A Lesson for the Media – from a Conservative!

Talkers Magazine   April CoverThe rise of Newsmax cover story in the Talkers Magazine April 2010 issue from the talkers.com/online website examines the rise of Newsmax as an information source in the last 12 years while other media is failing.

TALKERS magazine is the leading trade publication serving the talk media industries in America. The term “talk media” includes broadcast talk radio and television, cable news/talk television, as well as the new talk media delivered via the internet, podcasting and satellite radio. On this site you will find brief opening excerpts from the current stories in each monthly print edition. (from it’s website)

The story details the history of the organization and names many of its contributors and users. According to the author, Beverly Santaniello Talkers Magazine Assistant Editor, Newsmax founder and CEO Christopher Ruddy found a formula for success. The slant of the site is to the right, but the content has sought to remained free of sensationalism and scandal and report the details of stories that may be missed by mainstream media.

After the website became established, they offered newsletter subscriptions that evolved into a full-fledged magazine. And contrary to many media outlets who seem to target young male viewers with scintillation and action, they unabashedly target over 50 baby-boomers with intelligent and unsensational  writing.

High-end advertising makes up a large part of their income, but sales of subscriptions to the print magazine, topical newsletters, and other products covers over 50% of their budget.

Once again, the conservatives have used their organizational skills to identify an audience that will support them and messengers to give them content to fit their needs. Ten years ago, liberal pols finally identified the steps conservatives had taken to create the outspoken talking heads who appeared on the political landscape during the 2000 election season such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter who were products of the training received from conservative tutors in the 70s and 80s who helped produce Ronald Reagan as President and were methodically passing on their bias to rapt students who studied hard to learn the party line.

Newsmax is the source of many of the current talking heads’ information. In the beginning, it was an unknown provider, but Sarah Palin and Steve Forbes now gladly give the company credit as a major source that they rely on to tell them what’s going on in the country and the world.

So progressives need to step up and take a lesson from the other side. The information they teach so well isn’t the lesson–it’s the way they go about it. We need to be more methodical and pragmatic. We need to reach young people with a unified message presented professionally and passionately to build a progressive future. But we cannot forget the people who here and now have the resources to influence the world and to support our efforts to spread the word.

I’ve had friends comment about the differences they see in Democrat & Republican campaign offices–t-shirt/jeans and Birkenstocks v. white shirts/pin-stripes and wing tips, shaggy hair v. crew cuts, and lounging around the misaligned office furniture v. aligned rows of clean desks. But we have to stop making fun of the regimentation and visual conservatism and borrow some of it for a while so we can continue our success.

The worst thing we could do right now is say nah, nah, nah–We Won this time so the country is permanently going forward and continue or disregard for using order and organization while we slide backward because the conservatives continue building their base.

We can adopt their tactics to learn and deliver our message with the same effectiveness. We won this time because people finally got tired of the shenanigans foisted on them by the Republicans, but it isn’t that long since they succumbed to the message of the right-wing and put them in power. It started before Bill Clinton finished his second term and resulted in GW Bush’s never-ending wars and non-stop string of lies and manipulation.

Progressives and Liberals–it’s time to go back to school and take a few lessons, even if we think we’ve got it made now–or heaven forbid, we think we KNOW IT ALL!!!!

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  1. Marcie–politics or not, marketing is marketing! my point is that the repubs have been doing it for years and the liberals need to start to take notice and use some of the skills of marketing to get their message out in a uniform way!

    Thanks for noticing! and glad it is some help for you too.

    • marciewrites
    • June 7th, 2010

    I like what you wrote: “the conservatives have used their organizational skills to identify an audience that will support them and messengers to give them content to fit their needs.”

    While I know your topics is politics, you have blessed me in a huge way with this statement. I am currently working on a marketing plan for a new service I’m offering through my writing business, and this is perfect. I have identified an audience that needs my service and I’m the messenger to give them what they need.

    Thanks for this blessing.

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