Friday, March 14, 2008

Raise The Noise Level and New Leadership

Various message boards are picking up some buzz from people with plans to attend the national ALS Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in May.

Unfortunately for many reasons, the extraordinary assembly of PALS and CALS gets no media buzz.

Here's an idea for those making the trek. Many of the PALS who make the difficult trip have ties to schools. Mrs. Doe may have been a teacher and Mr. Doakes may have been a soccer coach. Those schools probably have some budding student journalists, and many high school journalists are quite talented in a multitude of media. How about having some high school journalists and their advisors cover Advocacy Day? There are a lot of stories there, and they would get a valuable civics lesson and experience in handling real political reporting.

Now you're probably asking who is going to pay for this. If you live in a city with a professional sports franchise, you are living in a city with some very large charitable foundations. We pay our teams and athletes so much that they establish foundations for tax reasons. The vast majority of those foundations aren't looking for a disease to cure, but they often are willing to support youth initiatives. Here's a youth initiative that will perform a valuable service to PALS and CALS and will also cultivate some of tomorrow's leaders in journalism and in dealing with ALS. It's also a youth initiative that will boost the determination of today's students who are losing parents to ALS. $3500 to send a student and a faculty advisor to Advocacy Day will be an extremely modest grant for athletes and sports franchises known to drop many times that in profanity fines each month.

It would be wonderful to see some print, photojournalism, and e-media journalism revolving around that day on Capitol Hill. It would help to spread the word.

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