Across the country, Pagans are gathering to celebrate and educate at hundreds of Pagan Pride events throughout September and October. This year, Pent O'Clock News and Magick Moment have issued a call to action for all Pagans planning to attend any of the festivals and events this year, and going forward. With citizen journalism becoming an integral part of news broadcasts at the local, national, and even international levels, Carl Neal of Pent O'Clock is encouraging Pagans attending events to have smartphones, cameras, camcorders, and tablets ready to photograph, record, or otherwise document public Pagan events in an effort to bring to attention the growing Pagan community, as well as further the intent of so many of these Pagan Pride events: to reach out and educate the larger community, and bring recognition to Pagans and the multitude of faiths which very broad term encompasses.
In the challenge, Pagans are encouraged to send photos or video to news outlets both local, such as ABC 7, and national, such as Fox News, bringing awareness to Pagan Pride events which often go unrecognized by the media, or are severely misrepresented. Neal and Pent O'Clock News ask that those participating in this challenge ask permission when photographing or recording fellow Pagans and attendees. News organizations often either ignore Pagans and pagan events, or focus on negative or stereotypical information, rarely simply reporting Pagans in a factual manner.
Pagans can show themselves in a positive manner by literally taking matters into their own hands: citizen journalism is a powerful and critical tool that more and more news outlets rely on to stay in touch with a viewership which has thousands of choices at hand. While Neal's challenge focuses on September festivals and Pagan Pride Days, it does not need to be limited to just September; many covens, groups, and councils create events and festivals throughout the year. Events such as the Conference on Current Pagan Studies, next occurring February 2014, are a great example of events within the Pagan community routinely under served by media outlets.
Pent O'Clock challenges Pagans during the month of September to participate in a National Media Blitz, but Pagans can continue to actively participate in citizen journalism throughout the year to showcase such events as public rituals (with consent of participants), festivals, and conferences.