<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español September 1, 2014 | Issue #40


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Narco News: “Browser can’t find server”

Without You, Narco News Will Become a Lost Link in the Struggle


By Bill Conroy

March 29, 2006

Since I began writing for Narco News in early 2004, I have donated some $1,700 in currency to the project, plus more than $2,500 in paying my transportation, housing and other costs to serve as one of the many professors at the second Narco News School of Authentic Journalism held in Bolivia in 2004. That cash outlay comes on top of the countless hours of my life I have spent in pursuing investigative journalism on my own time for Narco News – investigative journalism that I believe would likely have had no other outlet if it were not for Narco News.

I have not, nor do I plan to, take a dime from Narco News for my efforts. I see my work and money donations to the project as a small price to pay for helping to make the world just a little bit more transparent, a little bit more just for my children. Maybe some with a more cynical outlook on human nature might see my commitment as foolish. They might consider me irresponsible and believe that the money and time could be better spent directly on my family or my own personal needs.

But I don’t do these things for those who see things that way, for those who believe their backyard is not connected to my backyard.

I make these sacrifices for the same reason that others among us do, including you: because I believe that investing our sweat equity in building a better future, a more just community, is not a waist of money or time.

My biggest fear in all of my work for Narco News has not been the threat from the outside — from federal agents coming to my door or workplace or from intimidation by powerful interests who don’t like what I write.

Those are fears that are all tempered by the fact that I know I am not alone in this endeavor, that I am part of a bigger network of similarly dedicated individuals taking the same risks, and often greater risks. As evidence of that collective strength, we need only look at the commitment of the brave authentic journalists who have embarked on the trail of the Other Campaign in Mexico with little more than the winds of change at their backs, and ahead of them, within our sights because of their work, the glimmer of justice on the horizon.

No, I don’t fear what others can do to me because of my commitment to Narco News and the truth it is attempting to witness. What I really fear is what we might do to ourselves.

I fear waking up one day to click on the link to the Narco News’ site on my Safari browser only to find that it takes me to a page that says: “Safari can’t find the server.” I fear that this project, which we (the writers and readers) all have all helped build into one of the most powerful authentic voices of journalism in the hemisphere, will one day be silenced, not because of outside forces but because we let it slip away, because we couldn’t find a way to keep the fire going.

But I have not made this commitment lightly. I understand the stakes, and accept the risks of failure, but I don’t give up easily. I do these things because I do believe in the future, in sacrificing small things now, like my time and money, to give life to something greater down the road, even if I can’t quite see what that better world is from this crook in the path. And I believe many people believe as I do; more importantly, I believe you, kind readers, believe the same.

If ever we needed to renew that commitment to this hope, to this project for creating a better community, it is now. We have walked many miles down this path toward that horizon, but we have miles to go before we arrive. More sacrifice is needed. Nothing great is accomplished without great risk and effort.

So I am asking you with great humility, but also with pride in the journey we have made so far, to please do what you can to help continue pushing this ragtag cart of authentic journalists further down the road by giving what you can from your piggy banks.

You can make that donation online, at this website:

http://www.authenticjournalism.org/

Or you can mail a check, made out to “The Fund for Authentic Journalism,” to:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism
P.O. Box 241
Natick, MA 01760

In the final analysis, the greatest threat to Narco News is not from its enemies, but from our own inaction. And even though I may only be a fool with a dream, it is a dream that matters. I believe in Narco News, in all of you, and have faith that this time the horizon is within reach, if only we commit to making that journey together.

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America