Empowering civic activism toward a culture of peace.

This area is designed to specifically discuss the "Generating Media" section of the strategic plan. (Download link for entire plan is below).

We want to know specifically:
• What excites you about it?
• What concerns do you have?
• What could be made better?
• What are ways you want to implement it personally and with your local teams?

Section Contents:


The media plays a vital role in popularizing issues in the national discourse. Yet national dialogue in the media consistently overlooks the efficacy of violence prevention efforts. To change this norm we will generate media that highlights evidence-based violence prevention programs working to make a difference in local communities. We will also focus on disseminating the research that supports our legislative initiatives and the greater work of peacebuilding. In order to raise awareness of the powerful legislation we are supporting we will continue our media efforts aimed at placing the legislation in the national spotlight. We will accomplish this through strategic partnerships, a developed regional level media structure, and a trained network that can generate print, radio and television media.

Research Dissemination: Collaborate with non-profits, NGOs, academia, and/or congressional offices on the dissemination of research, violence statistics and evidence-based violence prevention solutions, and legislation.

Establish Regional Media Structure: Create four volunteer "Regional Media Coordinator" positions to cover Northeast, South, Midwest and Pacific Coast. These positions will focus on generating regional media and training the network.

Enhance Grassroots Media Capability: Train grassroots volunteers to improve their media-generating capacity.

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This is a very good step. After seeing Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine and seeing how we in the US live in a Fear based society, I was encouraged to end my daily intake of TV news. Being involved in the Yoga Community in Central NJ, I am constantly inspired by the many peacemakers I come across, yet I do not hear much about them in the News. I would be very interested in learning how to contact my local papers and write articles about them. I am a playwright who is focusing my own art on Peace and would love to branch out into other methods of writing as well.
It would be good to interview those who have commited violence (like a young gang member for example) and how a certain program/workshop/strategy turned them around - in a very specific away - as a clear indicator of the efficacy of violence prevention methods and strategies. A good media story I think!
Yes, we (NH) have worked with a few X inmates who have been deeply transformed by the Alternatives to Violence Program (AVP) within the walls of our state prison once they have been released. They have spoken at Department of Peace presentations. It is powerful. We have not used it in the media yet, though. There is a waiting list on the inside for participation in AVP and we do have a few writers, hmmm.
I would love to see an interview of Marshall B. Rosenberg who has said he ultimately wants to demonstrate a model of communicating on television. Once people begin to see the model actually being done, it's so attractive. One cannot help but be pulled into that field of higher energy and become one with it.
Media support is extremely important for this to succeed. We need people who are connected to media outlets to pitch this story to local news television and to national news television, especially political shows - Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, CNN, Keith Olberman, etc. In addition, we need credible "celebrity" voices to speak about this program. Gary Zukav, former vietnam green beret, celebrated physiscist and author of The Seat of the Soul, should be contacted and engaged. Marianne Williamson should work her connections because we need these types - people in the peace/spirituality movement who have government credentials. Oprah gets tons of coverage and Marianne works with her. Can someone ask Marianne to engage her? Angelie Jolie gets tons of press. She could give enormous exposure. Ashley Judd is a minor celebrity but is extremely enthusiastic about peace. I have a friend who knows her, so I will try to engage her.This plan needs exposure from famous people simply because they get the interviews. I have a friend with celeb connections, so I will ask for her help. Let me know how I can do more in this arena.
I am excited to hear it said that we will be finally putting more effort to place this legislation in the national spotlight. That needs to be done! However, I am concerned that there will be obstacles to hurdle in trying to get the media to allow us enough space and time to make the presentations needed that will show more people what this is really all about. We need to make sure we have trained personnel experienced in nonviolent communication who know how to address issues in an positive and assertive manner who will not be giving away our power, learning how to say "no" to demands without saying the word "No," and that means someone who knows how to express ourselves clearly in 40 words or less AND hearing the other person's feelings (position), needs, and wants. It is truly amazing what opens up when this kind of loving dialogue is applied. It does not matter who we are talking to, be it the member in congress, the news media person, or someone we may know personally in our business or domestic environment. It works the same way because we are bringing out the humanness or the Divine Energy that is within each and everyone of us. What gets in our way of communicating this way is nearly always our own "enemy image" we may be carrying around. With a change of perception or awareness, we can learn to see all people without bias.
This is what excites me the most, when I can see the potential of this eventually happening and I know it will.
- That the word "Peace" is far more prevalent now than when I began and is heard more often in the media and present as an icon again in the cultural mainstream.
-That it will concentrate on highlighting evidence-based violence prevention programs and disseminating the research that supports our legislative goals. This evidence is hard to ignore.
- Collaboration
- The idea of Regional media networks

- That there are not enough media minded volunteers aboard the train and the plan will fall to the conductors.

