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When the Media Call - Tips

Never give information "off the record." Reporters are not obligated to honor this request and you place yourself in a precarious position.
A FEW TIPS

Never give information "off the record." Reporters are not obligated to honor this request and you place yourself in a precarious position.

Never say "No Comment." If you find yourself in a situation where you don't want to comment, tell the reporter/interviewer you will make a statement at a particular time after you have gathered more information about the issue at hand. Then, be sure you make the statement at the appointed time. By then you will have been able to formulate a comment that suits your needs, the reporter will have his statement and you will avoid a self-indictment through the appearance of having something to hide.

If you become involved in a story that is taking a controversial turn and you need assistance, please call Barry M. Rosen, Executive Director of External Affairs at (212) 678-3176 or at home at (212) 864-5328 or Diane Dobry, Director of Communications at (212) 678-3979.

Know your facts and stick to what you know. Occasionally, interviewers will ask you to comment on something outside your area of expertise. Feel free to say, "I don't know."

Speak clearly, slowly enough to be understood and concisely enough to get your message into a short span of time. Especially in a spontaneous, unexpected interview, the words you say will be edited down to 20 or 30 seconds, so you must learn to collect your thoughts and words in order to communicate them effectively. Even in prearranged interviews, it is possible that a short "sound bite" of your interview will be edited out of your lengthy interview for insertion into an evening newscast.

Above all, be clear, be brief. You will be edited or paraphrased down to nothing. If you want context, and to recognize the interview when it airs or is printed, be clear and be brief.

When you are interviewed by an External Affairs staff member, we will write a story and give you an opportunity to check it for factual errors before it is released to the news media.

Finally, when being interviewed indicate your title and/or academic rank. The institution should be identified as Teachers College, Columbia University, Teachers College of Columbia University or Columbia University's Teachers College. But not Columbia University.

Published Saturday, Apr. 13, 2002

When the Media Call - Tips

A FEW TIPS

Never give information "off the record." Reporters are not obligated to honor this request and you place yourself in a precarious position.

Never say "No Comment." If you find yourself in a situation where you don't want to comment, tell the reporter/interviewer you will make a statement at a particular time after you have gathered more information about the issue at hand. Then, be sure you make the statement at the appointed time. By then you will have been able to formulate a comment that suits your needs, the reporter will have his statement and you will avoid a self-indictment through the appearance of having something to hide.

If you become involved in a story that is taking a controversial turn and you need assistance, please call Barry M. Rosen, Executive Director of External Affairs at (212) 678-3176 or at home at (212) 864-5328 or Diane Dobry, Director of Communications at (212) 678-3979.

Know your facts and stick to what you know. Occasionally, interviewers will ask you to comment on something outside your area of expertise. Feel free to say, "I don't know."

Speak clearly, slowly enough to be understood and concisely enough to get your message into a short span of time. Especially in a spontaneous, unexpected interview, the words you say will be edited down to 20 or 30 seconds, so you must learn to collect your thoughts and words in order to communicate them effectively. Even in prearranged interviews, it is possible that a short "sound bite" of your interview will be edited out of your lengthy interview for insertion into an evening newscast.

Above all, be clear, be brief. You will be edited or paraphrased down to nothing. If you want context, and to recognize the interview when it airs or is printed, be clear and be brief.

When you are interviewed by an External Affairs staff member, we will write a story and give you an opportunity to check it for factual errors before it is released to the news media.

Finally, when being interviewed indicate your title and/or academic rank. The institution should be identified as Teachers College, Columbia University, Teachers College of Columbia University or Columbia University's Teachers College. But not Columbia University.
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