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Media Planning

So you’ve organized a rally for next weekend, and suddenly it dawns on you: media should cover the event! You scramble to write a press release, blast it to your press list, cross your fingers, and hope that reporters attend. Does this sound familiar? Too often, media work comes as an afterthought. Planning ahead may Read more

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Interviewing

Sometimes just thinking about speaking to a reporter is enough to make us sweat. We tend to either fidget and act small, or get aggressive and put on our mental boxing gloves. It’s hard to talk to reporters, because every reporter is different and it’s impossible to predict how a reporter will behave toward you Read more

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Framing and Messaging

Framing and messaging are the heart of effective communications work. In the simplest terms, framing and messaging make up the process of crafting what you will say and how you will say it so your audiences will be moved to action. There are two kinds of frames in communications work: an idea frame and a Read more

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Challenging Bias

For people from marginalized communities, earning media coverage goes hand in hand with confronting bias. As media becomes increasingly consolidated, news stories are becoming less and less complex. Journalists face increasing pressure to produce sensational stories with less depth and context than ever before. The result is that more stories rely on stereotypes, and have Read more

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Building Strong Relationships

For organizers, conducting communications work is not just about getting that one-time media hit to raise your organizational profile, it’s about cultivating sustained relationships with journalists to shift public debate, influence decision makers, and build power. Building relationships with reporters requires strategy, systems, and materials. Follow these steps to building the relationships you need to Read more

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Storytelling

Once you’ve identified your frames and messages, you might be tempted to string them together in a press release and consider your work done. But no one likes to be lectured, and no one is moved to action through messages alone. Frames and messages must be communicated through images and narratives that people can identify Read more

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Press Releases and Pitching

Once you’ve created a story to convey your frame and messages, and once you’ve identified a strategic news hook, you’re ready to write a press release and pitch to reporters. Good stories are their bread and butter. So treat these steps like a business transaction between you and reporters—and do your best to offer substance, Read more

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Displacing the Dream: A Report on Bay Area Newspaper Coverage of Development and Gentrification

As of 2006, Oakland and San Francisco had each lost 20 to 25 percent of their African-American populations. Displacing the Dream exposes the failure of Bay Area newspapers to adequately cover the crisis of gentrification and displacement facing the Bay Area today. What did newspaper coverage of housing and development include? Whose voices were heard Read more

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Sources to Watch: Criminal Justice

A source list for journalists of community leaders and advocates organizing for a moratorium on incarceration, an end to racial disparities, and improved conditions of confinement for prisoners.

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Sources to Watch: Media Justice

A source list for journalists of advocates, organizers, and community leaders working on issues of media ownership, concentration, access, and content.