Help Fiji Water Help You

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Writer Anna Lenzer has brought it to my attention that the subject of her recent Mother Jones expose, Fiji Water, is looking for social media help. And that’s not surprising, considering the thousands of anti-Fiji Water tweets and Facebook comments piled up after the Mother Jones article was published. As Lenzer revealed in the story, Fiji Water is produced in a country ruled by a military junta and despite its green image, its signature bottles uses twice as much plastic as competitors’.

To combat the negative publicity, Fiji Water first tried issuing a statement against the article. Then we posted a rebuttal. The co-owner of the company made libelous comments about the article on Twitter, and Fiji Water’s go-to press rep, Rob Six, posted comments on blogs and newspaper sites. Presumably not seeing much payoff, Fiji Water went with a softer tactic: contests with prizes and feel-good stories about the company’s charitable works.

The company has another Twitter strategy, though: bribery. According to multiple users, @FijiWater contacts those who have tweeted positively about the company and offered them free water. Or, if they’re less lucky, a coupon code or a beach towel. In its desperate bid (or so it seems) to get followers, @FijiWater writes back to just about anybody who tweets nicely about it. Judging by the job listing, even with the swag, it’s still not working as well as they’d like.


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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