Dealing with the Media by Chris Rau

By Chris Rau

Drawing from over twenty years of journalism and media adventure, this sensible advisor deals easy-to-follow suggestion on easy methods to care for the media—both conventional and digital.

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Will we become so interactive there will no longer be a need for the filter of a journalist’s nose? Will the only journalism left be funded by governments, like Australia’s ABC, Britain’s BBC, and redoubtable public broadcasters in Iran, China, Russia and North Korea? In today’s Western newsroom, the average reporter might now have to churn out five to ten stories a day, if you include multimedia work for online content. In the past, feature writers would do one to three stories a week; general news reporters one to three a day, depending on the volume of information.

I’d independently hire a photographer to do the story. You have to take some initiative. You have to ring up the photographic desk and say, ‘I really think there’s a picture here’. You have to think visually. If I was a politician I’d be hiring my own photographers. Mining companies do it: why not do the same? Great photography is going to get your boring story into the paper – the story will hang on it. Editors are likely to be time poor. Pictures can be your entry point for editorial. Embed the picture in the body of an email with a headline above it.

Some people refuse to work with some of the commercial outlets, tabloids or News Ltd, because they disagree with their news values. This can be self-defeating. A TV run on Seven’s Today Tonight is going to reach a lot more people than a small item on the ABC radio’s The World Today at lunchtime. Not only that, if it’s a topic which has a social justice agenda, you’ll reach people who might not normally seek out such issues. Another outlet often forgotten in the mix is Sky News, the first 24-hour digital channel in Australia.

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