02 April 2012

Media, hype, and the 1940 census

During the last couple of weeks network television, cable TV, AM, FM, and public radio stations, newspapers, websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other forms of media have talked about today's opening of the 1940 census population schedule. The news has been covered at the local, state, and national level. I have seen some international reports too. They have interviewed the "man on the street," family history researchers in libraries and historical societies, librarians, archivists, historians, and professional genealogists.

The media coverage worked. The U.S. National Archives reported a while ago that "Since 9 a.m., we've had 37 million hits to the 1940 Census site." 

Might we have a slim hope that the media will see the audience is there and continue to help us by:
  • sharing the news about genealogy educational events BEFORE they take place so people can actually be informed and make plans to attend
  • promote the importance of databases (like the Social Security Death Master File aka SSDI) and help encourage legislators to keep the access open
  • promote the need for funding for our historical and archival instutions so that hours and staffing levels may be restored.
  • promote the need for funding to preserve records all across the U.S.
  • tell readers and listeners about the efforts to index, preserve, and share records that are undertaken by genealogical societies and their fantastic volunteers
  • tell readers and listeners where to find more help in using the 1940 census and other records
What have I missed?

1 comment:

Tom Alciere said...

Speaking of keeping access open to the Death Master File, webmasters and programmers can download the whole thing for free from my site at http://ssdmf.info