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  Report: Fact and opinion construction(think tanks)

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  Conservative Think Tanks and the Media

Given the growing political importance of media most think tanks - especially conservative ones in the U.S. - have clearly stated the need for strong marketing and communications. The former president of the American Enterprise Institute, William Baroody puts it that way "We pay as much attention to the dissemination of the product as we do to the content. ... We hire ghost writers for scholars to produce op-ed articles that are sent to the one hundred and one co-operating newspapers three pieces every two weeks ... The real test is getting your message out. ... Market your policy recommendations, market the principles and values behind them, market the tangible publications and events your organization is producing. Market the think tank concept itself. Then market your specific organization."

Relations with the media form one of the most important element within the think tanks marketing strategies. The Hoover Institution's public affairs office, for example, links to 900 media centers across the U.S. and 450 abroad. The Reason Foundation, a strong fighter for privatization, had 359 television and radio appearances in 1995 and more than 1,500 citations in national newspapers and magazines. Furthermore the Manhattan Institute has held more than 600 forums on briefings for journalists and policy makers on a broad range of public policy issues.

Not to leave the distribution of their respective ideologies to chance, conservative institutions have created a variety of conservative-controlled media outlets and projects, as well as television and radio broadcasting networks. The Free Congress Foundation for instance, in addition to its National Empowerment Television, publishes NetNewsNow, a broadcast fax letter sent to more than 400 U.S. radio producers. Conservative foundations also spent US$ 2,734,263 on four right-of -center magazines between 1990 and 1993, providing publishing opportunities for conservative thinkers and policy advocates.

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Fact and opinion construction(think tanks)
    Think Tanks
-3   Media Relations
-2   Table: Media References to Major U.S. Think Tanks
-1   Media-Appearance of Think Tanks
0   Conservative Think Tanks and the Media
+1   Influence on Policy Making by Fact Construction
+2   War on Anti-Poverty Programs
+3   Abolition of Resale Price Maintenance
Advertising, Public Relations and Think Tanks