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….

MORE Last fall people around the world mourned the loss of the Narco News.  To many, frankly, myself among them, it looked like we'd seen the last from Narco News.  That's when a brave and determined man named George Salzman singlehandedly initiated the Civil Society Campaign to Save Narco News.  Professor Salzman's generosity, dedication and tenaciousness quickly inspired others and proved that Narco News could indeed be saved.  I'm not certain how the sound will carry over the internet, but we all owe George Salzman a huge round of applause for the work he's done and continues to do.  

To build on the momentum of the Civli Society Campaign and make sure there would be a permanent organization to continue this work in the years ahead, we formed The Fund for Authentic Journalism.  Michele Stoddard, the Rev. Douglas Wilson and myself organized The Fund for Authentic Journalism as a nonprofit corporation in the State of Michigan.  We take no compensation so all of your contributions go directly to the work of the Narco News and its School of Authentic Journalism.  At some point in the future we'd like to consider sponsoring other worthy projects as well, but that's something for well down the road.  We're not about to leave half-done the job of insuring solid and consistent funding for Narco News and The School of Authentic Journalism.  There is still much to do.

We're also adamantly committed to letting the journalists be journalists without the slightest bit of editorial interference from us.  If we were to start making demands on Narco News such as wanting certain stories covered or certain angles unexplored, it would completely fly in the face of everything we are trying to accomplish.  Of course, I may be posting my comments and suggestions all over this NarcoSphere.  But whether I post great ideas or off topic troll bait, I want to make it very clear these will be my opinions as an individual and not reflective of anything beyond that.  

Finally, I've got fresh news about that generous $30,000 matching grant we announced over New Year's from the Tides Fund for Drug Policy Reform.  On February 5th we came to an agreement with the fine folks at Tides over how the grant will be disbursed.  We'll get it in three $10,000 installments, the first of which is being sent this week.  As soon as we can show Tides blocks of $10,000 dollars that we've raised, we'll get the other two.  

Before we can announce the availability of scholarship slots for the 2004 School of Authentic Journalism, we're going to have to qualify for that second $10,000 matching installment.  Our goal is to do it by March 18th.  We have already made progress towards that goal, so let's get busy and show how common people can band together can take back journalism from the corporate simulators who think they can destroy journalism and democracy.  

There are plenty ways to make your contribution, right now.  To give $100, click here.  Or, here to give $25.  Remember, because of the matching funds grant, your contribution is effectively doubled.  Can't afford to give $70 by clicking here?  No problem. Click here to give $35 and Tides will match it with another $35. Or join our growing core group giving $10 dollars monthly by clicking here.  Or check out all the other options at The Fund for Authentic Journalism website.  Or mail a check payable to "The Fund for Authentic Journalism" to P.O. Box 71051, Madison Heights, MI 48071.  

In my next blog post, I'll let you know exactly how much more we need to make the March 18th goal.  In the meantime, thanks for all your support and giving me more great news to report next time.  

Andrew Grice, Treasurer
The Fund for Authentic Journalism

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