Posts Tagged 'How the media works'

How climate change scepticism works

Some interesting thoughts from Media Lens on how the media distort attitudes to climate change here


On Silence by Aldous Huxley

The twentieth century is, among other things, the Age of Noise. Physical noise, mental noise and noise of desire — we hold history’s record for all of them. And no wonder; for all the resources of our almost miraculous technology have been thrown into the current assault against silence.

That most popular and influential of all recent inventions, the radio is nothing but a conduit through which pre-fabricated din can flow into our homes. And this din goes far deeper, of course, than the eardrums. It penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but usually create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemas. And where, as in most countries, the broadcasting stations support themselves by selling time to advertisers, the noise is carried from the ear, through the realms of phantasy, knowledge and feeling to the ego’s core of wish and desire.

Spoken or printed, broadcast over the ether or on wood-pulp, all advertising copy has but one purpose — to prevent the will from ever achieving silence. Desirelessness is the condition of deliverance and illumination. The condition of an expanding and technologically progressive system of mass production is universal craving. Advertising is the organized effort to extend and intensify the workings of that force, which (as all the saints and teachers of all the higher religions have always taught) is the principal cause of suffering and wrong-doing and the greatest obstacle between the human soul and its Divine Ground.

from Silence, Liberty, and Peace (1946)

Johnny Dangerous

Any suggestions for this guy?


MEDIA OUTLET: Sunday Mercury (Birmingham) (editorial request)

JOURNALIST: Steve Wollaston (staff)

DEADLINE: 02-December-2010 10:00

QUERY: We have a reporter here called Jonny Dangerous. In the past he has swam with sharks, jumped out of a plane, ate the hottest pizza in the world and various daft stunts. We are after new challenges for him ideally in the West Midlands. Any ideas let me know! No deadline for pieces… the articles get a good spread in the sunday mercury and a video and article on the website

How the media works part 49a


More from our feed of appeals from journalists.

MEDIA OUTLET: ShortList (personal case study)

MEDIA TYPE: Consumer Press

JOURNALIST: Rachel Lewis (freelancer)

DEADLINE: 10-July-2009 08:00 

QUERY: I’m writing a piece about why it’s harder for smart women to date. I’m looking for an intelligent woman (20s/30s) who can talk about her experience of men being intimidated by her IQ. She might be a high flyer in the City on a six figure salary and/or have a double first from Oxford, for example.

This is a classic of its type.

1. Start with premise: In this case, men don’t like smart women

2. Look for evidence that backs up premise

3. Limit the sorts of people you want to talk about this by age

4. Add one more drop to the ocean of dissatisfaction

How the media works part 31


More from the feed my company gets from magazines looking for stories. This week – FHM

MEDIA OUTLET: FHM (spokesperson or expert request)

MEDIA TYPE: Consumer Press

JOURNALIST: Ben Wilson (staff)

DEADLINE: 28-May-2009 12:00 

QUERY: I’m very keen to interview experts on the following subjects:

1) How to eliminate stains from chino trousers

2) The science behind building a decent rope swing

3) How to build a homemade barbecue from an oil drum and a Sainsbury’s trolley

4) A legal expert to tell me five surprising summer laws

5) An agriculture expert to tell me the top 8 smelliest roads in Britain (to do with drainage, manure, etc)

6) A surfer to explain how to successfully surf a lilo

7) A hat tailor or stylist to describe how to wear the following hats correctly: a chef’s hat, a straw hat, a baseball cap, a Trilby, a fedora

8 ) A fashion expert or stylist to describe how to choose a beach towel that doesn’t clash/ flatter with your complexion or body composition.

 Thank you.


I’m sure that the readers of FHM do have to worry a lot about stained trousers, but I’m not sure about the rest.

How the media works pt 83


My business subscribes to a service that allows journalists to float ideas and requests for information onto the PR-osphere, the place where we exist. Below is a typical example of what we get to see. What is interesting (and very common) is that the article starts with a premise for which the journalist then seeks evidence. This is clearly the wrong way round.

PS If they can write this feature without mention of Amy Winehouse, I’ll be impressed. 

MEDIA OUTLET: Glamour (editorial request)

MEDIA TYPE: Consumer Press

DEADLINE: 21-April-2009 18:00

QUERY: I am looking for facts and stats to support a claim that, in many cases, rehab is unsuccessful.

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