Media Engagement Guidelines by EVR
EVR x ESEA HUB: GUIDELINES/ADVICE FOR MEDIA PROFESSIONALS ON ENGAGING WITH ESEA COMMUNITIES
Make it clear why you’re reaching out (for example, you are interested in that particular org/individual’s mission) so it doesn’t read like you’re just reaching out to lots of people and copy-pasting the same message!
Be mindful of asking for meetings/calls without explaining the need/value e.g. a potential project coming up, or to propose ways of collaborating.
Try not making people feel that they’re in some kind of league table of physical victimhood. Just knowing this is going is traumatic. I do understand the need for some actual physical evidence but at the same time there’s something quite prurient about the media’s focus on our smashed bodies.
Be aware of asking for excessive labour (both physical and emotional) as well as people’s time. If you are asking for a 15 minute interview, are you also asking them to do research/collect information in advance? If your time slot risks running over e.g. the interview lasts 30 minutes but you need 10 minutes either side for tech/debrief etc, let people know so they can plan their time
Be respectful in how you approach if you are asking the interviewee to do something for free. Show that you care about the cause and indicate early on that you plan to report mindfully so that they feel valued as a person rather than for clickbait/engagement potential.
Mental Health Support
Signpost up to date resources at bottom of articles, spend more time and invest in finding out other support services.
Doublecheck if these support services are meeting community needs.
Be mindful of stigma attached to support offered… some might feel ‘weak’ if they need to talk to a professional.
Do own checking of peoples comments to remove racist comments etc.
Co-creating the story
Always share draft beforehand - it’s potentially retraumatising and exhausting to your interviewees and ESEA communities to find their quotes and work have been misnamed, taken out of context, misrepresented, simplified, gotten wrong when they are already working so hard to shift narratives which are balanced against them. Consult interviewees on images / headlines accompanying if articles
Allow for changes (eg correct names spelling, links to sources are active and working)
Questions to think about:
How permanent are online news articles?
What happens if they are deleted/archived/sold off to other news outlets?
Publicising the story
Don’t just leave it to ESEA communities to do the heavy lifting with sharing the content - try to make it so that your organisation puts out official tweets and keeps the story burning.
Questions to think about:
Is the audience and creating a Viral posts more important than the coverage?
Is it the adverts and those paying the media outlets the ones who really hold the power in this?
Are there sources of ESEA Community News Outlets who don’t rely on these so much?
What are alternative forms of journalisms to engage with?
Keep a communication channel open and offer a space to reflect.
EVR x ESEA HUB: GUIDELINES FOR ESEA COMMUNITY MEMBERS WHEN ENGAGING WITH THE MEDIA