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Saturday, 21 May 2016


A free media guide recommended for charities and community groups wishing to promote their work, written by Ian D. Richardson...

Building up a rapport with the news media can take time.  This is especially so if you have been getting what is considered “a bad press” in the past.

I will not attempt to defend the less reputable activities of some journalists or newspaper proprietors, but on the whole, most wish to produce accurate, perceptive accounts of events.  That they fail sometimes should not be seized upon as an excuse for refusing to talk to the media. It may even be that the fault lies with you for not explaining yourself properly.

In my 40 years or so as a professional journalist, I would go so far as to say that at least 80% of cases in which individuals or organisations have unproductive relations with the news media, the prime cause rests with those individuals or organisations.  Sometimes the situation arises from the simple fact that someone is attempting to hide information of legitimate public interest, but more likely the problem lies with the inability of the individual to understand the motivations and limitations of a free press.

Even the best newspaper and broadcasting stations have their faults, and while you may wish to rectify these, your immediate concern ought to be the understanding of their limitations.  Indeed, if you understand what these limitations are, you may be able to turn some of them to your advantage.

What I am saying, in short, is that your best approach is to learn to live with what you have in the way of news opportunities.

Read the full article here.

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