Congratulations! You've volunteered to participate on this editorial action! So, now what? Read below!
Step 1: Choose 2 newspapers.
Choose a local newspaper for your hometown. Then choose a big paper in your region. Which big paper? Go to your local grocery store, what regional papers are there? For instance, I live in Traverse City, MI. At my grocery store, there is the Traverse City Record-Eagle and the Detroit Free Press. Those would be my two papers.
Step 2: Friend your newspaper!
Get on your computer and head to your newspaper's website. Head straight to the Opinion section and start reading editorials. Go back at least a month. What big issues has the paper been taking a stand on? What evidence are they using to support their stance? Does your newspaper like statistics? Do they use a lot of personal stories? Take notes!
Step 3: Local, local, local!
The Peace Alliance is going to provide you with national statistics. But we need to score a home-run, and newspaper editors care about their readership – their local readership. So, after you've read up on your paper's editorials, next do a search for the following key terms “shooting” or “violence” or “gang.” You get the drift, you are looking for stories of youth violence that your newspaper has covered in the recent past. When you're taking notes, make sure you know the date of the story, the reporter who wrote the story plus their contact info, and the basic details (sixteen year old shoots fourteen year old).
***If you do not have a personal computer, you can do all of this at your local public library. They should keep issues of all newspapers. If they do not, head to the newspaper and say you would like to go through their recent issues.
Step 4: Who's who?
Compile a list of who is on the Editorial Board. The Editorial board meets on a regular basis and is comprised of the editorial leadership of the paper (the Editor in Chief, the Managing Editor, the News Editor, etc.). The board will discuss and debate issues and work together to determine the newspaper's editorial bias. Find out who is on this board and get their email addresses and their phone numbers.