Storytelling and cooperating with journalists

Journalists aren’t your enemy, either. They want a good story. You can cooperate and tell them what you have to say in a way that will make a good story and also be OK for yourself. Thinking of them as an enemy might stop you from doing that, and then they might end up asking you trickier questions: a self-fulfilling prophecy; they have to get a story one way or another. They might just want 1 or 2 very short quotes, and these can be your heartfelt message, if you want. Or you can say nothing.
realsocialskills said:
Yes, that is true. It’s possible to work with journalists in a way that is mutually beneficial.
It’s just important to realize that their agenda is to get a good story, not to help you. And that your interests don’t necessarily match, and you have to be careful to keep control over your message.
One way journalists can get a good story is by reporting on some ridiculous extremists or someone who has an unbelievably ill-advised business model. They can write you that way, if that’s what will make the story good – being a good person with a good business or a just cause is not a protection from this kind of spin.
It’s important to understand that when you’re dealing with the media.


Journalists are not your friends or advocates when they interview you.

They might maintain a really friendly affect. They might sound really sympathetic. They might be really good at making you feel heard. This is often a way of manipulating you into saying things that are useful to them. Sounding friendly doesn’t mean that they are on your side.

Journalists write the article that they want to write. It is for their benefit, not yours.

If you keep that in mind, it’s a lot easier to avoid getting into trouble when talking with them.