Staley: Life is full of surprises – I get a text message from my brother in California and 15 minutes later I find myself asking questions to bestselling Conservative author and radio host Todd Starnes.
My brother isn’t much of a talker, so it caught me off-guard to see 4 different messenger messages from him. The first one was a link to Todd Starnes website, the second saying “he’s conservative media, if you have questions for him I have an in because I’m a student at West Coast Baptist College.”, followed by message three which said “I might be able to talk to him after the meeting today if you wanted to call,” and message 4 that said “and ask him questions over the phone.”
I thought about it with a bit of hesitancy at first because I thought to myself that I’m not familiar with his body of work and I always want to be as prepared as possible. I said “yes” thinking that this meeting was a few hours off and that would give me time to prepare. Never assume something – always clarify. Less then 30 seconds later my brother sends me another message “I could get in line now. He might be available.”
Always be ready – Less than 10 minutes after reading the initial messages my brother sent, I was now preparing to ask a very established conservative media icon a question – and I wasn’t overly familiar with his work. I had a baby in one hand and two other kids fighting in the background. Life doesn’t always play out the way you expect – but it’s better that way. They say luck is just preparedness meeting opportunity – today I got lucky.
Big picture – In my short time I was able to research Mr. Starnes body of work I knew that I that I wouldn’t be able to ask a detailed question, so I opted to go for a bigger picture type of question. I felt like I had made a mistake at the Independent Press Gallerie’s “Fireside Chat” with Derek Sloan and Erin O’Toole. I got to caught up in trying to ask a very specific detailed question and failed to ask a question of more interest to the general public – I didn’t want to miss the mark again.
The phone call
Question: “You’re an established media outlet – what’s your advice to other independent conservative Media outlets during these times where censorship has never been more prevalent?”
Answer: “Wow, that’s a great question. You know it’s really about partnerships and building that kind of networking. So I know that we share a lot of stories from other Conservative websites you know that’s kind of a big deal for us, is being able to draw attention to other Conservatives. So that’s really it is networking and helping to grow your page or whatever your doing, your podcast or whatever.”
Question: “Do you think that the main thing is that action creates excitement?”
Answer: “Well I think the main thing is understanding what you want to do and doing that. You know – try not to be all things to all people. It’s almost like building a niche or a boutique website where your covering certain issues, and people know they can come to you for those certain issues. And honestly more importantly than anything is to make sure your sharing accurate information – that’s a key.”
I’m appreciative for the phone call and Mr. Starnes time. I am already in the midst of thinking about how to implement this advice into our business here at Diverge Media. We want to improve – we want to continue bringing you the stories that matter.
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