C4SS Media Coordinator Update, 06/07/10

Dear C4SS supporters,

Every week from here on out, you’ll see a short report from me on the Center’s media accomplishments — where our commentaries have been published, what shows our people have appeared on, that kind of thing.

This week’s report is a little longer, because I want to explain to you what I’m trying to do as the Center’s new media coordinator, how I’m doing it (and why I’m doing it that way), and how you can help.

My goal in this job is to make the Center a media mainstay in the same way that many political organizations — policy institutes, think tanks, publications and political parties — already are.

You know what I’m talking about. Whenever you open a newspaper or turn on the radio or TV, the “talking heads” pop right out at you. They’re the guests on talk radio programs. They make up the panels on TV news “roundtables.” Read an op-ed piece in your local paper and chances are good its author is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Something-or-Other.

Why does the media use the “talking head” approach to providing content? Two reasons:

First, it’s cheaper than keeping in-house experts on salary. The guests appear, or their columns are available for reprint, cheap or free of charge. If they’re paid, they’re generally paid by the organization they represent, not by the publication or show they’re appearing in or on.

Second, you’ll note that I just used the word “expert.” The talking heads usually have particular areas of focus which they can speak to knowledgeably, which saves the media outlet money on research costs … and if the guest screws up, the guest — rather than the hosting show, station or newspaper, takes the hit for the mistake.

What the think tanks, policy institutes, etc., get out of it is publicity, name recognition and a chance to promote their views to the reading and watching public.

It’s a pretty good deal, if you can get it. I want to get it for C4SS. That’s a tall order for an anti-political institution — the media tends to stay a little closer to the “center” than to the Center — but I think we’re up to the task and I’m going to bust my tail to make it happen.

I hit the ground running last week with development of print media contact lists and pitching talk radio shows as my first priorities. The Center covered the two basic expenses to get me started: Membership in Mondo Times, a provider of media contact information, and a phone and number (530-618-C4SS) for media to contact the Center at.

So far, I’ve pitched the Center as a guest provider to five talk radio and Internet radio shows. Brad Spangler appeared Thursday morning on one of those shows (The Freedom Works, which broadcasts out of Tampa Bay, Florida and Little Rock, Arkansas). Thursday evening, he appeared on one that I hadn’t contacted (The Gene Basler Show on BlogTalkRadio). On Sunday, Mariana Evica and I spent two hours on Anarchy Time, a popular “Internet radio” show, discussing the Center’s activities and taking listener calls.

I’ve also submitted several C4SS commentaries to the top 100 US newspapers and to other lists I’m manually developing: A list of about 200 smaller daily and weekly newspapers, lists of geographically specific publications (for example, my own latest commentary went out to English-language newspapers in Israel and the greater Middle East, since it was topical to that region), etc.

In my first week, one of our commentaries was picked up by a community newspaper, the Portland, Oregon Skanner. That paper serves a largely African-American audience to whom police abuse is an important everyday issue … and of course, that’s the point. When get our commentaries in front of audiences that find our viewpoints relevant, we succeed in exposing those audiences to market anarchist ideas.

I’m establishing a regular routine of pushing C4SS’s print commentaries at the print media and C4SS’s news analysts, research specialists and advisors as potential guests talk radio and television shows. I’ll be working closely with the Center’s Social Media Specialist, Mariana Evica, to get the word out about our successes. I’m committed to working 20 hours a week or more at all of this (and to answering the phone 40 hours per week in theory and 24/7 in practice).

The Center’s fantastic people have already started getting used to my unreasonable demands. For example, I asked Mike Gogulski, our web administrator and all-around tech wizard, to develop a “widget” that libertarian bloggers can use to feature C4SS material on their own sites without a lot of effort. I asked for it on Tuesday and was hoping to have that for you by July. Guess what — it’s here!

Obviously, I can’t do all this alone. Neither can Mike, or Brad, or Mariana, or our news analysts, research specialists or advisors. We need your help.

If you’re a talk radio, Internet radio/podcast, television, Internet TV or other kind of host — or if you know of a program that you think C4SS would fit well on — let me know. I’m compiling that kind of information as fast as I can, but there’s a lot of it, I’m sure to miss some of it, and I appreciate your help in ensuring that I miss as little of it as possible.

If you’re a newspaper editor, magazine publisher, journalist, blogger — any kind of print (paper or Internet) media worker — then please reprint C4SS’s commentaries and feature articles. Folks, they’re FREE! If you’d like to be added to one of my media lists so that you get a heads up on new material, once again, let me know. Better yet, add the C4SS widget to your own blog, and you’ll see our new stuff as soon as it’s out.

You can reach me by email at media at c4ss dot org, or by phone at 530-618-C4SS. I look forward to hearing from you.

Finally, and you knew this was coming, the Center operates on your voluntary financial support. We don’t ask for a lot, we do a lot with what we get and we operate very transparently so that you know where your money is going. Please contribute.

I’ll be back next week (actually, later this week — I plan to normally post my updates on Fridays or Saturdays), hopefully serving up some fresh media meat. Until then I remain

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp
Media Coordinator
Center for a Stateless Society

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