Think Local Media – And Get Them On Your Side

Think Local Media - And Get Them On Your Side
Think Local Media – And Get Them On Your Side

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- Media bias is something we as Second Amendment supporters often complain about and have to deal with. However, much of this bias is in the national news networks. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC are all bombarding us with hostility. The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and other newspapers also join in.

But while these are some of the biggest outlets in news, they are not the only media outlets in the United States. There are many local TV stations and your local newspapers – and these are a key way to help get past the national media’s anti-Second Amendment bias in the short to medium term, while also improving long-term prospects to improve the national media climate.

Think about this: The national news broadcast outlets (ABC, CBS, NBC) usually have two hours in the morning and a half-hour newscast in the evening. But your local stations have the same two hours in the morning, a half-hour before the late-night shows and an hour and a half of local news in the evening before the national evening newscasts.

So, in essence, local TV stations have twice the air time of the national media. Furthermore, their reporters are far more accessible to their viewers than the national reporters. The reporters are always looking for stories – so why not use their desire for stories to help get the truth about Second Amendment issues out there? This is something that will provide both short-term and long-term benefits.

The short-term benefits are that the local news will feature more accurate and honest coverage of Second Amendment issues. This will help to counteract the bias from the national outlets. In essence, these local journalists will, at a minimum, help reduce the chances of anti-Second Amendment activists successfully carrying out a social stigmatization strategy.

The local newspapers operate in much the same way, Here, there may be less room for a story, but good relationships with the reporters will help get the facts out as well. Your local paper may also be more likely to print letters to the editor or opinion pieces on Second Amendment issues. And, as is the case with the TV reporters, the local reporters will be more accessible as they look for stories. One other benefit: These local papers have an effective monopoly. This is what your neighbors and friends will be reading – not the Washington Post or New York Times.

Those are just the short-term benefits of having a good relationship with the local TV and newspaper reporters. But wait, there’s more! The efforts you make with local media could have a long-term benefit for the Second Amendment as well.

In TV especially, the smaller market stations are similar to a major league baseball team’s farm system of minor league clubs. This is where reporters go after they graduate and begin to develop their talents. Some will leave the field of journalism. Others may move on to behind-the-camera roles. Those people will still be helpful in the long term as they help along newer reporters – often by pointing them to you when that reporter is doing something on gun issues.

Others will become long-term fixtures at the local station. Like behind-the-camera people, they will help develop new journalistic talent. But they also will eventually become local institutions, with a huge reservoir of trust and goodwill. This can help, especially when the debate over our Second Amendment rights gets heated.

Finally, there are those reporters who will move up to bigger markets, possibly even a national profile. Here, there is a possibility that they will maintain a fair approach to the Second Amendment. It goes without saying that there are no guarantees. After all, politicians like Tim Walz and Bob Casey have been known to sell out the Second Amendment to obtain higher office and favor from the media. But those who hold true will bring a strong voice in defense of our rights to a national platform.

That is something worth working towards.


Harold Hu, chison

About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

  • 5 thoughts on “Think Local Media – And Get Them On Your Side

    1. This article is a nice thought but not relevant to real life. Just as someone else posted, most of the local outlets are owned by the major companies. That is the way it is in this area. The conglomerates own the tv stations so the news you get is slanted, even though this is a conservative state. The local newspaper, or post card as it is described, is owned by Gannett and they are a large leftist outfit. Most of what is in the paper is articles by AP and they are one of the most anti Trump on the planet even to the point they severely slant everything.
      Harold’s thought is good but in the current media climate it is not very practical.

    2. First time I dealt with the media it was a reporter for the Sacramento Bee who wanted to do a feature on technology in the military. The 5 of us selected to be interviewed kept our own recorder “just in case.” When the article came out I was astonished to see I was misquoted 5x out of 5. When I complained to the public affairs officer who escorted her, he said “well, did it change what your said?” No, but a quote is supposed to be exactly what I said, not changing the words to fit the angle of the article.

      Years later I was the “lead sled dog” for a major change in the military…first CO of women in a combat unit. The military paraded over 500 reporters through our spaces in the first six months, including “48 Hours” and “Good Morning America.” Note: Nobody in the HHQ “asked” if I thought it was a good idea, they just said “Skipper, make it happen.”

      I had no negative experiences with either the local reporters or the folks who had “made it” like Phil Jones with 48 Hours. Yes, they had their “angle” but by-in-large they did an honest job and reported accurately. In the case of 48 hrs, they found one lady whose dad was against women in the service, and he happened to be a retired Admiral. Another was raised by a single mom, as her dad had been killed in Vietnam. No focus on whether they could do the job, just the “human interest” angle.

      The reporters we had to watch were the TV reporters for regional stations…you know the type, big fish in a local station being broadcast to several states. Those folks were hungry to “break” a story that would get them to a national news venue. From them we got the nasty questions, the “tell me off the record are there any sex stories?” One guy tried that in my office, going so far as to pretend shutting off his camera, sitting it on his camera bag angled up at my desk. I guess he thought I didn’t know what a blinking red light meant.

      Anyhow, my advice is as the author said, work with and groom a relationship with your local press. In any interview, keep your own recording. As the folks who dealt with Katy Curic found out, that can be invaluable if someone tries to sandbag you.

    3. 90% of ALL media is owned by ONLY 5 organizations. This does include the local channels. As much as I wold like to believe local newscasters may have less bias, they must “report” to their supervisors/bosses. Those bosses answer to higher ups, who answer to higher ups. In the end, local newscaster are controlled by the national companies.

      A few years ago, I approached a local newscaster to convince her to report on an incidence I personally experienced which demonstrated the waste, the over-pricing and fraud in the medical community. I have a child with intractable seizures – medications do not work very well stopping them. I was having him go on a ketogenic diet requiring “keto” strips to measure ketosis. His insurance would ONLY pay for them if I went to the pharmacy of the university hospital. The charge to the insurance company for a 2-pack was $198.64. So be it.
      The very next day I went into the local pharmacy to pick up some meds. I found the EXACT SAME strips (same manufacturer) ON SALE – 2 packs for $15.00!!!
      This is what I tried for her to do a segment on. She handed it up to her supervisor and I never heard a word.
      Local reporters’ hands are tied by the national office. If anyone could get a local reporter to give a unbiased segment on the 2nd I’d sh*! in my pants.

    4. As a retired Public Information Officer and a columnist for many years, I applaud this strategy. Local media is what is available in the homes, coffee shops and barber/beauty shops around our great nation. Become part of the local conversation through the local media. You have a chance here where you do not with the “big guys!”.

      1. Glenn, read Mark R’s comment. We would have to take total control of at least one major network plus start another in order to significantly counter the rest off them.

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