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October 02, 2006
The Making of a Good Story
I was at a green conference this weekend and some college students who were there asked a journalist now turned book writer and green energy guru how should they approach the media about getting the word out about green issues on their campuses.
The reporter/guru essentially said to emphasize what seemed new and shiny and trendy about their approaches, like how they were using technology in their groups to network with other green groups. I got what the fellow was saying, but it seemed wrong to me. My response would have been, talk about what makes you passionate about what you're doing or explain why what you're doing has the opportunity to really change things. These kids certainly were involved in their groups because they believed they could change things.
Window dressing what you're really doing by emphasizing the technology is a short term win and in the end you're pandering as much as you think the reporter is.
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i hate it, but i think he's right. flashyness and shinyness are what sells magazines. throw in a little controversy and confrontation and you've got a hook. but to your point, if they don't have the real ideas to back it up, it will be short lived. these kids have to decide if they want to make real lasting change or just get their name in a magazine.
Posted by: schadenfreudisch at October 2, 2006 11:04 AM
Heather, I agree with you. They have to stress the seriousness of the problem and their (hopefully) innovative and brilliant ideas about how they'll bring change. If they don't have new ideas, maybe they should use some sort of networking or blogging to get some--and then talk to the media.
Posted by: steve baker at October 3, 2006 09:53 AM