Katrina Zone: Maps of Potential Sources of Environmental Contamination

This looks interesting and useful for groups doing outreach on Katrina and environmental damage work. Also check www.scorecard.org

Link: GridSphere Portal

The GIS maps on this site depict demographic and infrastructural data as well as potential sources of environmental contamination and storm damage data in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Dynamic GIS information will be found in the Aerial Imagery and GIS Data Layers application. These pre-formatted maps are intended to support the environmental health community's efforts to address the uncertainty of risk of exposure to the contaminants entering the environment as a result of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

December 20, 2005 in Current Affairs, Environment, Organizing, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (8)

Americans Back Bush Environmental Policies?

This is simply the strongest indictment of environmental communication strategy I have seen. It is really time the groups and movement get serious about communications strategy, communications efforts and helping the public connect the dots.

From Greenwire:

A Washington Post-ABC News poll released earlier this week showed that 49 percent of respondents approved of the president's policies and 45 percent disapproved. A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll last week placed his approval rate at 49 percent and 44 percent disapproving.

A separate Gallup poll released this week showed that only 31 percent of Americans believe the president improved the quality of the environment during his first term and only 39 percent believe he will do so during the second term.

The approval numbers in the Post-ABC and USA Today polls are higher than those given Bush on several other major issues, including the economy, the war in Iraq, Social Security, the budget deficit and immigration policy. Neither poll asked for the public's view on the administration's energy policy.

The polls come after four years in which Bush's environmental policies were repeatedly attacked by major conservation groups, and after a re-election campaign in which Bush's opponent, Democrat Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts described Bush as one of the most anti-environmental presidents in history.

Environmentalists say the poll data reflect the president's general level of support and, despite the millions of dollars environmental groups spent in the campaign, few Americans know much about the president's environmental policies.

January 21, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (6)

U.S. Attorneys office for one reason or another declined to file criminal charges against nine out of ten of the 55 individuals or businesses the agencies had recommended be charged with criminal pollution violations: Get the TRAC Report

If you are not looking at these reports you should. TRAC is doing amazing work teasing data from a huge database that exposes new and powerful stories for environmental groups.

In the Tampa area, Florida Middle, the U.S. Attorneys office for one reason or another declined to file criminal charges against nine out of ten of the 55 individuals or businesses the agencies had recommended be charged with criminal pollution violations. For active districts, this was the highest "declination rate" in the country.

In Alaska and the Mobile area in Alabama, Alabama South, the U.S. Attorneys chose to decline more than four out of five of the pollution matters.

In the areas around Los Angeles and St Louis, California Central and Missouri East, federal prosecutors declined less than half.

TRAC has written that future bulletins will zero in on such subjects as shifts in the administration-by-administration record concerning violators of the pollution or wildlife laws and an analysis of what happens to environmental matters once the investigative agencies have recommended that a prosecution be brought against a particular individual or business.

http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/environ/65

TRAC is also offering scholarships to a limited number of environmental groups that would like access to case-by-case information. For details call Paula Ben Gabr at 315 443-3563.

September 16, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (5)

RFF Looking for Media Manager (job opening)

Download media_relations_manager.pdf

Here is the Job announcement for Media Manager at Resources for the Future, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington that focuses its analysis and research on a wide range of energy, environmental, and natural resource issues.

They are looking for an energetic and innovative person to manage a number of outreach activities to ensure that RFF research gets into the right hands and minds. The work will encompass traditional media relations, web-based placement, and close interaction with policy makers. Top-notch writing skills are essential, as well as solid, practical prior experience.

July 19, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (9)

Clipping Services for Advocacy Community: East Coast Environmental Groups Take Note

At the Bluevision Conference, I spent some time chatting with Shaw Thacher from Atlantic CoastWatch. They have a great service of free clippings for the environmental groups working on Coastal Issues along the Atlantic (North America to to Venezuela) I recommend river, sprawl, bay and ocean groups to get the clips. Shaw and the staff actually find key articles, surf the papers in small markets and kick out a newsletter of interesting stories.

