WHAT THE MEDIA EXPECTS OF YOU
- A courteous and professional manner.
- An ability to make decisions, set interview times and keep to them.
- Chi as in competence, humanity and integrity.
- Competence as a professional in your particular sphere, a sound knowledge of your subject and how to present relevant aspects of it authoritatively.
- Humanity in your awareness of the implications on a very human level of public policy considerations on ordinary individual's lives and the ability to tell their stories in a way that appropriately illustrates larger themes.
- Integrity suffusing all that you say. Once you have lost your sense of integrity you have lost your credibility with your audience.
- Journalists must constantly edit reality for the purposes of their story. You can help by presenting the essence of your case for them. Give them the headline they need and make your points simply and succinctly. Translate your depth of knowledge into a form tailored to your audience and outlet and the media workers with which you are dealing.
- Success is survival. Survival as a journalist is usually about giving the appearance of having mastered a complex brief and getting away with it. It is on that level a con game about information amidst illusion. Journalists more often than not appreciate a helping hand to get there.
- Television in particular is a communications form that encourages breadth not depth of knowledge in the news/ current affairs/ information arena. Appreciate these realities and the journalist will appreciate you.
- Realise that journalists and producers are gatekeepers allowing access to a wider audience and are simply stand-ins for their audience. They are regarded by their masters as interchangeable and dispensable. They must work constantly under some pressure. Have some sympathy for their plight.
- Don't be conned. Appreciate that the journalist's perspective cannot be bought and cannot be your own. The journalist's first loyalty is to his or her editor and audience. Your job is to persuade the gatekeepers and thus your audience that you are the most credible witness to what is really going down.
- Journalism can be thought of as structured gossip. Voyeurism is a perfectly human emotion in journalists as in us all. Use that knowledge creatively. Give them juice.
- 'In the absence of entertainment, conflict will do.' You are there to put your viewpoint and to entertain. Please do so and you will be invited back again and again. In the eyes of the media professionals conflict may do if you otherwise fail to entertain. Rather than a gladiatorial context you may find charm more usefully disarms the critical reporter.
It's always about wooing and winning that audience: Channel 7 Bumper sticker: Love You Perth