A continual question for people who need to raise public awareness of their activities is whether what they’re doing is too insignificant to attract media attention or the media’s lack of attention makes their activities insignificant. When my blogging first started to land me invitations to cover events, a Rhode Island media personality commented to me that if nobody covers it, it’s as if the event didn’t happen.
That principle has a limit. If the media doesn’t cover events that actually are significant for a large number of people, entire undercurrents can weave through society and shoot up like geysers through the mainstream ignorance. On the other hand, a geyser is easier to achieve if the media is digging.
Spencer Dickinson, a challenger to Governor Gina Raimondo in her Democrat primary, is trying to spur that sort of digging after a front-page Providence Journal story about business rankings over the weekend quoted only the other two candidates from his party. From his press release:
Dickinson, who has a reputation as an innovative problem-solver, having designed and built the first solar panel and the first solar house in Rhode Island, will do more than comment on the national business rankings. He will present a brief framework of new approaches to economic development in response to Rhode Island’s national business rankings.
To make covering the full story easier for the Providence Journal reporters, the press conference will be held in front of the Journal offices at 75 Fountain Street in Providence.
A cynic might wonder whether the Providence Journal is trying to play the king-maker game, keeping Rhode Island’s First Female Governor™ in her aura of inevitability while leveraging Matt Brown to pull her to the Left. It might be more fair, though, to observe that the Projo featured the two leading candidates from each party plus the only independent candidate who has any traction whatsoever.
Media attention and buzz feed into each other, so what will be most important for Dickinson is to find a way to leverage any coverage he can for greater gains in the public. Trillo and Brown have buzz almost entirely because they might draw on newly prominent constituencies to disrupt their parties’ front runners, and Morgan has been campaigning strongly and prominently. Dickinson and the rest of the Unquoteds need to build their undercurrents.