Thursday, February 7, 2019

LISTEN/DOWNLOAD/SUPPORT: "Border Cowboys", Investigative Report On Howard Buffett's Adventures & Spending On Arizona/Mexico Border

Well, we're trying something new here, that will hopefully serve a couple of purposes. Co-founder Paul Weich spends a couple of hours a week volunteering at Sun Sounds of Arizona, which is a statewide nonprofit reading service for people who have difficulty holding and/or reading print material because of a disability. It is part of the KJZZ/KBAQ/Spot 127 nonprofit operation operated by Rio Salado College and the Maricopa Community Colleges.

In addition to filling in and reading the Arizona Republic, Wall Street Journal and various magazines, Paul records the Phoenix New Times (which is never boring) each week. Most of the articles would not be appropriate to post here, but some of the award-winning reporting meshes well with Arizona's Politics.

The two-part series published last month is among the latter, and inaugurates this new feature. "Border Cowboys" delves into what is going on down on the Cochise County portion of the U.S./Mexico border, and how the heck billionaire Howard Buffett fits into the vigilante history there. Throw in the Sheriff's Offices in Cochise County and a couple of Illinois operations and conservation districts, and you have an article that must be heard (or, read) to be believed.

The Fund for Investigative Journalism, Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Center for Media and Democracy contributed financial support to this reporting. And, those are all worthy of your support.

However, the 2nd purpose of offering this article for listening/downloading is to raise awareness and funds for Sun Sounds of Arizona. If you know of someone who would benefit from listening to these newspapers, magazines and more, take a moment to let them know. And, since it is a member-supported nonprofit community service, take another moment and become a member.

Paul spoke this week with Beau Hodai, the reporter for "Border Cowboys". It took more than three years to research, report and get it published, and we asked him to tell our readers a little bit more about the effort:
"A large factor contributing to this prolonged period of gestation was the impoverished state of the American news media. 
"Independent investigative journalism is in serious peril. Due to the weakened state of newsrooms and their budgets, there is a diminished appetite among publishers for potentially unflattering reporting pertaining to wealthy and influential interests. 
"As much as this particular story sits at the crossroads of so many issues weighing heavily on us in these times, it was rejected and dropped by a long string of publishers before it reached its final home with the Phoenix New Times. We should never take the existence of such publications-- willing to take on this kind of reporting-- for granted.
"Simply put, the number of those in this profession who are able to "comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable" has been decimated, several times over, in the course of these past few decades (though, to be honest, I'm not sure it was ever our job to comfort anybody). 
"Do what you can to support investigative reporting. Support your local independent news outlets (if you have any). And-- wherever practicable-- seek out information yourself. Ask questions. Assert the truth-- especially amid a chorus of lies and misinformation."

If you would like to show your appreciation for Arizona's Politics reporting, please consider donating to our pool to support OTHER journalism-related nonprofits. 

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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