Understanding the News Business
A media kit for community groups

Walsh, Barbara
Publisher:  Community Forum on Shared Responsibility, Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1983  
Pages:  70pp  
Book Type:  Handbooks/Manuals

Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX2884

Abstract:  UNDERSTANDING THE MEDIA is a practical kit designed to give community groups, step-by-step understading of how to deal with the media and how to use them to their best advantage. The kit is Toronto-oriented in the sense that the media list provided as part of the kit is a Toronto list, but the rest of the information would be equally useful to groups almost anywhere in the country.

The report notes that there are disadvantages as well as advantages to dealing with the media, and stresses that it is important for community groups or their media representatives to understand the news industry, and to understand that it is first and foremost a business. It is necessary to slant your message in a way that appeals to the peculiarities of the media for example, their preference for confilct and contrversy, and their need to have a message boiled down to one simple issue or slogan.

The kit gives advice about how to get organized prepratory to dealing with the media, for example, by defining the audience one wants to reach and determining which media will reach it most effectively, or by rehearsing information and responses to likely questions. Several press releases and publicity kits are reproduced and analyzed to show how and why they are organized. An appendix gives a basic bibliography on the media.