“The question confronting the Church today is not any longer whether the man on the street can grasp a religious message, but how to employ the communications media so as to let him have the full impact of the gospel message.” —Pope John Paul II
In the 36 years that have elapsed since the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that decriminalized abortion, an entirely new generation has come to maturity, and so has an entirely new way of communicating. To reach the former, we must use the latter.
American Life League is doing just that. With the assistance of National Pro-Life Radio, ALL is now on internet radio with On the Edge, hosted by Eric Martin and co-hosted by his fellow ALL staffers Michael Hichborn, Michael Barnett and Katie Walker. Broadcast from NPLR’s studios in Pasadena, Maryland and airing on www.nplr.net Tuesdays from one to two pm, OTE is true to its name, delivering the latest pro-life news, politics, commentary, inspiration and discussion of ALL’s projects and initiatives. And as part of that next generation, Martin (38), Hichborn (34), Barnett (24) and Walker (22) know that this is the direction the pro-life movement must take.
On a recent show, OTE featured segments on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that spending $335 million to reduce the number of children would stimulate the economy, Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C.’s exploitation of public high school students and facilities for lobbying purposes, and the latest developments in Stop Planned Parenthood’s efforts to expose taxpayer funding of PP.
The future is digital
“This is new, cutting edge,” said Martin. “We have to look forward. We hope this is just the beginning. Eventually, we want to have our own studios and our own 24-hour broadcast.” This would only be prudent since, while the Federal Communications Commission has not mandated a change to digital for radio as it recently did for television, all signs point to digital becoming the medium of communication. A bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last year to require all radios to receive digital signals. Many stations are already switching to digital in order to compete with satellite radio services such as DogStar and Sirius.
Also, as a relatively low-cost medium, internet radio allows ALL to get the most “bang for the buck.” “We can feed into other stations and do simulcasts; we’re already doing this with a station in Scranton, Pennsylvania,” said Martin. He added that being close to the Washington, D.C.-Beltway area helps, too. “We’re right on top of what happens; we hear things and get on it that day.”
OTE plans to feature interviews with prominent and up-andcoming pro-life leaders such as Gov. Mike Huckabee, former presidential candidate; Ambassador Alan Keyes, long-time pro-life champion and former presidential candidate; Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and spokeswoman for the Silent No More Awareness Campaign; Kristi Burton, leader of the Colorado personhood initiative; and Lila Rose, founder of Live Action Films and editor of the Advocate, UCLA’s pro-life student magazine.
Meeting youth where they are
NPLR itself was launched in November 2008 and is the inspiration of pro-life attorney Steve Peroutka, chairman of the National Pro-Life Action Center, and Dr. Paul Schenck, director of the National Pro-Life Action Center, working through the talent of program manager Rob McQuay. It provides a “one-stop shopping” site for just about any pro-life need. NPLR’s web site explains,
National Pro-Life Radio is an exciting new broadcast platform spotlighting everything that is taking place in the global movement to restore human dignity and respect for every human being on the planet. Programming at NPLR includes savvy talk hosts, insightful opinion leaders, comprehensive news coverage, information and education programs.
Our hosts include award winning celebrities, civil rights leaders, physicians, award winning performers from film, stage and television, community activists, journalists and reporters, singers and dancers, and of course, the requisite members of the clergy.
If you’re used to rag-tag, red faced, artery-bulging, dower, frumpy dressed, angry, frustrated anti’s, then you’re in for a major culture shock at NPLR.
NPLR features programs such as The American View, Operation Outcry, Gospel of Life and Students for Life, which address aspects of the pro-life cause ranging from the political to the personal to the pastoral. NPLR even has a space on Facebook and spots on YouTube and UStream. “We need to get into the faces, the hearts and the minds of young people,” said McQuay.
McQuay has worked with television-magazine programs and taught television production for 10 years in Maryland high schools. The transition from that “older” medium to internet radio was relatively smooth. “The same principles applied and the technology was really very simple, although now we are more sophisticated,” he said. His collaboration with Dr. Schenck dates back to the days when Dr. Schenck, a recent convert to Catholicism, was the pastor of his church. Dr. Schenck became involved in the pro-life movement in the 1980s, after members of his congregation brought him a plastic bag, retrieved from an abortion center’s dumpster, that contained the remains of aborted babies.
That bag represents the difference between the “older generation” of the pro-life movement and the younger one. The former has been horrified by what is being done to children. The latter are those children, living with the knowledge—either consciously or unconsciously—that they are the “survivors;” alive simply by choice and not by right. It is an edgy place to be, and that’s where ALL is meeting them: On the Edge.
Don’t you wish you were part of the fastest growing grassroots pro-life program in America?
Become an American Life League Associate and you can enjoy the following benefits:
- Access a fully interactive and steady stream of valuable, time-saving pro-life information.
- Access ALL’s staff of experts for research, speaking engagements, media consultation and assistance on a wide range of pro-life topics.
- Maintain your group’s total independence while gaining national recognition by identifying your group as an ALL Associate.In just the last four years, our Associate Program has grown from 27 to 98 pro-life groups and organizations nationally!
If you or someone you know would like more information about our Associate Program, please contact Bridget Carroll at [email protected] or visit www.ALL.org/Associates