Al-Anon and the Media
According to some estimates, every individual with a drinking problem disrupts the lives of at least four other people through business and financial responsibilities neglected or the child who loses a parent due to a drunk driving accident, careers ruined and marriages destroyed by problem drinking. Many will never even realize that they could have benefited from some insight into the problems caused by another person’s drinking.
Al-Anon Family Groups was the first of many mutual support groups to adapt AA’s Twelve Step Program. It is well-known, but still not widely understood. Al-Anon focuses only on providing confidential help to people in need. There are no celebrity spokespeople; the confidentiality and anonymity of members is strictly protected.
Al-Anon Family Groups (which includes Alateen for younger family members) is a pioneer in the concept of “family recovery” from alcoholism, which holds that one person’s drinking problem adversely affects the lives of close friends and family, and that friends and family who are able to recover from these adverse effects are able to improve their lives, as well as the problem drinker’s chances for recovery.
There are 26,000 autonomous Al-Anon/Alateen groups in 131 countries, with groups now starting in Cuba, Iran and Romania.
Al-Anon Family Groups is supported by members’ contributions and sale of its literature. The group declines contributions from non-members, and accepts no outside funding from government, foundations, or other agencies.
How can the Media help us?
Invite a member of local Al-Anon or Alateen group to your station to be interviewed on a public affairs program.
Interview an Al-Anon or Alateen member for a news story about alcoholism and the recovery programs available to those affected by a problem drinker.
Invite Al-Anon or Alateen to take part in any campaign to build awareness of community service programs agencies and activities.
Media and Anonymity
“Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the lever of press, radio TV and films. We need guard with special care the anonymity of all AA members.” (Tradition Eleven from Al-Anon’s Twelve traditions)
Tradition of personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV and films sometimes make working with us out of the ordinary. Although we ask members of the media not to reveal our full names or faces, local members and staff at the World Service Office are more than willing to share their personal stories and knowledge about Al-Anon/Alateen.
Many experienced members are at ease in sharing their recovery. They adhere to the policy of anonymity as a comfort to the person thinking about attending an Al-Anon or Alateen meeting for the first time. Our Tradition of anonymity is an ongoing message to potential members that Al-Anon, like AA, is a safe, confidential place for help.
Over the years, TV, videos and films have been produced in creative ways to present Al-Anon in a positive light while protecting a member’s anonymity. We are grateful for your ongoing assistance in helping the families and friends of alcoholics.