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When the Media Call - Radio

When a radio news reporter calls you for information, take time to find out several things.
RADIO: You're on the air!

When a radio news reporter calls you for information, take time to find out several things. First, ask if the reporter is already taping your conversation. Ask the reporter's name and what station he or she represents; then be sure you understand the specific question before answering. Often it is wise to return the call after you get this information so you can organize your thoughts and check on the accuracy of your facts.

Ask how soon the reporter needs the information and meet the time limit discussed. Understand that reporters are working with deadlines. If they can't get the information from you, they will probably find it somewhere else. It is to TC's advantage if you provide information.

When you return the call, identify yourself clearly. Just because a broadcast reporter calls, it does not mean he or she knows who you are or what you do.

Answer the question in simple language so the general public will understand your response. Try to develop a 30-second explanation of your work. Offer pertinent information that is not specifically sought if it clarifies your answer.

After discussing the topic, repeat your key thoughts in simple, concise terms.

Watch for pitfalls. Make sure you have the facts before commenting on any situation that might be controversial. Stay in your area of knowledge even if the reporter urges you to give a quick response in order to meet an immediate deadline.

Volunteer to be of further assistance. You should not ask to hear the final report of your comments (you are invading broadcast ethics) but you should tell the broadcaster that he or she is welcome to call back if additional help or clarification is needed.

Published Saturday, Apr. 13, 2002

When the Media Call - Radio

RADIO: You're on the air!

When a radio news reporter calls you for information, take time to find out several things. First, ask if the reporter is already taping your conversation. Ask the reporter's name and what station he or she represents; then be sure you understand the specific question before answering. Often it is wise to return the call after you get this information so you can organize your thoughts and check on the accuracy of your facts.

Ask how soon the reporter needs the information and meet the time limit discussed. Understand that reporters are working with deadlines. If they can't get the information from you, they will probably find it somewhere else. It is to TC's advantage if you provide information.

When you return the call, identify yourself clearly. Just because a broadcast reporter calls, it does not mean he or she knows who you are or what you do.

Answer the question in simple language so the general public will understand your response. Try to develop a 30-second explanation of your work. Offer pertinent information that is not specifically sought if it clarifies your answer.

After discussing the topic, repeat your key thoughts in simple, concise terms.

Watch for pitfalls. Make sure you have the facts before commenting on any situation that might be controversial. Stay in your area of knowledge even if the reporter urges you to give a quick response in order to meet an immediate deadline.

Volunteer to be of further assistance. You should not ask to hear the final report of your comments (you are invading broadcast ethics) but you should tell the broadcaster that he or she is welcome to call back if additional help or clarification is needed.

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