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 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.