Boy's Life blurb

Scott White swhite at
Fri Feb 7 17:22:21 PST 1997

OK, time for ol' Gnith to throw in!

First, PLEASE quit doing this in your replies to this thread:

>On Wed, 5 Feb 1997, Scott White wrote:
>> >>	"Sword Fighting and Jousting:
>> >>	The oddest sportsmen of all may be the members of the
>> >>_Society for Creative Anachronism_. 

I know some of your your e-mail programs add the 'Joe Blow wrote' part
automatically when you hit REPLY, but please remember that I DIDN'T write
this. I copied it from 

Second, I did NOT bring this up to pit the SCA against scouts! The purpose
was to discuss the SCA's either tenuous or non-existent relationship with
the media.

OK, those things being said ... on to the topic itself.

As a member of "the media" (I'm currently an internet journalist and have
worked as a reporter, editor and entertainment critic in the past), I've
often found the SCA's attitude toward media attention to be either laughably
reactionary or sadly ill-informed -- especially when media relations is the
most overlooked component of successful new-member recruitment. 

I know a number of you can cite examples of SCAdians being lumped in with
satanists and such by the press (though I really wonder how many of these
tales are urban myths), but believe it or not, folks, the media is not out
to 'get' the SCA!

Journalists don't have an easy row to hoe. It's a profession that won't make
you rich, so you tend to do it for the integrity of the job itself. And you
have to find and maintain that sense of integrity under the heavy hand of
advertiser needs/wants and crushing deadlines. Imagine the last major
project you finished at work -- now imagine having to crank out ANOTHER
major project that size tomorrow. And the day after that, and the day after
that. That's what working at a daily newspaper is like, and working at a
magazine isn't much different. You do the best you can with the time and
resources that you've got.

Please understand that the offending blurb was probably knocked out in a few
minutes by some assistant editor or intern charged with coming up with
interesting, colorful filler items. Bang, you knock that one out, on to the
next item ... deadline deadline deadline ...

Threatening legal action against/demanding rebuttal space form a kid's
magazine because they ran a few sentences that didn't portray our club
accurately seems like using a sledgehammer to swat a mosquito. I REALLY
don't think we're gonna have newbies leaving their first fighter practice in
disgust because "Boy's Life said you fought on horses and had a picture of a
knight chasing a wheeled outhouse, and you don't really DO those things!"

Instead, why don't we work on developing more positive relationships with
media providers in general? If we were to gain a little more REALISTIC
understanding of how the media operates, establish relationships with local
reporters and editors, learn how to guide them through an engineered PR
opportunity (a war leader getting troops ready for Gulf War, a music
ensemble re-creating lost music, whatever), we would me MUCH more successful
in drawing people to our organization and in controlling the information the
press runs about us. 

Simply inviting the press to an event once in a while and letting them run
rampant is not enough. They'll grab whatever blatant color they can find --
it'll probably be the newbie in his bathmat fur barbarian suit -- and
scamper back to the office. Deadline, deadline, deadline! We MUST direct the
reporter's attention, be on hand to answer questions and otherwise correctly
utilize the reporter's VERY LIMITED time, or we can forget about the
reporter locking into the subtle tenets that we so treasure about the SCA.

I've often suggested in this mailing list and other forums that each SCA
group should appoint a media officer, whether it's an actual 'office' or
not; but that's usually one of those suggestions that folks respond to with,
"yeah, that's nice, now let's argue about principalities some more ..."
Maybe we should give it some serious thought for a change.

Your turn!



Scott White, Content Producer
Go West (

Cox Interactive Media - Austin Studio
305 S. Congress    swhite at
Austin, TX 78704       (512) 912-2549

More information about the Ansteorra mailing list