- Have one of our natural writers share their media post (when broadly appropriate) to be sent out to the regional networks for dissemination. This has been instituted on our Coordinator network with success.

- Get over my writer's block. Recreate a file with local media contacts for ease of dispersement.
A couple of comments on the Generating Media component:

1) IMHO, media is a tool to help the other strategy components - grow the grassroots, local peacebuilding - be more successful and have a greater impact. "Generating Media" does not strike me as a strategy.

2) We have tried in the past to set up Media Coordinators for each state - some states were more successful than others. I have doubts we will have much success with establishing a volunteer Regional Media structure, and that the scarce resources that go into trying to make that happen could be better used elsewhere. Having a National Media Coordinator might suffice for the near term.

3) Trying to have state groups focus on media-for-the-sake-of-media is going to distract from the other strategic objectives.
I suggest utilizing the resources mentioned in the attached document which I collected from the Peace and Justice Studies Association ListServ.
There are two major difficulties in terms of getting media coverage. The first is that your coverage has to be topical about what your group is doing - right now. Ted Nunn has a point that the first thing you have to do is have some real action to report on to get national coverage. That said, though, there are quite a few local level actions going on that can get some attention.

The other problem is the amount of time and devotion that must be given to build relationships in the media, pitching stories to the plethora of media outlets (including TV, radio, newspapers, internet sights, magazines), and writing the press releases, and MOST importantly, following up. I used to work in PR for the music industry and frankly, it is a 24/7 kind of job. This is not really something that can be undertaken by a volunteer devoting a few hours a week, without the professional background.

There are tons of ideas to get the concept out there - from getting a celebrity spokesman to setting up pitch ideas with everything from the Daily Show/CNN/Huffington Post to local high school newsletters/town centers/local papers.....but who has that kind of VOLUNTEER time?? This is something that needs a professional PR firm, with established national connections, to direct.

Earth Day and the Green movement did not happen without major PR and Marketing campaigns - with the financial help and major media connections of Laurie David, the Al Gore celeb lectures, and a staff with a long term plan.
There is a meeting this weekend in Washington that educates activists about how to approach Congress using social media. Check it out. I can't make this event. Maybe we can get someone to attend?

Are you:

* a Congressional staffer using social media to communicate with constituents?
* developing new technology to connect Congressional offices to citizens?
* working to ensure that citizens voices are heard on the Hill?
* a private citizen interested in social media and how it’s making Congress more accessible?

Then please join us on September 12th and 13th in Washington, DC for a barcamp focused on these issues.

* Attendance is free, although you are required to participate! RSVP early – it’s going to fill up.
* Sponsorships keep CongressCamp free, and you get public recognition both on the website and during the event as a supporter of a brighter future!
* Promote the event!! Help us get the word out about CongressCamp. Blog, email your friends, post to Facebook and tweet about #CongCamp to ensure all those interested are aware of the event.
* Volunteers are both welcome and needed to help pull off a great event.
Ideas and request:
Our TPA Board President Judy Kimmel suggested collaborating with another organization on an Op Ed in a local paper as it seems to bring more creditability and likelihood of being used.

From a collaborative meeting with representatives from other peace groups in Corte Madera, CA yesterday: Create something visua, a photo op,l at your events that may attract attention and reporters. Or take the photo yourself and submit with a follow-up article.

Share Letters to Editors and Op Eds, whether or not they are published as they may give other writers a start that could be adapted to their local region. I plan to generate a letter a month along these lines and will share it here as well as with my local Northern California campaign coordinating team. I'd love to see the work of others!

Kendra Mon, volunteer team leader
CA Congressional District 6


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