They are in the middle of some changes but it is worth checking out (today).

News Nugget services are being upgraded. The new interface is accessible via: http://64.78.13.52/acw/search.cfm

At this time you should pull down the region, issue and last 30 days to get a feel for the huge amount of work these guys are doing collecting links to stories.

July 13, 2004 in Current Affairs, GMT Tips and Tricks, Message Development, Online Press Rooms | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (5)

By the Cup: Highlights Green Media Toolshed

Nice to see folks notice GMT. Tech Soup highlights GMT as resource of the week and lays out a good recipie for Killer Brunswick Stew.

Check them out:

***************************************

From: By The Cup [mailto:by-the-cup@techsoup.org]
Sent: Thursday, July 08, 2004 8:30 PM
To: webmaster@nofamass.org
Subject: TechSoup...By The Cup -- July 8, 2004

***********************************************
TechSoup...By The Cup -- July 8, 2004
The Newsletter from TechSoup.org
"Technology served the way nonprofits need it"
***********************************************

1. Nonprofit Technology News and Events
2. TechSoup Stock: Ulead digital media products
3. Featured Articles:
- Alternative Browsers
- Working with Technical Volunteers: A Manual for Nonprofit
Organizations
4. Featured Discussions from the TechSoup Community:
- Know of any studies on using Linux to bridge the Digital
Divide?
- Should I buy or build a server?
5. Resource Spotlight: Green Media Toolshed
6. Off the Cup: Soup of the Week


***********************************************
5. RESOURCE SPOTLIGHT

Green Media Toolshed
This site provides media-related services for environmental
groups to project their messages to the public and decision
makers. It has a shared community calander, a media contact
database, an image management tool, a library of past polling
information, and campaign management tools to help nonprofits
use online communications to encourage the media to cover
environmental issues.
http://ga0.org/ct/5dzepsF1caHX/

***********************************************

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-> SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

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and friends of CompuMentor and TechSoup.

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All rights reserved.

Please feel free to pass TechSoup...By The Cup along to your
friends. However, we ask that you keep the TechSoup attribution,
BTC subscription, and copyright information intact.

July 9, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (4)

Grist Seeks New Editors


MANAGING EDITOR

Grist Magazine seeks an experienced, innovative, energetic editor to manage our growing editorial staff and help shape the direction of our award-winning online environmental magazine. This is a full-time position located in our downtown Seattle office. We are seeking to hire a qualified candidate as soon as possible.

Job Description:

Grist's managing editor will help lead the editorial team through an exciting time of expansion and transition, as the magazine begins publishing more content, builds more content and marketing partnerships, and solidifies our standing as the top online source of environmental news and commentary. We are a highly collaborative organization and seek someone to work closely and cooperatively with our current staff members. The managing editor will report to Grist's president/editor in chief.

Responsibilities Include:

Overseeing an editorial staff of six or more
Working with the editor in chief and the rest of the editorial team to shape the long-term creative vision of the magazine
Establishing and maintaining an editorial calendar that ensures thoughtful, timely coverage of the most important issues in environmentalism
Recruiting new writers to maintain and expand Grist's reputation as an outstanding venue for the best voices in environmental journalism, as well as working with our existing stable of freelance writers
Planning and developing special editions that cast new light on important environmental issues
Tracking developments in online journalism and environmental journalism and ensuring that Grist continues to set the standard in both fields
Writing a monthly editorial
Communicating editorial plans to the board of directors
Working with the marketing staff to develop relationships with outside environmental and media organizations

Required Qualifications:

Seven or more years of editorial experience, including significant managerial experience
Extensive knowledge of environmental issues, environmental journalism, politics, and policy making
A network of contacts with environmental reporters and writers
Dedication to forceful, intelligent journalism and outstanding writing
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Superior organizational and time-management skills
Ability to multitask
Capacity to thrive under daily and weekly deadlines
The creativity to see new ways to expand and improve environmental coverage, and the pragmatism and people skills to implement that vision
Ability to wisecrack with the best of 'em

Salary will depend on experience. Grist offers excellent benefits, a delightful workplace, and the opportunity to play a crucial role in a magazine with a mission.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume. We are looking for thoughtful, personalized cover letters that demonstrate applicants' qualifications and work style. Send materials as text in the body of an email message to jobs@gristmagazine.com; please put "managing editor" in the subject line. We will not be able to accept your application if you send attachments.

