Responding to Civil Unrest 2020

10 Relevant Actions Press Associations Can Consider
Written on Monday, June 1

  1. Localize the Michigan Press Association’s guidelines (shared earlier on the NAM listserv) on press rights in covering protests. 
  2. Organize a follow-up conference/ZOOM call with your association members and an association-designated counsel to explain/elaborate on the legalities and legal safeguards. 
  3. Share the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press advice on how to cover protests (Michigan’s email included a click-thru). Consider doing interviews with experienced journalists on their techniques. 
  4. Track and record on your Web site the attacks on journalists in your state. Keep score. Share the stories. Announce updates. 
  5. Publish first-person accounts from reporters and photographers on the front lines covering protests and unrest. Turn them into videos that can be collected under the banner of Journalism’s First-Responders. 
  6. Invite your governor to speak to members via ZOOM or a conference call on what the state is doing to ensure the safety of our journalists as well as other related issues. 
  7. Encourage your members to invite local officials and police chiefs to speak to your members on how both sides can do their jobs to serve the public. Post those stories on association web sites. 
  8. Gather all comments from readers in support of journalists and the member newspapers, with the intention of composing a statewide message/”house ad” that can be shared and touted.
  9. Consider sending out suggested commentaries from the News Media Alliance and America’s Newspapers, such as the joint statement with the National Newspaper Association. Better yet, match with your own perspective full of local details and facts. 
  10. Continue to use the NAM listserv to share great ideas, best practices and techniques. Several have already done so. Thank you. 


Find ‘Relevant Points’ Here

The Relevance Project now has a home online. Welcome.

Here, in this blog space, you will find Relevant Points — items of interest, advice and suggestions, noted best practices and success stories, and updates about this NAM initiative. 

I’ll post as needed. I hope you will check in when you have a free moment. I

f I have a special mission, it’s to help you and your association. 

My goal is to keep the updates effective, short and to the point. As this forum develops, please let me know what you think. Stay true to NAM’s collaborative strength and send your guidance this way. 

Finally, I noticed that when I type together the initials of my first and last name, the email system automatically injects: Thanks for sharing. 

It’s a natural act.