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Saturday, February 18, 2006USING THE MEDIA TO LOBBY
USING THE MEDIA TO LOBBY
Keeping your issue or bill in the local or statewide news demonstrates public concern and support. Media coverage can mean the difference between victory and defeat for a bill. Remember you are speaking to the public and to legislators when you're dealing with the media. Several kinds of media coverage should be considered.
1 .Letters to the editor can accomplish four objectives: alert the community that the issue is before the legislature; persuade readers to your position; demonstrate that there are responsible and articulate people who agree with your position; enlist others to engage in lobbying.
2. Submit an article to your newspaper's opinion and editorial page.
3. Local radio and television talk shows. Make sure that your position is well represented in all call-in radio programs. Cajole the stations into scheduling a program on the issue-and then provide an articulate spokesperson.
4. If a radio or television station takes an editorial position with which you disagree, ask for equal time-a requirement by law that all opposing viewpoints be aired through editorial replies.
5. Try to influence the editorial position of media outlets by writing to editors and columnists of local press and managers of local stations. You can also request, as part of a larger group, a meeting with your local paper's editorial board. Legislators are particularly sensitive to the editorial comments of their local media.
Adapted from the Oregon Human Services Coalition
Legislative Advocacy Packet by:
The Oregon Health Action Campaign
3886 Beverly NE Bldg I, Suite 21
Salem, OR 97305