AJR logo     

 AJR  The Beat

From AJR,   March 1999  issue

Meeting Halfway   

“We are at least partly to blame ourselves” for the rift between right-wing adherents and the news media.

By Lori Robertson
Lori Robertson (robertson.lori@gmail.com), a former AJR managing editor, is a senior contributing writer for the magazine.      

There is widespread agreement among conservatives, says Herb B. Berkowitz, the Heritage Foundation's vice president for communications, that "we are at least partly to blame ourselves" for the rift between right-wing adherents and the news media. That thinking has prompted the nonprofit research organization to launch the Center for Media and Public Policy to improve conservatives' communications savvy and increase the press' knowledge of the right. Berkowitz, who has directed the foundation's media program since 1977, heads up the new center's staff of three, going on four, which will host training programs for both conservative organizations and news professionals, and provide a work space for journalists visiting Washington. James S. Hill, a former Phoenix Gazette editorial page editor and Arizona Republic Opinion pages editor, oversees the understanding-the-journalists programs. Berkowitz says he's "really excited about the response." He's lining up a national media advisory board, which thus far includes four Pulitzer Prize winners--"not all conservatives," he hastens to point out.