FIRE Media Forum for Nonprofit Organizations

This forum is for anyone who wants to publicize a nonprofit organization's cause, event or program. The forum will feature top editors and reporters who cover local news in the greater Asheville area. It is a great opportunity to meet members of the media, network with them and with other colleagues, and learn first-hand how to get your story into the media. The forum was organized because FIRE has heard frustrations from both nonprofits and the news media. Some nonprofits say that local media should do better at covering community news. Meanwhile, some journalists tell FIRE that organizations would receive better coverage if they approached the media differently. Both groups say that increased dialogue between nonprofits and news media is likely to help. This forum will help facilitate such a dialogue.

  1. Nonprofits on Television: Julie Fries, WLOS (moderated by Evan Mahaney, FIRE/ACLU): All about how to get your organization on WLOS. Ms. Fries, WLOS Executive Producer, will show televised examples of stories on nonprofits as part of her presentation. She will give tips on how to approach TV stations, particularly WLOS, with stories.

  2. Nonprofits on the Radio: David Hurand, WCQS; Bill McClement, WWNC (moderated by Jill Arrington, FIRE/Mt. Zion Community Development): Learn how to get your event and organization information onto the radio. How do you get to be an on-air guest on talk shows like David Hurand’s? How is it best to approach these radio stations?

  3. Getting My Nonprofit on the Editorial Page: Joy Franklin, A C-T (moderated by Jeff Fobes, FIRE/Mountain Xpress) Who writes the editorials? Who decides what goes on the editorial page? Jeff Fobes will also share some information about getting commentaries and opinions into Mountain Xpress.

  4. Cultivating Relationships with Reporters, Submitting Calendar Listings and Press Releases: Steve Rasmussen, Mountain Xpress; Tracy Rose, Mountain Xpress; Joel Burgess, Hendersonville Times-News (moderated by Nelda Holder, FIRE/League of Women Voters): Mr. Rasmussen will do a presentation on ‘the ideal calendar listing’ and will share specifics about how to submit this information. He and the other reporters will talk about what types of communication works well (and doesn’t work well) when nonprofits are contacting them about a story. For instance, what information should nonprofits be prepared to discuss or provide when they contact reporters?

  5. Meet the Editors: Scott McLeod, Smoky Mountain News; Cecil Bothwell, Mountain Xpress; Clint Parker, Weaverville Tribune / Asheville Tribune (moderated by Mark Goldstein): An opportunity for participants to learn how best to contact these editors and their staffs. What is the best method for contacting each of their newspapers? Is it best to contact a reporter first if you know that the reporter covers your nonprofit’s issues, or is it best to approach an editor first? How can I get on the editors’ rolodexes as an ‘expert’ on my cause?
  • 1:30: Moderated forum begins (for all nonprofits in attendance): How the Media Covers Nonprofit News: The Big Picture—featuring:

    Joy Franklin, Editorial Editor, Asheville Citizen-Times
    Clint Parker, Lead Reporter, Asheville Tribune
    Cecil Bothwell, Managing Editor, Mountain Xpress
    Scott McLeod, Editor, Smoky Mountain News
    Julie Fries, Executive Producer, WLOS
    Bill McClement, News Director/Morning Anchor, WWNC

    Nelda Holder, League of Women Voters / FIRE

Support: Funding for this event is provided by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and the New Leaf Fund.



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Fund for Investigative Reporting and Editing (FIRE)
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