Because the media both creates and responds to the hot issues of the day, AmericaSpeaks works with local and regional press to ensure the public is informed about the critical issues that will be discussed in their community’s citizen engagement project.
During Voices & Choices, AmericaSpeaks brought together ten of Northeast Ohio’s public and private television stations to produce and broadcast a series of joint reports on the regional economy. Working with local media on efforts like this generated awareness of the project and provided citizens with information on the issues important to the region. During the course of the project, the partnerships produced more than 450 stories and editorials in newspapers and on television for a total exposure of more than 39 million viewers.
Media partnerships have also provided a unique window into AmericaSpeaks‘ public deliberations for people at home. During the Community Congresses in New Orleans, people not able to attend the discussions in person were able to follow the proceedings on television, thanks to a partnership with the local PBS affiliate. During CaliforniaSpeaks, the California Channel aired the event live on more than 140 stations across the state.
AmericaSpeaks has also worked with print, broadcast and online media to educate the public and ensure that the results of meetings are heard. In Charlotte, for example, a partnership with the Charlotte Observer led to extensive coverage of the issue facing children and a special section to accompany front page coverage of the results of a town meeting on creating a united agenda for youth.