Think Local Media – And Get Them On Your Side

Think Local Media - And Get Them On Your Side

by Harold Hutchison

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.

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