can ignore that, this one is for you.

Can't afford much these days...

...but I'm in for a ten-spot.  Keep up the good work.


As y'all can see, we're already moving the scales.

And Nick - thank YOU. If ten percent of the readers here gave just ten bucks apiece we wouldn't have to hold a fundraiser for another year or two!

Automatic Debit


Do you have an automatic debit selection? I could give $10 per month.

20 bucks

in the kitty. Keep on truckin', Al & co.


just put 25.00 in for you, wish I could do $1,000 for always giving me back my sanity when I read you!

@ Anonymous

Anonymous - Yes! You can make a monthly pledge at The Fund for Authentic Journalism page:


Thanks Al

I'm in for $15.00 USD for each month, for 12 installments - especially in honor of selecting a Tennessean for a scholorship. Hope this tips the scales more than $15.


$25 for now, Al. More may be possible after the 20th. I'm also considering a monthly contribution. Thank you for keepin' on keepin' on....


Monthly gift

Last post, I gave a donation in honor of the 6 scholarship winners and encouraged donating.

How thrilled I was to see that I was on the fundraising wavelength with Al and the sphere.

So...I signed up for the monthly draft for the Fund.  If I did that for the Obama campaign, I can certainly do this for the Field and Narco News.

Now, if I could get to NYC for the party...



Al, Thanks for all that you've taught me.


In for $50. Thanks for keeping me sane and on course. (I thought I must be outraged and then I realized I was not! :-) )

Kicked in $20

I wish I could do more but right now we're a mostly unemployed household.

Thank you for all the work you, Al, and all the reporters at Narco News do.

$30 here

As someone who lives in a border state, I fully appreciate the work that Narco News does (and even though the stuff that has bleeding across the border is bad it is still nothing compared what's been happening in Mexico, it's really heart-breaking). Here's to continuing your important work!

Latin trolling here :-)

It's spelled sine qua non, and it actually literally means “without which nothing.”

(Oh, and I kicked in $25, so don't say I'm not contributing constructively :-P :-D )


It's a privilege and an honor to be connected to this group.  I especially appreciate the teaching from Al, Narconews journalists and all the commenters.

Monthly debits great way to go and help groups better forecast

Hey all, first, a plug for those monthly donations. Right now I can't manage a $120 one-off, but $10 monthly achieves that amount. It works best, though, when many take the monthly pledge. $5 = $60, $10 = $120, $15 = $180, and so forth.

Even better, added together, those gifts allow a non-profit a predictable funding stream -- again, where there are enough of the monthly donations together (take it from a long, long-time fundraiser) -- helping bring down overhead costs, helping a group be able to plan ahead, helping to ease the stress of constantly needing to raise those funds!

Al, I'm not sure what my next 3 weeks are looking like yet, but I will pitch in on top as soon as I can, which will be within the next 8 weeks.

You guys do great work....and man, $44 per story/essay? At the same time, you're absoultely right, you folks need more. It's not long-term sustainable. :)

I know from my experience at CorpWatch ---- we made a strategic choice to up our network of freelancers' pay (and our Iraq/Afghanistan reporting ain't cheap) in the last year.

Granted, we have the double-edged benefit of support from US foundations, but that's meant a conscious choice on my part to not be able to pursue the issue research and writing that I will get back to really digging into in time, but rather focus on project managing, bringing in the funds, and buildin out our team, especially in this economy.

In any case, if you haven't donated to The Field/NarcoNews, please do. And please consider the monthly pledge, $5 is great! Imagine what a mass of small, sustained shots of funding can facilitate.

It's amazing the shoe-string these folks are running on. I'm not saying anyone needs a mansion, but I definitely believe in a sustainable and fair wage. Especially when so well-earned. Adelante!



Si se puede!

I can do $10 a month and will set up the automatic payment.  Today my oldest son is celebrating his 18th birthday and this donation is for him!

¿ʇɐɥʍ ʎɐs

Hi Al

My half of the household will contribute $20 at my next paycheck. The other half of the household will contribute his own amount! :)

Party Time

Mark me down for one party invite! Although I probably won't make it to NYC, The Field has made me look smart time and time again. Keep up the great work....


In for $10.  Nice to see a fellow Austinite receive a scholarship.

Thanks for linking to Simon's important piece at El Enemigo Comun earlier this week, by the way. 

(Erm, does the 150 number include the Narco News links to stories published elsewhere?)

@ Ansel

Ansel - No, the 150 number does not include external link (like Simon's excellent story). We're kind of old fashioned in that we may be one of the only Internet news sources that doesn't re-publish work already posted elsewhere (except if we translate it to another language). We prefer always to link to the original source rather than spam the Internet with duplicates.

And thanks for the ten-spot!


in california, went to the dmv that day to pick up something. turned out the office was closed in honor of cesar chavez. how cool is that?

In for 30.

Would love to make the NYC event, but will definitely make the next Chicago event. Without Nate though, it might be a while before The Field makes it back to the Windy City.

glad to contribute

Happy to contribute, Al.  Whenever I see the Poutocracy screaming itself blue in the face I can always come to the Field and get the straight scoop!  I have found myself watching for the "Jane Hamsher posts a screed" to watch the Poutocracy pinball machine light up!  It's great to read everything you write.

Add comment

Our Policy on Comment Submissions: Co-publishers of Narco News (which includes The Narcosphere and The Field) may post comments without moderation. A ll co-publishers comment under their real name, have contributed resources or volunteer labor to this project, have filled out this application and agreed to some simple guidelines about commenting.

Narco News has recently opened its comments section for submissions to moderated comments (that’s this box, here) by everybody else. More than 95 percent of all submitted comments are typically approved, because they are on-topic, coherent, don’t spread false claims or rumors, don’t gratuitously insult other commenters, and don’t engage in commerce, spam or otherwise hijack the thread. Narco News reserves the right to reject any comment for any reason, so, especially if you choose to comment anonymously, the burden is on you to make your comment interesting and relev ant. That said, as you can see, hundreds of comments are approved each week here. Good luck in your comment submission!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

User login


About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

RSS Feed