Making the Media Work for You is a new publication and resource by the European Journalism Centre specifically designed for civil society organisation communicators. Co-authored by veteran Reuters journalists Lisa Essex and Oliver Wates, and social media whiz Brandon Oelofse of Vuselela Media, the Guide provides practical, cost-effective strategies for organisations that seek to raise and maintain their visibility and impact both in the real and virtual worlds. It also tackles some of the common misconceptions so often found between journalists and civil society organisations.
Making the Media Work for You ‘s content is multi-faceted and accessible: from hyper-local strategies like initiating and maintaining relationships with local journalists to organising social media fueled national campaigns, the Guide’s authors never stray far from the reality of limited communication resources that beset many civil society organisations—where media outreach can often be an afterthought rather than a priority.
When professional communicators are doing their jobs well, they shed light on the abuse of power: whether by a lowly teacher who takes bribes, or a chief executive who flouts environmental law and destroys an aquifer. Communicators contribute to the knowledge base, which any society needs so that ordinary citizens can keep track of what institutions are doing, and whether they are doing it ethically and responsibly.
But sometimes those working in the field of communication lack the training and resources to fulfill the pivotal role they are called upon to play – and they feel they are not making a difference.
Making the Media Work for You hopes to fill that gap, by providing practical advice, strategies and examples of how those tasked with communicating can really make a difference. The Guide is filled with real-world experiences from journalists, non-government and governmental entities, and campaigners. It will give you confidence and advice to ensure your organisations are heard.
Part of the EJC’s five-year Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs sponsored project Press Freedom 2.0, Making the Media Work for You is a collaborative effort of the consortium partners led by EJC which includes Free Press Unlimited, World Press Photo, Mensen met een Missie and the European Partnership for Democracy. The Guide is wholly based on the collective experiences of media strategy capacity building initiatives in Bolivia, Georgia, Kenya and South Africa. Photos were provided courtesy of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Kenyan photojournalist Sami M Khan.
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