Some things we learned along the way about the press... Print
Tom served three months in federal prison for crossing onto Ft. Benning in 2001. Julie and Tom successfully generated a great deal of coverage around Tom?s case, including an article in the New York Times.

CONTACTS, CONTACT, CONTACTS - it is true it doesn't matter what you know but WHO you know. We had a couple of friends who knew reporters and we used their names as a way to get through to the reporter. Use the name no matter how distant the relationship to you because once you establish the personal contact you have a better chance of them doing the story.

We would always discuss AND WRITE DOWN what three major points we wanted to repeat throughout the interview. Sometimes we would do it and other times we would go off on tangents but it did help to focus before the interview. We would also always pray for guidance and to be voice for the folks of Latin America, as well as for the reporter to hear our words and passion.

THANK YOU notes were important to establish a relationship with the reporter. After the article appeared we would send a note expressing our gratitude for their time and interest and tell them how important their work is for healing our world. If the interview was at our home we would always have a pot of tea and cookies as we were interviewed at our kitchen table. Many times we also lit a candle and it seemed to relax the atmosphere.

Go for the SMAL HOMETOWN NEWSPAPERS. They are very receptive to this human-interest story. We do caution you to make sure you continuously bring it back to shutting down the SOA because otherwise it will be more of a biography piece and less about the issue. We tried to find a good balance between the two.

CATHOLIC NEWSPAPERS ? We had luck approaching them to follow our story. These articles also stimulated some additional press through letters to the editor from readers of the Catholic Monitor.

Local peace, environmental and justice group newsletters were happy to print an article about us to get their members involved with the issue or to support us in various ways. You never know what may come from the articles in these small newsletters. Someone that reads it may know a reporter at a bigger newspaper and pass on the info to them.

Local Houses of Worship ? Ask them to have a sendoff event and invite the press to the event. Make sure that you publicize the event in the bulletin and if you do get prison time ask them to print an update with your address and what legislative action the parish can take.

SOA WATCH WEBSITES ? always mention and ask that they will print both www.soaw.org and www.soawne.org as sites to find out more detailed information. WHEN ON TRIAL IN GEORGIA HAVE A LOCAL PERSON HANDLE PRESS AT HOME IN CASE YOU ARE OUT OF CONTACT.