Genocide or Jacko?

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Heard about the ongoing genocide in Darfur? If so, it probably hasn’t been from television news. The Center for American Progress explains:

The vast majority of Americans continue to rely on broadcast and cable television as their primary source of information. No other source of information, including newspapers, radio and the Internet, comes close to the power of television. For many, if an event is not reported on television, it does not happen.

As the horror in Darfur continues, our major television news networks are largely missing in action. Last month, CNN, FOX News, NBC/MSNBC, ABC, and CBS ran 50 times as many stories about Michael Jackson and 12 times as many stories about Tom Cruise as they did about the genocide in Darfur. Whether it is coverage of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and ’60s, the Ethiopian famine in the 1980s, or recent coverage of the tsunami, television news can help stop grave injustices and end human suffering. Increased television coverage of the genocide in Darfur has the power to spur the action required to stop a devastating crime against humanity. In short, increased television coverage of the genocide in Darfur has the power to help save thousands of lives.

But, you know, the media market is such a wonderful thing, and if Tom Cruise is what the people are demanding…

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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