Share your story with local media
Reaching out to your local media is one of the best ways to spread the word about what is happening right now to families caught in this crisis and to let your community know what they can do about it. It also has the potential to catch the attention of your Members of Congress and put some healthy pressure on them.
Whether you are promoting an awareness event or publicly calling on your Representative to take specific action to help end LRA violence, using local media outlets is a great way to bridge the gap between this far-off conflict and the homes, schools, and offices of your immediate community. To make the process as easy as possible for you, we've provided some great resources below.
Write a Letter to the Editor
Letters to the editor are a great way to spread awareness in your community about the effects of this war and let people know about how they can get involved in efforts to help the children caught in the crossfire. The key to getting your letter printed is making it relevant to your local community, whether that’s letting readers know about a specific event, asking your paper’s editor to run more stories about what the LRA is doing, or letting people know about what your elected representatives can be doing for peace. Here are a few more tips for getting your letter published.
Keep it short: Most letters to the editor aren’t more than 150-200 words.
Keep it focused: Unlike editorials, letters to the editor only allow you the space to make one or two key points. Focus on what you think is the most important thing for people in your community to know about the war and what they can do to help.
Include your contact information.
Write an Op/Ed
Opinion editorials are another great way to inform members of your community about this two-decade war and to engage them in efforts to help end it. Newspapers will often run pieces written by grassroots activists if they are well-written and timely, but you should check with your paper before submitting your editorial, as different papers often have specific rules and guidelines for editorial submissions from community members. Here are a few tips for writing your editorial:
Keep it short: Most papers will only run editorials that are less than 750 words. Make it relevant: The closer you can write your editorial to a community event or significant development in the conflict, the better. Newspapers publish information that they feel is pertinent to their readers, so your op-ed is more likely to be published when it is tied to a current event (ie: lobby visits, legislative development, breakthrough in the peace talks, etc.)
Make it personal: While your op-ed should include facts about the conflict, it should also reflect your personality. The best editorials explain why the issue or topic is relevant to both the writer and the reader. Tell your own story and why you care about what’s happening to the people caught in this war.
Include information on how readers can get involved: If you’re writing an op-ed near the time of a specific event, make sure your editorial includes information on how readers can join your efforts. Even if it’s just including Resolve’s website, it’s important that people reading your article aren’t just overwhelmed by the severity of what’s happening, but also see that they can play a part in bringing about peace.
Provide your contact information: Newspapers must be able to reach you if they decide to run your editorial.
Pitch a local human interest story
Local papers love to highlight action being taken by their readers, especially when the story is tied to a larger issue. But to pick up this kind of coverage, reporters in your area need to know what you’re doing. The best way to let them know is by going to your local paper or TV station’s website and finding the link to “submit a story.” This option is usually highlighted prominently on the outlet’s homepage. When submitting a story, it is helpful to include the following information:
Type of event
Name and contact information of person readers should contact for information.
Name and contact information of person to contact BEFORE the event
Name and number of person to contact AT the event
Day/Date/Time of event
Location of event
Estimated number of participants
Why readers will be interested in this event