Public Transportation

Ideas for Creating News Hooks

In earning media coverage, creativity counts. Journalists often respond to new ideas and perspectives. We encourage you to consider some of the following ideas and to select those you feel are most appropriate for you.

  • Develop a list of most frequently asked questions about public transportation. Release the list to the media and offer to be available to answer questions on television or the radio.
  • If your local newspaper publishes a "Question of the Day" section, propose to an editor that citizens be asked about a pressing transit issue in your area. Submit a list of helpful facts that can run with the feature.
  • Ask a local morning radio show to feature an "Ask an Expert" segment once a month. Arrange for coalition representative to respond to caller questions live on the air. (Have supporters call with prepared questions.)
  • When national stories appear on public transportation issues, clip the stories or download them to your computer and send them to local journalists and editors with a note asking them to write an editorial or a follow-up story with a local angle. Include a local connection.
  • Watch prime-time television for references to transit systems and public transportation. If an episode of a popular show contains a reference or current issue of concern, call your local affiliate station’s program manager or general manager and ask them to run an editorial comment piece or to do a follow-up news story. (Example: "Last night on The West Wing, the issue of funding for nation’s public transit systems was at the center of a critical political debate. Tonight, we have a similar story to tell you about here in our own city…")
  • Contact your community cable channel to ask if your coalition can produce a weekly discussion program about public transportation issues with local politicians, community and business leaders and special interest populations.
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