By Dennis Stauffer
MediaSmart is a finished how-to instruction manual on facing the media, print or broadcast. it's a candid rationalization of ways journalists do their jobs and the way to reply; a booklet packed with real-world examples of what works and what does not. The insights and recommendation will enlighten even many pro public kin execs, in addition to the beginner newsmaker.
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Additional info for Mediasmart: How to Handle a Reporter by a Reporter
One alternative would have been to issue a simple statement, perhaps something like this: “Our industry is in a downturn (which was already becoming known) so we are reviewing our staffing situation−as are other computer companies. ” If that would still have been a lie, it certainly was a much smaller one. It’s the kind of statement that says everything and therefore says almost nothing. ” Would that have satisfied the reporter? Probably not. But it would have come closer than stonewalling on the story, and you haven’t said anything that can be held against you later.
Given the public distrust of reporters these days, I suspect you could substitute “the media” for “the government” in that last one, and get a bigger laugh. ” Why should you trust me? Because I need your cooperation to do my job, and I know that the best way to get it from you is to offer you mine. ” It’s true. When I was just starting in the news business, I listened to David Brinkley address a room full of journalists. Someone asked this dean of television news what he thought of all the programs that were then starting, to train executives in how to deal with the media.
President Nixon’s Agriculture Secretary, Earl Butz, was forced to resign from his cabinet post after telling a very off-color racial joke casually on a plane. The joke doesn’t bear repeating here, but the reporter who heard it thought it did at the time. Jimmy the Greek was let go by CBS Sports, after making the observation that blacks were more gifted athletes than whites because of selective breeding by slave owners. Andy Rooney was suspended from his job on 60 minutes, after he was quoted making some disparaging remarks about homosexuals.