One very important fact to bear in mind is the media is NOT our friend. Media organizations don't exist because of an altruistic desire to educate and inform the world, they're a business whose primary interest is revenue generation. Which headline do you think would tune more viewers or sell more papers:
Airsoft: Sport Of Honor
Players Emulate Soldiers and Reenact Famous Battles
Replica Assault Weapons Used To Practice Killing
Pictures of Kids Posing With Guns Circulated on Internet
Fact of the matter is, no one outside of airsoft cares about airsoft. They won't look at our sport and say, "Oh, now there's a bunch of respectful, honest, law-abiding citizens enjoying a unique sport that doesn't hurt anyone. We should embrace them with open arms!" They will look at it and say, "OMG! These guys look and behave like those terrorists they arrested, they did this kind of 'extreme camping' too! They've got army fatigues, semi-auto machine guns with bayonet launchers and laser scopes, and they run around in the woods shooting each other! This is anti-social and dangerous, no one needs guns or to do this kind of activity. Take their stuff away and let them play table tennis."
Sad, but you know it to be true.
Now this isn't to say that we can't get positive media coverage because they do indeed run stories about special interest groups and don't put a negative spin on it. However that kind of exercise needs to be carefully orchestrated and controlled because once you've given a reporter the material they need, you have zero say on how they'll pen their piece. You might score lucky and get a nice article that compares it to paintball (which seems to be a more "accepted" sport, dare I say), or you may have just unwittingly made the front page with the second title mentioned above.