In The News, Volume I, Issue 1
by Greg Scott, ADF National Media Relations Director
The unique impact of the Alliance Defense Fund and the growing importance of the issues we confront are beginning to draw major media attention nationwide.
During an intense month of litigation to defend the right of Oregon voters to have their signatures counted on a citizens’ referendum, the ADF stand for this core democratic principle was front-page, top-of-the-hour news across Oregon. The media coverage wasn’t limited to that state for long, though, as major newspapers such as The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Chicago Sun-Times and news weeklies Time and Newsweek took notice of the case and the work of ADF for voter rights.
In all, more than 200 news outlets nationwide covered the ADF defense of Oregonians’ fundamental liberties, as did dozens of radio programs, including the nationally-syndicated Lars Larson Show.
Stories of Christian students being oppressed in public schools are almost guaranteed to break through even the toughest news cycle. Coverage of two recent ADF cases confirmed that rule. Seventeen years after she herself was nearly aborted, a San Jose-area high school student was told her pro-life club wasn’t welcome on campus. Meanwhile, in Phoenix, another student club, “Common Cause,” was denied equal access to the school announcement system and had its message ripped up by the assistant principal.
ADF lawsuits on behalf of these gutsy young Christians sparked news coverage in top local dailies like The San Francisco Chronicle and The Arizona Republic and vigorous public debate on discussion boards, regional radio, and KLOVE, a major Phoenix Christian station. The message that Christian students cannot be censored, banned or punished for their beliefs rang through the news coverage and the public debate.
Not all of our best media news was about cases, though. ADF Senior Legal Counsel Mike Johnson, after dozens of appearances on the most-listened-to local Christian talk show in the country, was asked to trade spots with the host. On January 25 and 28, Mike sat in for Frank Pastore on his popular three-hour news-talk show on 99.5 KKLA in Los Angeles. The feedback from Frank’s 100,000-plus audience was so positive that the show has asked Mike to return as Frank’s regular stand-in.