Welcome to the April 2004 edition of “A Little Good News!”
Good News Reporter Tip: Liberal or Conservative Media
The dental hygienist saw the book I was reading about bias in the media and started exclaiming loudly about how reporters were awful and how she had quit watching news. Because she had sharp instruments in my mouth, I did not protest. When she later asked what I did for a living and I told her I was a journalist, she did not seem at all embarrassed about the comments she made earlier. In fact, she seemed star struck, “A journalist? That is so cool!” Journalists are like congressmen and car dealers. Many people will tell you that they hate car dealers or politicians, but they like their lawmaker and their auto salesperson. Many hate the bias in the media, but like the reporters they watch every night.
The tips: Please do not make assumptions about a person’s opinions based on the title of the book he or she is reading, especially if it is a journalist. The reporter may be conducting research. While you may detect a liberal or conservative bent in the media, if you want to develop a relationship with a reporter in hopes of coverage, please be careful about accusations of bias. You probably would not go up to a stranger and ask, “Why are you so ugly?” But I have had otherwise polite people ask me, “Why are you in the media so biased?” Like the ugly guy’s mother, I contend that beauty—or bias—is in the eye of the beholder.
Good News Publicity Tip: Stamp your message!
QUICK Tip: Make the most of your space! Use fax coversheets and the back of your business card to reinforce your key messages, or to offer more information to intrigue reporters.