I originally intended to write this ‘XMRV Advocacy’ post with information aimed at emailing specific government, CDC and Health Department officials demanding action on XMRV and a release of the FDA/NIH paper. The latest rumour is that the FDA/NIH study will be released within 3 weeks. If the FDA/NIH study is not released or if the government is indecisive in action towards XMRV after the paper is released, I will write another ‘XMRV Advocacy’ post.
This ‘XMRV Advocacy’ post is aimed at emailing media with the hope that the media cover the XMRV story in coming weeks. If the media do catch onto the XMRV story in coming weeks they will then most likely report the positive FDA/NIH study. This will put more pressure on the government to act on XMRV.
This is a short letter that anyone can copy and paste and then email. Feel free to modify the letter if you wish. I believe there are 4 important aspects to increasing the chances of the media covering XMRV. These are
- A short letter that summarises the main points. This is to encourage the person receiving the email to read it. If the letter is too long or detailed there is a chance it won’t be read.
- Many letters must be sent. If the media see great interest or passion in a potential story they are more likely to cover it.
- Emails must be sent to as many media outlets as possible. This increases the chances of one of the outlets covering the XMRV story.
- The media outlets must be assured that the public will find the news story interesting. On a fundamental level the media works by covering stories that the public want to hear. The two main factors the media look for are:
1. Great interest in a story
2. The story affects many of the readers/viewers
If these two points are fulfilled then there is a greater chance that the story will be produced. It is important to emphasise these two points when writing to the media.
Once again feel free to email the letter below.
To whom it may concern,
I encourage your media outlet to do a story on XMRV.
XMRV (Xenotropic Murine Leukemia Virus-Related Virus) is a retrovirus similar to HIV. During October 2009, the Whittemore Peterson Institute, the Cleveland Clinic and the National Cancer Institute published a study on XMRV, in the eminent journal Science. These groups found XMRV in 3.7% of the general population and 67% of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients. Later studies have shown that greater than 95% of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients are infected with XMRV. XMRV is a newly discovered retrovirus and has been recently linked with causing human disease. XMRV has also been associated with prostate cancer, atypical MS, fibromyalgia and autism. If 3.7% of people are infected with XMRV, this translates to approximately 12 million Americans. These 12 million Americans may be at risk of the above mentioned diseases or may have had their disease caused by XMRV.
The National Institute of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recently finished a study that allegedly confirms the original Science published study. For the alleged confirmation, see this press release: http://www.mmdnewswire.com/xmrv-9040.html. The NIH/FDA study was approved for publication by the journal ‘The Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.’ Government officials at the 11th hour decided to stop this study being published (this occurred within the past 2 weeks.)
The UK’s Independent newspaper recently covered this story here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/study-that-solves-chronic-fatigue-syndrome-blocked-2022195.html
Despite the XMRV studies being American-centric, this story was the most popularly read and emailed story for several days in the Independent Newspaper. The New York Times also covered this story on the 14th of July 2010: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/14/health/14fatigue.html?_r=1&ref=health
I believe that your media outlet doing an XMRV retrovirus story would be of great interest to the public. Many people are currently infected with XMRV and countless people will be infected. Everyone will know at least one person who is infected with this newly discovered retrovirus that may cause serious human disease.
Thankyou for taking the time to read this and I hope you consider doing a story on the XMRV epidemic.
Below are some media sources that may cover XMRV.
60 Minutes: email@example.com
Washington Post (Health News): firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington Post (National News): email@example.com
USA Today: Editor@usatoday.com
USA Today (health care reporter):firstname.lastname@example.org
USA Today (health and science reporter): email@example.com
Los Angeles Times (health care editor): firstname.lastname@example.org
Los Angeles Times (Health and Science editor): email@example.com
America Live w/ Megyn Kelly: firstname.lastname@example.org
America’s Newsroom w/ Bill and Martha: email@example.com
Bulls and Bears: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cashin’ In: email@example.com
Cavuto on Business: firstname.lastname@example.org
Forbes on FOX: email@example.com
FOX & Friends: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOX News Specials: email@example.com
FOX News Sunday: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOX News Watch: email@example.com
FOX Report Weekend: firstname.lastname@example.org
Geraldo at Large: email@example.com
Happening Now w/ Jon Scott & Jane Skinner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Glenn Beck: email@example.com
The Journal Editorial Report: firstname.lastname@example.org
On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren: email@example.com
Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld: firstname.lastname@example.org
Special Report w/ Bret Baier: email@example.com
Studio B w/ Shepard Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org
The O’Reilly Factor: email@example.com
International viewers can email Fox here: FOXaroundtheworld@foxnews.com
Sky News(UK): for the same day news: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sky News (UK): for a future event: email@example.com
Sky News online (UK): firstname.lastname@example.org
Further XMRV/CFS Advocacy
Currently the UK press all go to the notorious Simon Wessely for all matter CFS. The Science Media Centre is responsible for this. To try and change the go-to man for CFS matters in the UK Tom Sheldon from the Science Media Centre should be emailed: email@example.com
Obama’s Science advisor is John Holdren. He can be contacted at AskDrH@ostp.gov
Once again I emphasise that if the FDA/NIH paper isn’t released for whatever reason, then I will write another ‘XMRV Advocacy’ post with another letter and government, CDC and health official’s emails. Ideally the FDA/NIH study will be released within 3 weeks and hopefully emailing the media will result in some media doing stories on XMRV. If the media make the public more aware of XMRV then it hopefully forces the government into action.
As Samuel Adams said, “It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds.”