Dealing with the Media

Dealing with the Media

Copyright Date: 2010
Published by: UNSW Press
Pages: 208
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  • Book Info
    Dealing with the Media
    Book Description:

    When experienced journalist Chris Rau found herself on the other side of media fence after her sister Cornelia was wrongfully held in Baxter Detention Centre, suddenly she was an interviewee, commentator and media strategist. Dealing with the Media is essential reading for anyone who needs to transmit news or ideas to the world, or has been thrust into the media spotlight. This practical guide offers easy-to-follow advice on how to deal with the media – both traditional and electronic

    eISBN: 978-1-74223-092-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-9)

    In 2007, Channel Nine’sSundayreporter Ross Coulthart was sniffing out information about mortality and morbidity rates in hospitals. He was hoping to emulate US journalistic scoops using freedom of information laws that allowed him to obtain databases as well as documents. Coulthart was particularly keen to find statistics he knew all hospitals kept, which recorded the death and disease rates for certain key surgeries, such as cardiothoracic surgery. His idea was to cross-match death rates for different types of surgery to see which hospitals had the highest mortality rate. The blocks put in his way by the medical bureaucracy...

  5. 1 The basics
    (pp. 10-66)

    ‘Do I have a story?’ is the first question you should ask before approaching any media. Would it interest you as a dispassionate reader or viewer? Instinct should tell you whether or not your story is worth a run. Much of the ‘nose for news’ is just commonsense.

    If you’re motivated enough to approach the media at all, you’ll probably have some idea about what the media wants. You’ll have thought about which audiences might respond best to your idea, and where in the media you might want to place it.

    You’ll have to pitch your idea to the people...

  6. 2 Print media
    (pp. 67-102)

    Traditional media, like newspapers, television and radio stations, are scrambling for their corporate lives. Every day sees another statistic about falling circulations and ratings. Audiences are no longer captive and they’re no longer welded on. Where once generations would buy one newspaper or listen to one broadcast outlet, audiences are now savvy and fragmented, and surf not only the TV remote but also the internet.

    Media moguls can no longer be complacent. Their gate-keeping role has sprung a new technology leak, where audiences cherry-pick what they want to hear and then share it online with other like-minded social groups. Although...

  7. 3 Broadcast media
    (pp. 103-120)

    The key for anyone appearing on radio or television is how they use their voice. Listen to any successful broadcaster and you’ll notice that their voice is usually in the deeper range, measured, thoughtful, free of verbal clutter, and that it emphasises downward inflections rather than upward ones. Shrill, nasal and whiny voices are rare in broadcast and usually put the listener off. If you’re going to appear on radio or television, get out your list of written points and record yourself before going on air. Do a little audio rehearsal.

    This always comes as a shock for the uninitiated,...

  8. 4 Special skills
    (pp. 121-141)

    Writing a press release is no different from writing a news article. Keep it to a page and use 14-point type so it’s easier to read. Use the inverted news pyramid (see chapter 1) to structure your argument. Write a headline in a short, active sentence which encapsulates your theme. At the end, it’s vital to highlight contact details, and, if you’re releasing information about an event, venue details.

    For venues, briefly include extra access information. Universities and hospitals are just two of the large institutions which often hold press conferences and they’re usually labyrinthine places for the uninitiated. It...

  9. 5 New media
    (pp. 142-170)

    The internet-generated media has changed society so rapidly that it’s been compared to the cultural revolution that followed Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in the 1440s. Gutenberg, it’s been argued, paved the way for the industrial revolution and the democratisation of knowledge. It sounds familiar today. Whether or not new media is of similar significance depends on how today’s teenagers meld the old and the new media in their lifetimes.

    The difference is in the acceleration of change, as US author Alvin Toffler predicted in his 1970 bookFuture Shock. It took moveable type centuries to stamp out illiteracy...

  10. 6 Tips for some specific groups
    (pp. 171-206)

    People with media training or experience already work within most large, reasonably well-funded community groups and non-government organisations (NGOs). If you need media help and you work in one of these groups, go to them for advice. If they’ve been around long enough, they will already have good media contacts and can steer you to journalists who cover your area.

    For smaller volunteer groups, call on your networks from a variety of fields: community umbrella groups, organisations like the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) and their state counterparts, the union movement, environmental groups and academics. This has become easier...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 207-209)

    It’s a paradox. It’s now easier than ever before to deal with the media. Newspapers and their websites encourage reader feedback and ask for (unpaid) contributions in allocated reader columns. Talkback radio is thriving. Radio and TV programs and websites invite audience emails, texts and video mash-ups. The media, once a oneway street where the gatekeepers ruled, has broadened in scope and become interactive. Here’s the contradiction: much of this interaction remains superficial. New media has fragmented broadcasting into ‘narrowcasting’, where people in myriad interest groups reinforce each others’ opinions but seldom overlap in thought. Using new media to instantly...

  12. References
    (pp. 210-214)