Electronic communications are preferred, but you may also mail or fax materials to:
Grist Magazine
811 First Ave., Suite 466
Seattle, WA 98104
fax: 253.423.6487
No phone calls, please.

Grist is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on anything except how dang good you are at your work. People of color and individuals from other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Background on Grist:

Founded in 1999, the nonprofit, online magazine Grist has developed the most recognizable voice in environmental journalism -- funny, opinionated, and intelligent. Grist's mission is to publish environmental news, investigations, analysis, and commentary, spiked with a sense of humor and designed to motivate readers to protect the environment. Many tens of thousands of people subscribe to Grist's free email updates on breaking environmental news, and hundreds of thousands of people visit the Grist website each month. Readers include environmental leaders, policy makers, journalists, educators, students, and concerned citizens.

STORY EDITOR

Grist Magazine seeks a motivated, creative editor to assign and commission articles on a wide variety of environmental issues and oversee those articles from concept to completion. This is a full-time position located in our downtown Seattle office. We are seeking to hire an outstanding candidate as soon as possible.

Job Description:

Grist's story editor will play a significant role in shaping the content and tone of the nation's leading online environmental magazine. This editor will work with the rest of the Grist editorial team and with freelancers to develop story ideas -- ranging from short pieces in a wide variety of formats to longer, feature-length articles -- and bring those stories to fruition. This position does not involve significant amounts of reporting or writing.

Responsibilities Include:

Evaluating and responding to queries and submissions
Commissioning articles and opinion pieces from writers, in consultation with other Grist editors
Working closely with writers on all aspects of each piece
Editing articles for content, organization, style, grammar, etc.
Collaborating with editorial and production teams to ensure that articles move efficiently through the publication process
Managing writer contracts
Working closely with the rest of the editorial staff to develop priorities for coverage, shape the magazine's style, tone, and content, strengthen our stable of writers, and maintain an editorial calendar

Required Qualifications:

Three or more years of editorial experience
Extensive knowledge of environmental issues
Ability to skillfully shape a piece, from big-picture, conceptual editing to copy-editing and proofreading
Dedication to forceful, intelligent journalism and outstanding writing
Obsessive attention to detail
Tact and diplomacy in working with writers
Excellent verbal and written communication skills
Superior organizational and time-management skills
Ability to multitask
Capacity to thrive under daily and weekly deadlines
Ability to work both independently and with a close-knit team
Capacity to wisecrack with the best of 'em

And it sure would be nice if you also had:

A strong understanding of national politics, the legislative process, and goings-on in Washington, D.C.
A network of contacts with environmental reporters and writers
Experience in online publishing

Salary will depend on experience. Grist offers excellent benefits, a delightful workplace, and the opportunity to play a crucial role in a magazine with a mission.

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume. We are looking for thoughtful, personalized cover letters that demonstrate applicants' qualifications and work style. Send materials as text in the body of an email message to jobs@gristmagazine.com; please put "story editor" in the subject line. We will not be able to accept your application if you send attachments.

Electronic communications are preferred, but you may also mail or fax materials to:
Grist Magazine
811 First Ave., Suite 466
Seattle, WA 98104
fax: 253.423.6487
No phone calls, please.

