Narco News Needs Your Help at this Exciting Moment

September 16, 2014

Please Distribute Widely

In Memoriam: Gary Webb (1955-2004)


Dear Colleague,

For more than fourteen years “the little online newspaper that could” has done great reporting and analysis that can’t be found anywhere else. We investigate and break important stories. We produce videos that “go viral.” And we’ve trained hundreds of talented people to do this work. If you’re receiving this message it’s because you already know that. So I’ll get right to the point.

Narco News is in a severe “cash crunch” right now. We do not have the minimal resources we need to get us through this next month and do the job we have to do. I’ll tell you exciting news about what is ahead in a moment but I know your time is valuable so here, up top, is the link to how you can make a donation to the Fund for Authentic Journalism right now online:

Or you can send a check to:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism

PO Box 1446

Easthampton, MA 01027

The first and biggest thing that is about to happen – and it’s a game changer for authentic journalism – is that on October 10 a Hollywood movie hits the cinemas about the late Narco News editor and School of Authentic Journalism professor Gary Webb. It’s called “Kill the Messenger.” Jeremy Renner portrays Gary and his 1996 reporting of the Dark Alliance story that documented cocaine trafficking by the CIA and touched off an international firestorm.

Last week, on Narco News, we retold that story and set up vital context for the movie’s release. If you missed that story, here is the link.

With your immediate help, we will be able to send our senior investigative reporter, Bill Conroy, to Northern California to interview the people who were closest to Gary and tell their story of his life and death.

The movie names names and takes aim at the three big daily newspapers that led the character assassination campaign against Gary for having reported that series: the LA Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times. They hounded a good man to his grave. Gary’s own newspaper, the San Jose Mercury News, cowardly censored his Dark Alliance series from the Internet. One of Gary’s final requests was that Narco News publish it and make it live again, and upon his death, with his family’s permission, we did so. It appears at this link:

In the coming weeks, Narco News TV will release eight short videos of Gary Webb in his own words, from the 2003 School of Authentic Journalism. If you help us today, we will be able to promote them with advertising on Facebook and other social media before and after the movie comes out. Gary deserves to be widely heard in his own voice. You can make that possible.

As you know, at Narco News we live close to the land and keep a very low overhead so we don’t have to ask you for money constantly. We’d much rather be doing the work of reporting.

If you and others like you all chip in what you can at this historic moment, you can also make it possible for me to go to New York City for the premier of the movie, and from the media capital of the world, make the maximum possible noise to bring attention to Gary’s real life message. For those of you who will be in the New York area on Thursday, October 9, and who give a donation this week, I invite you to join me – and other School of Authentic Journalism graduates - at the midnight premier of Kill the Messenger. Once you’ve donated, send me an email at and prior to that date I’ll contact you with the details so we can meet up for a drink and a chat before the premier and do it together as a group.

Obviously, that can only happen if enough of you respond to this message. But if we’re one thing in this newsroom, we are optimists! You’ve never let us down before and every day we remind ourselves that, in turn, we can’t ever let you down either.

Even if you, like us at this moment, don’t have the resources to make a donation, there is another important way you can participate. In the coming weeks we will make available a leaflet to be distributed at the cinemas where “Kill the Messenger” will screen, informing moviegoers of where they can read Gary Webb’s Dark Alliance series online. It will be a national (and international) grassroots organizing campaign in memory of our fallen friend and colleague. It will likely also include creative actions at the gates of the big media companies that so viciously attacked Gary and his journalism, which the movie – like the facts themselves – vindicates. Stay tuned for more details on how you can be part of it.

During these weeks we’ll also continue our regular work: Bill Conroy’s investigative reports about the drug war, a new Narco News TV video that gives migrants the last laugh (Greg Berger was able to raise the minimal resources for that through a Kickstarter campaign last month), and you may have also noticed that I am reporting anew on US politics and specifically looking ahead to the 2016 presidential elections, as well as continuing the writing of the oral history of the No Nukes movement from 1973-1982.

Once we “stop the bleeding” on our current financial crisis, we’ll organize a Kickstarter campaign to fund the next School of Authentic Journalism. But first things first, we have this huge month ahead, and need your help and participation to seize the unique moment it will create.

Once again, you can make your contribution (which is tax-deductible) online via this link:

Or you can send a check:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism

PO Box 1446

Easthampton, MA 01027

Thank you, again and in advance, for your support and participation. These are exciting times. Let’s all live up to them!

From somewhere in a country called América,


Al Giordano

Publisher, Narco News

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About Al Giordano


Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.