Media as Medium

Whatever field of the arts that you may be participating in, a major challenge for all creators today is to make their activities viable. You may make a living, want to make a living, or not care about making a living in the arts. If you are serious about your craft, you want it to come to fruition. You need the time, resources and tools to make it possible to produce that play, publish that book, organize that concert or poetry reading. The major factor in the success of any creative event is for people to know about it. You have to use and create media to spread your message.
Back in the day, you might have thought about dropping in on your local radio station for a little air time, if you had one near you. Television has never been an easy thing to get into. There are still newspapers that will run the occasional story, or include your listing in their calendar. It is still worth your time and effort to write press releases to go out to all the television, radio and newspaper outlets both local and national. That’s how you can use the media even when you can’t afford to buy advertising from those same news outlets. Don’t forget that the news mill needs to be constantly fed. There are also a host of budding radio stations and news publications on the internet, most in dire need of content.
A press release can be free content for a publisher to use to fill up space to put ads around…so write a press release that sounds like an article you would want to read about yourself, your activities, in the newspaper that you read. Send it to your paper and some on-line news venues that accept press releases. Investigate your options for radio shows that might have an interest in interviewing you. Send an e-mail to the appropriate person and suggest an interview. Be ready with your supporting materials. But there is something more and even better than asking for attention from the media.
You can create media. It doesn’t feel good to always be asking, and never determining. By including the creation of media in your creations, you will be advancing your primary goal to spread the word to the people. The most important thing is to be willing to learn new skills and work with what is available to you. You don’t have to start off with your own internet radio station, you could start out helping someone else with the one they’ve got going. If you play a particular form of music, you could help yourself and other musicians by hosting a weekly podcast, or landing a spot as a volunteer producer at your local radio station, (if you are already blessed to have one near you.)
Many cities now have local cable television channels where you can learn to produce television, have access to equipment, and get your tapes broadcast. If you run a local theatre group you could create and host a show that promotes local theatre in various ways. You would be creating media and networking at the same time. You could contribute to a news website like this one and many others, by regularly contributing articles, recording podcasts or videos. You could create your own website or blog.
If you are a writer, a dancer, a poet, an actor, a playwright, a singer, you will benefit yourself and your field by using the media and creating media too. You will succeed in spreading your message. You will strengthen your connections with people who share common goals. You will create opportunities for yourself in the future. Taking the step to create media yourself will put you in the vanguard of creative freedom. By actually producing, understanding and meeting the challenges, you will also gain a realistic understanding of freedom of speech as it exists today.

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