When I graduated from college, I got a job flipping burgers at a local restaurant. I had big plans to travel, on a shoestring, the way I knew best. But my plans to avoid anything that resembled a real career were interrupted when I got a call from one of my professors about a job at a tiny TV station in Klamath Falls, Oregon. I applied, got the job and embarked on a 23 year run in broadcast journalism. It took me years to understand why I abandoned my footloose approach to life at the first opportunity: I was actually a driven and competitive person who needed the structure of a steady job and the possibilities of a career path. As we grow up, we gain new understanding about ourselves, which lasts until the next wave of self-awareness pushes it aside.
Organizations do the same thing…at least that’s been the history of Resource Media. When I first arrived at Resource Media in 2002, much of our staff saw themselves as journalistic enablers, serving the interest of an informed media by providing reporters with the environmental side of the news at a time when it often went untold. It took a few years of growing pains and soul searching to realize that our job, our mission, was actually in service of social change, not in service of journalism. Once we accepted that we were advocates, we felt liberated. Our work flowered and Resource Media grew.
With that growth eventually came new questions about our job – our mission – at Resource Media. Long embedded in the world of conservation advocacy, we began to recognize the limitations of our narrowly focused approach to driving social change with strategic communications. The understanding we had of ourselves was beginning to shift again. In the field along side our partners, we were learning that as important a pursuit as sustainability is, it doesn’t really exist in the absence of equity, health and justice.
At the end of the day these issues are all connected. You can’t make lasting progress on one without paying attention to the others, especially in a world where people are hyper connected and across a media landscape that demands more and more content and feeds off social engagement. Conservation advocacy will always be the bedrock of our work, but we are expanding our focus to address community health, global development and social justice. We believe the pursuit of each is strengthened by the inclusion of all.
So we are excited to unveil a new look and a new website that spotlights our partners and the amazing work they do on the leading edges of change. It reflects where we are as an organization and what we are fighting for in the world. And it opens another chapter in our story. We hope you like it.