How to get better news coverage of protests

Posted by Mitchell - February 27, 2003 (entry 7)

From Danny Schecter's mediachannel.org weblog:

Ian Brand writes about one way to encourage better news coverage of protests. "During the last protest on Feb 15, I brought the same sign I brought to DC in October. It says the following in large bold letters:

"ATTENTION CELL PHONE USERS!!

"PLEASE CALL THE NEW YORK TIMES!! (Times phone #)

”ASK THEM: DO YOU INTEND TO COVER THIS HISTORIC RALLY? AND ALSO: WILL YOU PUT IT ON THE FRONT PAGE?

"TELL THEM HOW MANY OF US SHOWED? PHONE NOW!! BE OUR THOUSANDTH CALLER!!

"As in October, the response was powerful. Many people called The Times. In DC, the person at the National desk said several hundred people had phoned in. I had three or four people calling at once. The same was true on F15….. We know that many people complained about the poor coverage--from many quarters including a FAIR media bulletin--and the Times was forced to write a more accurate story 3 days later.

"I believe many people felt empowered by this simple (on the ground) action. People always scream about the skewed numbers and the misinformation, but few people actually communicate their outrage to the media outlets in question."

Update: It has come to my attention that this technique should be used with discretion. If you don't choose your intended recipient carefully, you might irk media outlets that might otherwise be sympathetic to your cause.

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