STRATEGIES FOR THE 1990s: USING THE MEDIA FOR GOOD
Ernest E. Allen National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
In 1984 President Ronald Reagan announced the opening of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), a private nonprofit corporation dedicated to child protection. In his message the President quoted from a Helen Kromer poem: "One man awake can waken another. The second can awaken his next door brother. The three awake can rouse the town by turning the whole place upside down. And the many awake make such a fuss they finally awaken the rest of us."
There is no more important factor in our crusade to "wake up America" than the media. We have seen and heard ample and growing evidence of the power and influence of media in shaping attitudes and affecting behavior, most of it focused on the negative impacts of media. Yet, there is an abundance of information to demonstrate its positive effects as well. Information on the positive effects of such social action can be found in Strategies of Community Organization ( Cox, Erlich, Rothman, & Tropman , 1987) and Rules for Radicals ( Alinsky, 1971).
The media can be the best friend the parents of a missing child may have. A dedicated community can rally around the family of a missing youth in the early days and months following an abduction, prepare bulletins about