With the shutdown of many sectors of the economy in response to coronavirus, US news outlets are expected to take a big hit. Major outlets that rely on advertising money and print newspapers will hurt the most.
The Stranger, a free weekly newspaper based in Seattle, has asked its readers for donations and explained that 90 percent of their revenue comes "from advertising, ticketing fees, and our own events" and "is directly tied to people getting together in groups." For newspapers like The Stranger, coronavirus quarantines and lockdowns have virtually eliminated most of their funding.
For reader-funded outlets like Antiwar.com, now is the time to demonstrate our value. US foreign policy and wars get little coverage as it is from mainstream outlets. With all eyes on coronavirus, that coverage will get even smaller. But here at Antiwar.com, we will keep our razor-sharp focus on all the wars, the shooting ones, and the economic ones.
Major news outlets across the country are suspending paywalls for coronavirus coverage as an act of "public good." Antiwar.com never has, and never will have a paywall. Honest coverage of the wars is in itself an act of public good, and something you will never see from the corporate press.
In the midst of a global pandemic, the US maintains sanctions on Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Syria, and many other countries. Iran is dealing with one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world, and the Trump administration has not only maintained crippling sanctions on the Islamic Republic, but has even added sanctions. Such blatant cruelty will not go unnoticed, and this is an opportunity to shift public opinion into understanding that sanctions are not an alternative to war. Sanctions are war. Antiwar.com’s page is full of stories on how damaging US sanctions are to the rest of the world.
Recent developments in Iraq have again brought the US closer to bombing Iran. Most news outlets regurgitate State Department propaganda and call any Shi’ite militia "Iranian-backed" or "Iranian proxies." Antiwar.com will cover these developments in the proper context, and explain that these Shi’ite militias are allies of the very government the US is in Iraq to protect.
We will also remind you that the US still has no evidence to link the recent rocket attacks on US troops in Iraq directly to Kataib Hezbollah, the militia that was blamed, and no, we will not take Mike Pompeo’s word for it. Just after the US retaliated against Kataib Hezbollah, a new group emerged and took credit for the rocket attacks against US troops.
The genocidal war in Yemen continues, and with it, a cholera epidemic that is a direct result of the US-Saudi siege on the country. Something for Americans to reflect on while they are dealing with the effects of coronavirus shutdowns. There have been valiant efforts by antiwar activists to end US support for the war, but sadly, it rages on. Antiwar.com will continue to cover the world’s worst humanitarian crisis while others will not.
The list of stories for Antiwar.com to cover goes on, from the shadow war in Somalia to the new cold wars with Russia and China, and we cannot do it without your support. Coronavirus will not shut down the US war machine, and we cannot let it shut down dissident voices like ours. We understand tough times are ahead, but please consider giving a tax-deductible donation today.
Dave DeCamp is assistant editor at Antiwar.com and a freelance journalist based in Brooklyn NY, focusing on US foreign policy and wars. He is on Twitter at @decampdave.