Beware Of The Media - By Paul

Anyone approached by any journalist; be it TV, radio or newspaper/magazine should always think very carefully before agreeing to participate. Unknown to many contributors, all these people have a specific agenda into which your contribution will be made to fit. Your contribution may be edited or paraphrased and the result may be worlds away from what you meant; you may feel misrepresented, let down or humiliated. The media is not there to serve your personal interests it is there to attract readers, viewers and listeners – the Sun and Mail readers if you like. I would advise anyone to be wary of ‘live’ or recorded interviews as you may be ambushed by unexpected questions, cut off before you have explained your piece or edited to fit in with the agenda: once something is said it cannot be unsaid. If you do do a sound recording endeavour to make your own recording in case you wish to argue later about misrepresentation. Writing a short piece is a safe route because you have time to think about what you are saying, re-read and re-phrase your words to ensure they reflect what you actually want to say. Remember, also, that all photographs, film and sound is usually stored in a referenced library and may be pulled out at any time – usually without the need for your permission. Finally, remember that your neighbours and friends are likely to see/hear the broadcast. It is flattering to be asked and interesting and fun to record but do you really want all these people knowing your personal private information. It may also come back to haunt you at any time down the road. I don’t want to be a killjoy but the media is only out to sell its products: producers, directors and journalist do not have a heart or qualms. They are best left well alone. Paul