David Grima (dgrima@COURIERPUB.COM)
Wed, 4 Feb 1998 12:09:42 -0400
>Here's another important lesson concerning media: Make sure they cover what
>you want them too. The Ft. Worth Star Telegram recently ran a picture of a
>couple Cubs at their (Pack 81) Pine Wood Derby at a big local car lot. What
>do you suppose the picture was of? The derby? The car dealer? Nope...two
>Cubs playing with a GigaPet. Well...at least they made the paper...
>Cubmaster & Webelos ADL
>Pack 83, Ft. Worth, TX
Oh no, this is unwittingly about the the worst advice that has been posted
yet on the subject of getting media attention. I am sure it was not
intentional, but here's a warning.
If the press or media think you are trying to manipulate them into covering
only what you want them to see, they are likely to turn around and walk
away leaving you cold. I am speaking as a Cubmaster and newspaperman.
It gives them the impression there are aspects of Scouting that should not
receive coverage. Reflect on what impression that gives. I know it is not
true and you know it is not true. But if you try and tell a newspaper
photographer what kind of event or scene can and cannot be photographed,
you are cooking your own goose.
Scouts must learn to deal with the media on its own terms, because when
Scouters do not want to they can get tied up in knots of their own making.
The media is under constant attack today, and although that usually means
the big national media, I assure you even the small town papers which do
not deserve it are feeling the heat because people love to pick on the
nearest target. When faced by a Scouter, or anybody from a community group,
trying to tell them what they cannot do, they are likely to just go away.
It sounds odd I know, but you just have to understand how it is. You would
not go into a doctor's office and begin to tell him how to fix a broken
arm, but the same people somehow think they can tell newspapers what they
can and cannot do, what kidn of picture their editors ought to be runing,
ewven which boys should be in the picture.
I think a picture of two Scouts playing with a GigaPet is great. The
photographer's job is to get an interesting picture, not specifically to
take the picture you think he should take. Some photographers have gone to
Pinewood Derby races for years, and they are trying to find a new angle
every time. (I know this from experience.) If you want to influence the
poor photog, try to not talk to him/her about what he/she wants. "Make sure
they cover what you want them too" is not the best way to approach somebody
who is covering a Scout event.
Please feel free to repond.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City