Grist is an equal-opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on anything except how dang good you are at your work. People of color and individuals from other underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Background on Grist:

Founded in 1999, the nonprofit, online magazine Grist has developed the most recognizable voice in environmental journalism -- funny, opinionated, and intelligent. Grist's mission is to publish environmental news, investigations, analysis, and commentary, spiked with a sense of humor and designed to motivate readers to protect the environment. Many tens of thousands of people subscribe to Grist's free email updates on breaking environmental news, and hundreds of thousands of people visit the Grist website each month. Readers include environmental leaders, policy makers, journalists, educators, students, and concerned citizens.

June 23, 2004 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (3)

Exploiting Trends in the Media: Advocacy Response to Journalism.Org Findings

There is a great new report on the state of journalism in 2004 posted by journalism.org. The study is the work of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, an institute affiliated with Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

The report is a must read. The trends and dynamics they discuss are targeted toward the journalists but the work also has major implications on the strategy you should be using to distribute messages and work with these dynamics.

Here is my take on the findings and a brief discussion of the possible strategy implications.

1. More news outlets are fragmenting views and audience. They are also seeing a general decline in audience size.

It is more important than ever that advocacy groups have access to great database of always changing news outlets. What online sources, radio, TV, magazines and papers are reaching your target audience. It is no longer safe to assume that if you get the local papers your are moving your message to the right people at the right time. It is also essential that you work your "hooks" into the online version, TV version and radio versions of the outlet (or reporter).

2. Budgets are disappearing. Newsroom is shrinking. Less reporters need to generate more content.

Make it as easy as possible for the reporter to cover your story. They do not have the time to track down leads and facts. The more you can complete the story for your journalists friends the more likely they will do something with your story. Make sure you have an online press room. Have the story, images, graphs, video, key contacts, etc. prepared for the journalists.

3. Online, ethnic and alternative media have growing audiences.

It is essential to develop the relations with the emerging media. The dynamics are moving in the right directions and the online, ethnic and alternative media are going to have increased budgets and resources to help "break" stories. these are the places where the y will have more resources to attack stories important to their readers. Increasingly advocacy communication staff should have a communications plan that taps into the increasing power of alternative media.

4. Much of the new investment in journalism today - much of the information revolution generally - is in disseminating the news, not in collecting it. Most sectors of the media are cutting back in the newsroom, both in terms of staff and in the time they have to gather and report the news.

Every good story hit is increasing in potential redistribution value. Many outlets are entering content sharing and re purposing agreements. Do not disregard smaller outlets as an outlet for your big story exclusive because the value of the story can be picked up across media partnerships. Target small bureaus of the big papers to see if you can "trickle up" rather than merely going with the "big" hit and then customizing the story for smaller markets.

5. raw elements of news as the end product...

Produce your own content. Provide your video, photos, recordings of people in the street or public meeting. The 24 hours cycle has an endless demand for fresh content and almost zero money to produce it. The more that you can connect them to volunteer video and accounts "on the scene" the higher likelihood that some outlet will grab the raw feed. If you expect it to be a great visual you can grab it with volunteers. Collect the images, track down email and contact information on people recording the event.

6. delivering essentially the same news repetitively without any meaningful updating.

The initial story matters. Plan your campaign and events for short burst of attention not a big ongoing story.

7. Journalistic standards now vary even inside a single news organization. ... a mass audience for news not in one place, but across different programs, products and platforms......the way that advertising intermingles with news stories on many newspaper Web sites would never be allowed in print.

You need a database of all the distribution channels associated with an outlet. Advocacy groups also need to think about exploiting the loose rules on advertising. If there is an upcoming report on water quality by the states or feds see if you can get an online ad for connecting people to your group. Ask your local news outlets (TV, News and Radio) for a sales pitches from the advertising department to see what options they offer for "placement". You don't want just ads you want on air personalities to wear your tee-shirt, hat, etc. How much would it cost to develop a Friday river report for the summer months?

8. public perception evident in various polls that the news media lack professionalism and are motivated by financial and self-aggrandizing motives rather than the public interest.

When the media screws up attack them. They are weak in the public's perceptions and the y screw up advocacy stories all the time.

