Category Archives: Backgrounders and Toolkits

Handy Resources

Navigate the Media Maze With Media Alliance’s How-To Guide



Media Alliance’s “Media How-To Guide” is designed to provide community organizations and activists with the nuts-and-bolts information they need to get their message out to the media. It includes step-by-step instructions on how to pitch stories to reporters, write press releases, and develop a press list; and it covers more advanced media strategies such as creating media events, organizing press conferences, planning media campaigns, and documenting unfair media coverage.

Buy your copy.  Call or email for quantity purchases (more than 10 copies).

Add a Northern California Press list for everything you need to advance your cause with not enough time and not enough money.


Video Visitation



A case study by the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition and Grassroots Leadership.

In September 2014, a group of Dallas-area advocates led a fight against an initiative that would have introduced video visitation capability to the Dallas County jail. The company proposing to provide services to Dallas had buried in its contract a requirement that the jail eliminate in-person visitation, thus leaving those who wished to visit prisoners only one option – visit by video. Or, don’t visit at all.

Video Visitation (web)


World Press Freedom Index 2015



The Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Index ranks the performance of 180 countries according to a range of criteria that include media pluralism and independence, respect for the safety and freedom of journalists and the legislative, institutional and infrastructural environment in which the media operate.

Quick Summary: Top of the list are three Scandinavian countries, Finland which has been in first place for five years in succession, followed by Norway and Denmark. At the other end of the scale, Turkmenistan, North Korea and Eritrea were the worst performers.

The United States ranked 49th, down three places from 2014.

2015 World Press Freedom Index