Dear Salon reader:
I recently had lunch with a prominent San Francisco businessman who suggested that Salon needed a marketing slogan. Prodded to come up with one on the spot, I blurted out, "All the news that no one else will print." While he didn't offer me a position in his marketing department, he seemed to think it fit.
From the strange neighborhood-snooping alliance between John Ashcroft and Fox TV's "America's Most Wanted" program to the preferential treatment given drug offender Noelle Bush because of her family name, Salon runs the stories you can't find anywhere else -- or, by the time the rest of the press gets around to them, weeks or months have gone by. Like our scoop on the celebrities who are quietly paid by drug companies to talk up their pharmaceutical products on chat shows. The New York Times ran its version of that story a month later.
The Times also trailed us on our story about how police departments are using digital photography to prosecute domestic abuse cases. On Thursday of this week, news organizations everywhere told us about the Bell Labs scientist who faked the data behind claims of extraordinary breakthroughs in physics -- the same story Salon reported 10 days previously. Then there's the July 18 article we ran on how U.S. oil companies would benefit from a "regime-changing" war on Iraq, at the expense of European and Russian competitors. The Washington Post ran a similar piece last week. And did you see the recent front-page Wall Street Journal story on how President Bush's belated human rights stand was backfiring in Egypt? Salon had that story the week before.
Salon's groundbreaking journalism continues to win awards. Earlier this month, we received three nominations in the Online Journalism Awards -- for general excellence, for Jake Tapper's investigative reporting on Enron, and for Asra Nomani's haunting dispatches about life among the Taliban and al-Qaida supporters in Pakistan. But Salon can't live on prizes alone. We need your support to keep our brand of independent journalism alive and well. Now, as the Bush administration pushes us toward war in the Middle East while economic hardship spreads and threats to civil liberties mount, we need a feisty and fearless press more than ever.
You can help ensure Salon's vitality -- as more than 40,000 other Salon readers have -- by signing up today to become a Salon Premium subscriber. For those who want to read Salon Premium content but find the $30 annual fee a bit too hard on the wallet, we now offer a lower-priced subscription plan. For $18.50 a year, you can get full access to all of Salon's premium-only content and all the other benefits a subscription provides. The only difference? The lower-priced subscription is supported by advertising -- you'll see the ads that the $30 subscribers don't.
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I know you must be growing weary of seeing outstretched hands -- including my groping digits -- from publications and other organizations these days. But we like to think that Salon has made -- and will to continue to make -- a difference in these days of homogenized McNews. If you agree, please sign up -- today.
-- David Talbot