Send Money and Coffee for this Hot Year Ahead
Narco News Has a Lot on Its Plate, But No Java in Its Cup
By Luis A. Gómez
Acting Publisher, Narco News
January 30, 2006
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening…
From where I am it is impossible to know what time it is for you, kind readers. We live so far from one another, so anonymously, that I couldn’t say if you’re reading our work during the daytime or the nighttime, in some café somewhere or in bed, while you chat with someone else or while alone. I can only tell you one thing about our relationship: what you receive via our email alerts, what you can read, print out, copy or republish in your local, alternative, or community media, is real and is true. Narco News is a small group of journalists who are honest, committed, proud, angry… and poor.
Yes, I’m going to ask you for money one more time… I have no other choice.
Or would some of your prefer that the commercial news agencies tell you the story of the DEA in Bogotá? Wouldn’t you rather have Bill Conroy’s meticulous work sent right to your home, fresh out of the oven and ready to serve? Not to mention publishing – and therefore putting out into the public domain – the now-famous Kent Memorandum… Doesn’t it seem meaningful, or symbolic, or revealing that the DEA itself has said that it “takes very seriously” what your humble, black-paged internet newspaper has published about the agency?
Does anyone have any complaints about our coverage from Mexico? Don’t you like our videos, our stories of people emerging “from below and to the left” on the map of our societies? Can anyone here say that he or she does not feel close to Subcomandante Marcos, now known as “Delegate Zero?” Al Giordano and more than a dozen authentic journalists have transformed themselves into a great road team to cover the Zapatistas’ “Other Campaign,” which we ourselves of course have joined, not just to cover it but also as another piece of the puzzle of the world where many worlds will one day have to fit… Ah, yes, one more detail: Did any of you notice that our coverage in Chiapas and the Mexican southeast was written in and translated into six (6) different languages?
Don’t you like the dozens of comments, stories, opinion columns, and even simple greetings that the hundreds of Narco News copublishers post each month in the Narcosphere?
What? Don’t you like our logo? And what about our archives?
You’ll notice that all Gary Webb’s “Dark Alliance” files are still up there, as well as everything related to the lawsuit filed by Mexico’s biggest bank against Narco News… I suppose you’ll have already read how, with our victory in the Supreme Court of New York, we won a legal precedent that extended the rights to freedom of expression established in the First Amendment to journalists working on the Internet… Damn, we have a whole little virtual library with all those treasures and our archives of past issues, completely free for all to read! Day or night, always at your disposal!
And for doing these things they have called us just about everything… “sensationalists,” radicals (oooh, so we’re ra-di-cals!), bullies, lapdogs, pseudo-journalists… as if it were we that attack the people, manipulate information, or – as Colombia’s Semana magazine recently did to us – steal information without giving credit to the original source..
And because we do these things, kind readers, we can also say that the Zapatistas in Mexico allow us to be with them, just like the coca growers in Peru, or the barrio-dwellers of Caracas… or in Bolivia, the Aymara peasant farmers, the citizens of El Alto, the cocaleros and even some of Evo Morales’ ministers… We are loved in respected in different corners of Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador… (Did I forget to mention that we are required reading among some indigenous leaders?)
But, obviously, we can’t do it all… because we find ourselves penniless from time to time. This could be a running dialog between our editorial staff:
Gómez: I was thinking of going to Peru to see the elections up close… but we have no money.
Giordano: Doesn’t your neighbor have any he could lend you?
Gómez: I already borrowed from him last month, and now to make things worse I’m out of coffee…
Giordano: Can’t you go to your girlfriend’s house?
Gómez: I’m at my girlfriend’s house now, and she doesn’t have any coffee either…
Giordano: Well, we’re screwed, because I want to go cover another part of Delegate Zero’s tour…
Gómez: I think we’re going to have to ask the readers for money…
Giordano: Yep, and for more coffee, too…
Does this seem fair to you? We’re the best online newspaper we can be, given the circumstances… but we need more resources to move forward, to reach your beds, your desks, your screens, your files and your memories… So can we reach one more time for your wallets and pockets, kind readers?
2006 promises to be one hot year, with elections everywhere, with Bolivia’s first indigenous president, with the Zapatistas’ tour… We just can’t miss all of that. So please think about making a February donation to:
Or send checks and well-ground coffee to:
The Fund for Authentic Journalism
P.O. Box 241
Natick, MA 01760 USA
We coffee-deprived authentic journalists will thank you for your support in the only way we know how: investigating, analyzing, publishing and reporting from somewhere in our América…
Thank you once again,
Luis A. Gómez
Lea Ud. el Artículo en Español
Narco News is funded by your contributions to The Fund for Authentic Journalism.
Please make journalism like this possible by going to The Fund's web site
and making a contribution today.
- The Fund for Authentic Journalism
For more Narco News, click here.