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Spreading the Word

JasonSJason Stevenson brings a journalistic approach to the ACLU’s media and communications strategy

Two decades ago, Jason Stevenson got his first real job as a summer intern at the ACLU of Ohio in downtown Cleveland. Because he was still a high school student and didn’t have a car, he hitched a ride with a neighbor every day for the 60-mile round-trip.

“I was the youngest and most tech-savvy person in the office by many years,” Stevenson recalled, “so I updated the computers, organized floppy disks, and created a searchable database for intake requests.” 

 Fast forward 23 years and Stevenson—absent the floppy disks—now heads the ACLU of Utah’s media relations, social media, and editorial focus as our new Strategic Communications Manager, taking over from Anna Thomas in November 2017.

Prior to joining the ACLU of Utah, Stevenson worked at the Utah Health Policy Project (UHPP), where he directed that nonprofit’s communications and policy efforts to launch and sustain local health reform. 

A typical ACLU day for Stevenson involves fielding phone calls from reporters, planning events or a press release, and reviewing documents. “I love the range of issues that cross my desk at the ACLU,” says Stevenson. “One moment I’m responding to an email about Net Neutrality, then my next hour is focused on prison standards, and I finish up posting about the First Amendment.”

The constant mix reminds him of his experience as a journalist. After leaving a consulting career in Boston, Stevenson went to Washington, D.C. to intern for publications covering politics on Capitol Hill, before working as an editor at both Outside and Backpacker magazines. He also freelanced for several years and wrote a book about backpacking.

Stevenson attended Harvard College, and received a graduate fellowship to study at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. He lives with his wife, Jackie Rohrer, a family physician, and their two sons in Salt Lake. ◄

This article was first published in the Liberty Reporter: 2018 Spring Newsletter >>