A Letter from Tim Meehan of Pot TV

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February 28, 2004

Dear Friends of Authentic Journalism:

We’re at a very unique and special time in the history of our planet: Voices of marginalized peoples are now on the same level of those called on by the establishment media, thanks to the Internet.

With that in mind, I hope you will carefully consider a donation to the Fund for Authentic Journalism.

Many of you already know of the good work of Al Giordano and the journalists at Narconews.com. Chronicling the drug war, from somewhere in a country called América, Al and his colleagues bring the voice of the people directly affected by predatory drug and national policies to an unprecedented world audience. Last year, Narco News took the initiative to establish the School for Authentic Journalism to educate people about reporting on the effects of the Narco-Industrial Complex—in several languages—at a local level and especially in Latin America, where the battle is fiercest.

Widely considered the fresh battleground between predatory governmental policies and sane drug policy, the nations of Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Argentina and Peru, among others, have been struggling to find their path. The peoples of those nations will pursue a rational policy when it comes to the drug trade, but only if they are given unbiased, truthful, and complete information.

When it comes to reporting on drug wars from around the world, the importance of this work cannot be understated. For example, we here in Canada have noticed the difference that Authentic Journalism has made in the shaping our national debate around cannabis legalization.

As Authentic Journalist Richard Cowan of marijuananews.com and pot-tv.net has pointed out, “We are too White to invade, and too close to ignore,” and our voices are having a considerable impact on the story of our struggle in the United States. Often times our voices are not welcomed by U.S. interests, but fortunately, we have the backing of interested philanthropists who fund and facilitate (on a limited level) the telling of our stories.

Many poorer nations, unfortunately, do not have this support, often times simply because they happen to be of a different race, language, or nationality. This is why it is so important to ask for your donation to help support the voices of people across América.

If you’re not convinced yet, it helps if you look at the international narco-industrial complex as a machine.

Predatory governments depend on this narco-industrial machine for their income and prosperity. Their agenda is raw power and money.

Establishment media (some of them in a perverse symbiotic relationship with these same predatory governments) often feign concern for certain aspects of the machine’s operation. Perhaps the control panel is designed improperly, or maybe the operators are improperly trained in efficient operation. However, they ultimately ignore stories damaging to the government’s agenda, and by extension, theirs. People that speak out, saying that this machine has no place in society, are ignored because it threatens their access and power.

Authentic Journalists, on the other hand, look at the wiring of the machine, look at where the power source is coming in, look at who benefits from the existence of the machine in the first place, and expose these truths—as well as a away to cut the power off. Authentic Journalists have an agenda too—make no mistake about it. Their agenda is truth.

The Internet has changed the rules of engagement in the battle for ideas. While this may be obvious to those like myself, who have followed its progression from text-based to graphical interfaces, and to today with it’s entrenchment into American and Canadian society, it helps have a historical perspective on things.

Part of the problem with asking funding for these projects may simply be because of the lack of realization by donors that were are ahead of the curve.

So I’ll ask you now to make a contribution to The Fund for Authentic Journalism, specifically to train beginning journalists and journalism students at next summer’s School of Authentic Journalism session, via this PayPal link.

Or you can send a check to:

The Fund for Authentic Journalism P.O. Box 71051 Madison Heights, MI 48071 USA

And if you’d like to acknowledge this letter – an example of mutual aid among independent media – as inspiring your donation, please write “Tim Meehan Letter” on the envelope.

All funds received in direct response to this letter by midnight March 18, 2004, will help determine how many scholarships in Authentic Journalism that Narco News can offer this year.

Sir Authur C. Clarke came up with the idea of geosynchronous orbit for communication satellites almost twenty years before they became a reality. Marshall McLuhan prophesied the world wide web’s global village in the 1960s, and it came to fruition almost fourteen years after his death in 1980.

Ultimately, any donation to a cause like ours is a gamble on future. We truly believe Authentic Journalism will change the world, and we sincerely believe we will meet your expectations—and then some.

I hope we can count on your support.

Sincerely,

Tim Meehan POT-TV News Ontario Consumers for Safe Access to Recreational Cannabis Toronto, Ontario, Canada

tim.meehan@utoronto.ca / tim@ocsarc.org

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