USING THE MASS
MEDIA IN THE WORK OF
(OR DO THE MASS MEDIA USE
What do we mean by the
Do we include the
• The internet is different because the NHRI
has full editorial control
• The same is true of other new media (eg text
messages to cellphones)
• This makes the internet an important part of
an NHRI’s communications strategy
• But, for this session, we do not treat it the
same as the mass media
Why do the media report
on your NHRI?
• Because they are sympathetic to human
• Because you do or say something
• Because you pay them
• The first of these - sympathy - is the
• The business of the media is news,
entertainment (and making money).
• They will seldom run stories just
because they support human rights
• The third - paying the media - is not as
sinister as it sounds
• Paid advertising is essential to the
media and may be useful to a NHRI
• The advantage: you will have complete
editorial control over the content. No
one can distort what you are saying.
• The disadvantage: it is expensive.
So generally, the mass media will cover
you on their own terms - because you
say or do something that is
How do editors choose
• Is it new?
• Is it relevant to our audience?
• Is it interesting?
Is it new?
• Is this a new development that has not
been reported before?
• Is this a new angle on something that
has already been reported?
• Is the fact that the NHRI is making this
statement newsworthy in itself?
(It is often better to provide journalists
with information and ways of following
up the story, rather than just a quote.)
Is it relevant?
• Different news media speak to different
audiences - editors will choose what
they think their audience want to hear.
• Choose news media according to whom
you are trying to influence.
Is it interesting?
• Broadcast media see their role as to
• Entertainment must be interesting.
• But even education must be interesting!
Some points for
• Should you favour some journalists or
some media over others?
• How do you react to negative media
coverage of your NHRI?
• How do you react if your views are