9.Study shows general increases in journalist workload, declines in numbers of reporters, shrinking space in newscasts to make more room for ads and promotions

Again. Prepackage your key messages in short blast. Think about ways to use ads and promotions to move your message.

10. Traditional media is in TROUBLE..the economics are not looking good and audience is shrinking.

Advocacy groups had better start thinking about the alternatives and new ways to move messages directly to target groups without the media.

11. Online journalism appears to be leading more to convergence with older media rather than replacement of it. When audience trends are examined closely, one cannot escape the sense that the nation is heading toward a situation, especially at the national level, in which institutions that were once in different media, such as CBS and The Washington Post, will be direct competitors on a single primary field of battle - online. The idea that the medium is the message increasingly will be passé. This is an exciting possibility that offers the potential of new audiences, new ways of storytelling, more immediacy and more citizen involvement.

Onlione.Online.Online.....Online

12. Those who would manipulate the press and public appear to be gaining leverage over the journalists who cover them. Several factors point in this direction. One is simple supply and demand. As more outlets compete for their information, it becomes a seller's market for information. Another is workload. The content analysis of the 24-hour-news outlets suggests that their stories contain fewer sources. The increased leverage enjoyed by news sources has already encouraged a new kind of checkbook journalism, as seen in the television networks efforts to try to get interviews with Michael Jackson and Jessica Lynch, the soldier whose treatment while in captivity in Iraq was exaggerated in many accounts.

While I would not expect any checks for your story ...make your story pre-packaged and easy to cover. when you have the "hot" issue of the moment be prepared to take much more intense volume of interest because of these dynamics.

May 14, 2004 in Advocacy, Current Affairs, GMT Tips and Tricks, Good Reading, Media Training, Network Advocacy, Online Press Rooms, Working with The Press | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (6)

Images Define the Frame, Scale of the Problem and Perceptions: You should have images with EVERY Release and Communication

Jon Stahl for the link:

Here is an interesting play with images that has a powerful impact on the tone and perception of the issues.

In the photo, the Palestinian looms large above the bulldozer. He is a lanky, but determined and formidable force — a dark, faceless enemy poised to smash the small, apparently unarmed machine. The force of his attack is accented by patterns in the clouds, and exaggerated by the tilt of the camera (note the horizon line.) The bulldozer does not seem to be attacking the Palestinian or doing anything other than driving by, going about its business. The article reinforces this, making no mention of the purpose of the bulldozer or why it would need an escort of tanks.

Check out each Photo:

http://backspace.com/notes/images/d9_2.jpg
http://backspace.com/notes/images/d9_1.jpg

Images are one of the most powerful communication vehicles available to environmentalists. The text around your story can say a lot and your opposition can get quoted in response to your work but if you provide the image . You frame the story. Work with photographers and artists that care about your issue to think about the best image to sell the story.

Which image would you use?

Kudos to Objects in the Mirror.

April 29, 2004 in Advocacy, Current Affairs, GMT Tips and Tricks, Media Training, Online Press Rooms | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (4)

Dark Sites | Public Relations at the Flip of a Switch

In today's media frenzy issues are suddenly "discovered" in midst of crisis. Advocacy professionals need to think ahead. How can you knock you opponent when they are down? When can you use events to create momentum for policy change? Your opponents are getting ready for you.

Look at AudienceCentral. These guys are set up to control the spin the hour of the crisis. They can immediately launch a new website in response to an incident or issue and link it to your main site. They help the offending corporations position friendly names and pr staff as the central source of information in a crisis. They can instantly record and effectively manage inquiries from the community, media, agencies and elected-officials. They end run around other sources of information so that they flood the media market and directly inform stakeholders. They offer a system is able to withstand 2,000,000 hits per day. The entire company is surviving on building sites that the corporate client hope no one ever sees. (How many big companies you think do this work in-house?)

Do you even have a press room link on your home page?

April 14, 2004 in Advocacy, Current Affairs, Media Training, Online Press Rooms, Working with The Press | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (6)


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