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  American Forum
        Taking Issues from the Sidelines to the Headlines
  Mission & Program Overview - History - Contact Information


Our Mission

American Forum is a nonprofit media organization that works to encourage more citizen debate on important societal issues. By providing professionally prepared and easily used materials to print, broadcast and new media outlets seeking commentary from a state point of view, the Forum gives authors an audience in their own communities as well as greater access to modern means of communications.

The Program

The key to the Forum program is our state editorial boards, which operate as "think tanks," identifying story concepts and authors. The Forum currently operates in: AANational Alabama Arizona Arkansas Colorado Florida Georgia Illinois Iowa Kentucky Louisiana Massachusetts Minnesota Mississippi Missouri New Mexico North Carolina Ohio South Carolina Tennessee Texas Virginia Washington Wisconsin . Plans are underway to take this innovative media program to other regions of the country.

The state boards meet every two to three months to determine topics of importance to the state and its citizens. The state Forums capture the intellectual power of local experts and other knowledgeable persons, who are invited to author op-ed articles on these subjects. The articles address a wide range of "quality-of-life" issues such as infant mortality, illiteracy, environmental concerns and welfare reform.

American Forum provides the state editorial boards with editing, production, fundraising and other assistance, freeing the members of each of these citizen think tanks to do what they do best - identify and articulate creative solutions to society's most urgent problems.

Each media packet distributed by the Forum includes an op-ed article for use by the print media as well as a press release and a public service announcement for use by broadcast media. On average, the message reaches 25 to 35 percent of the households in a given state via print and 40 percent of the adult listeners/viewers via radio and television stations. The Forum consistently reaches 10 million households through the print media, and over 18.65 million adults via radio and television.

This ability to speak to the public and to policy makers at the state level is increasingly important, given the magnitude of decisionmaking responsibility being transferred from the federal government to the states. Any given Forum article is used by over one-third of the state media. This reflects the media's hunger for intelligent commentary on state issues, and the skill of the state editorial boards.


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History & Timeline

Contact Info.
1071 National Press Bldg
Washington, DC 20045
(P) 202-638-1431
(F) 202-638-1434

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