Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Support Consortium News

Robert Parry,

I understand that times are tough and there are many worthy causes deserving of your attention.

As a longtime investigative journalist, I also realize that our goal at of building an accurate record of what the U.S. government has done – often in secret – can seem abstract at times. How does that help feed the poor or house the homeless?

It’s a reasonable question. But it is my belief that only through the wide dissemination of honest information can the American political process recover its vitality and, yes, its sanity. And only then can some of the intractable problems facing the United States and the world be properly addressed.

As long as propaganda and disinformation reign, the chances that politicians – or mainstream journalists – will take the risks to do what’s right are remote. In my view, today’s media/political environment breeds craziness on one side of the partisan divide and timidity on the other.

At – over the past 15 years – we have endeavored to provide reliable information on some of the most difficult investigative topics, but especially on questions of war and peace where human lives are at stake and national treasuries can be squandered.

In effect, we have worked to create an honest counter-narrative to the mythical-and-mistake-ridden one that dominates Official Washington. Repeatedly, we have challenged the conventional wisdom when it was wrong – and it is often wrong.

We have done all this on a shoestring budget, little more than $130,000 in recent years. As the Great Recession ravaged the nation, our support from donors has declined even more. So, our latest cost-cutting moves have included dropping our modest health insurance plan, payless paydays, and reduced payments to writers.

Yet, the need for the information that we produce seems to be at an all-time high. In just the past few weeks, I’ve been asked to post more of our exclusive documents on the Internet and to resurrect some of the investigative journalism that I produced when I worked at the Associated Press, Newsweek and PBS Frontline in the 1980s and 1990s. But all that takes time and money.

Because of the lingering recession, we also reduced our end-of-year fundraising goal to a modest $35,000. However, we have raised less than half that target.

So, I am making one last appeal to readers and others who support what we do to consider a tax-deductible donation to our effort. (And I wish to thank those who have found some way to back our work, either through donations and book purchases, or by forwarding our stories to others.)

Here are three ways you can help us reach our goal:

First option: You can make a donation, big or small. You can do so either by credit card at the Web site or by check - to Consortium for Independent Journalism (CIJ); Suite 102-231; 2200 Wilson Blvd.; Arlington VA 22201. Or you can use PayPal (our account is named after our e-mail address "").

(Our parent organization, Consortium for Independent Journalism, is a 501-c-3 non-profit, so your contributions can be tax-deductible.)

Second, if you'd rather spread out your support in smaller amounts, you can sign up for a monthly donation. With contributions of $10 or more a month, you can qualify for war correspondent Don North's new DVD, "Yesterday's Enemies" about the lives of former Salvadoran guerrillas. For details, click here. (If you sign up for a monthly donation and want to get Don's DVD, remember to contact us at

Third, you can take advantage of our deep discount for the three-book set of Robert Parry's Lost History, Secrecy & Privilege, and Neck Deep (co-authored with Sam and Nat Parry). The price for the set is only $29. Our goal is to sell at least five dozen more sets so we can make way for a new book. For details, click here.

Thanks so much.

Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. He founded in 1995 as the Internet's first investigative magazine. He saw it as a way to combine modern technology and old-fashioned journalism to counter the increasing triviality of the mainstream U.S. news media.

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