I wrote a columnist of my paper that serves millions of people about the Reason Rally before leaving for Washington. After attending and being in awe of an historic event I eagerly checked the Sunday edition to see what coverage we got. It turned out to be none. My son wrote me an email asking why he did not see any media coverage of this event that inspired his dad so much.
We have to write our newspapers that did not cover this story - the more letters the better to get the editors to take notice.
It is tough getting a letter published in my paper. I've had a few and I've had more turned down. I even had one they said they were going to feature in the Saturday edition about the pharmaceutical industry that got pulled because of nervousness about a lawsuit.
Anyway, I am proud to report to this group that this one did get published - with a picture even. I tried to keep it short and ended with a Canada angle.
Clearly, then, we need to make ourselves more difficult to ignore. That doesn't mean being raucous or impolite ... just MORE INSISTENT!
How about everyone sending a letter to the editor of their papers that ignored this event.
"Dear Sir - Why did you ignore reporting on an event that occurred in the U.S Capital with over 20,000 attendees. The Reason Rally was a significant news item and I am cancelling my subscription to a paper that ignores important news."
Of course everyone can reword the message - but there are over 26000 Atheist Nexus members. Real power is rolling out the base.
Would it be even better to target a single newspaper 26000 letters to a paper like the New York Times?
A good piece, and from Fox, no less ... but a LOCAL Fox affiliate, more than likely (who have to be a LOT more responsible and responsive to their local base). Of national television coverage there was NONE, and very little more in the print media.
I am thinking that we need an ORGANIZED RESPONSE to this seeming dismissal of the Reason Rally if we really want to be effective. Problem is, of course, the whole "herding cats" syndrome.
i'm not so sure that a response, organized or other, matters at this point. the media ignored it, and now it's over. they can't go back and get videos or interviews. it came, it was awesome, and that's that. while disappointing, i'm ok with it.
earlier today i was speaking with a friend of mine. he's not religious, as far as i know. he asked me how the Rally was, and i told him about the great speakers and entertainers. he asked me who, and he had never heard of a single solitary person who was there. for most people, these events and the people who are affiliated with them are completely off their radar. if CNN, MSNBC, etc. had all been there with cameras someone like my friend wouldn't have noticed anyway. i assume that's the case with most people.
To be honest, I'm not so sure that this is a bad thing. The, "this one was for us" has a few side benefits.If you were there, you can't deny that outside of the entertainment and the anti-fundie (of all kinds) rants, there was a very clear message that our best use of energy and resources is not as atheist individuals, but as atheist individuals in local atheist groups, local atheist groups connecting with national atheist groups, national atheist groups in coalitions with other national secular groups.
Let's consider the "glass-half-full" side of this:
These first steps are grass-roots, not necessarily helped by mixed positive/negative PR via corporate media. Let them ignore us this time, …next time we're on the radar in a big way, …they won't know what hit 'em, and we'll have a better organized, better focused message.
FFRF, just one day after the Rally, …had national advertising on network television.
THIS, …is how we do it. …with our own PAC, and on our terms, and with our message.
We have to wait and see how the media covers the Rock Beyond Belief festival on Saturday, this one will be child and family friendly, in that wholesome kinda' way (sans, 1034 F-bombs).
Dawkins talking to kids, atheism/non-belief explicitly connected with American Armed Services, …can you get more patriotic than this?
All who serve swear an oath to protect the Constitution, …this can't be ignored, especially in terms of the Establishment Clause.
Right now, and for over a year this festival and the story behind it is on the radar of national media.
Don't get me wrong, I love Tim Minchin, Eddie Izzard, Penn Gillette, etc.
However, for the purpose of putting a national "face" to the cause of separation of church and state, Who are better "faces" for the "cause"; those who make the biggest sacrifices for this country, ...or an Aussi (genius that he is, notwithstanding) singing "Fuck the Pope"?
he's halfway there! great to hear.
Interesting email from my son "My friend Brandon last night at Duffs got a message from his girlfriend Michelle. She said that you were outed as an atheist in the Toronto star!" That is an odd way to phrase it. I guess it is one thing to ruminate here and in similar forums with like minded people - but according to at least one person I am "outed" I wrote an article for a computer users group magazine that talked about tolerance and atheism - but that does not have as wide a readership. My very religious sister did a google search on "Non Theist Washington" and the Toronto Star letter came up first - she actually congratulated me. I better do a count of my facebook friends and see if defriending is happening. I know some of you have anonymous profiles for good reason.
I outed myself on Facebook by uploading pics of the reason rally with no filter to the public. I awaited the de-friending, but it didn't happen. Instead, I picked up two new athiest friends that came across the photos. I also noticed I see less of the religious daily affirmation crap that many of my friends circulate. I assume that I am now a part of their "heathen filter" and they don't want to offend. Generally, most people are non-confrontational.