More than 70 percent of Indonesian men smoke. So do more than 40 percent of 13- to 15-year old boys. And then there are the legions of even younger smokers. Despite recent bans on smoking in public places and prohibitions on cigarette ads, public-health activists describe Indonesia as a “playground” for big tobacco companies like Philip Morris, which makes the country’s No. 2 cigarette as well as the ubiquitous brand evoked by Michelle Siu‘s photos of the kids she calls “Marlboro boys.”

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.

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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.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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