Having managed to survive two accidental major fires in my own lifetime, and being a retired emergency manager in New England, I have tried diligently to focus public attention on a number of easy and reasonable fire prevention and mitigation steps we all should take, via an article titled: "Only you can prevent building fires!" -- a takeoff on the old Smokey the Bear slogan about forest fires. One would think that getting this article circulated and published in the wake of so many area building fires and preventable fire tragedies would be easy -- but one would be wrong, unfortunately. Getting this vital word out in Georgia is a challenge at best, and nearly impossible at worst.
Then, there is our once-great regional newspaper, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, for which I used to write articles on many themes, including emergency management. It took repeated emails of "Only you can prevent building fires!" -- and finally to the AJC editor after those emails were ignored -- to even get a belated response to this exclusive article. And that response was that the article did not meet their needs, as their editor put it. It looks like saving lives and property by innovative ways of preventing or reducing building fires is not among the "needs" of The Atlanta Journal Constitution. (A meaningful Readers Panel to provide readership input does not seem to be among those needs either.)
I did not even bother to submit this article to GEMA, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, as not long before, a staff member of GEMA had responded to a routine inquiry I had made to them by accidentally copying me on an internal email asking if I were the person who had been "harassing us for the past year or so." True, I had previously asked occasional questions of GEMA and had sent them some safety-and-security plans I had developed in New England, which had been very well-received there. Having had virtually no other contact with GEMA, I can only conclude that sharing information of a "best practices" nature, as is usually encouraged in emergency management, is considered harassment by Georgia's designated state emergency management agency. So much for open-mindedness and resource-utilization; there seems to be no learning curve at GEMA.
Finally, I submitted "Only you can prevent building fires!" to Southern Studies , an activist progressive journal which purports to cover a wide variety of topics of interest to concerned citizens in the Southland. This journal, however, has a very poor track record of responding to submissions, and my article was no exception; sadly but typically, I never even heard back from them.