Eric May – Media Consultant




No matter what country or the culture, the “news media” is no longer a single, monolithic entity.

Whether funded by the public, the state or privately owned, television, radio, print and online are all very different mediums. Andeach medium reaches audiences and tells stories very differently.

The mass audience likes all the different types of news media, but uses each one for for different reasons, at different times of day and in different ways:

• What: traditional newscasts and coverage of breaking news
• When: mostly evening (sometimes in the morning before work)
• Where: at home 

• What: news, personalities, traffic, weather, music and talk
• When: morning 6-9am and evening 5-7pm; all day
• Where: in the car on the way to/from work; at home 

Print (daily newspapers, journals, magazines)
• What: in depth reporting/analysis; often with a specific viewpoint
• When: morning and early evening; daily, weekly or monthly 
• Where: at home or at work 

• What: personal, “authentic”, audience interactivity
• When: morning and early evening
• Where: mostly at work; internet cafes; at home

To reach out effectively to each different medium, use different approaches for each:

Television wants:
1. to shoot their own footage in locations that are visually compelling
2. interviews with key people on location, not spokesmen or PR people
3. a connection between your issue and the lives of ordinary people

Radio wants:
1. provocative interviews with interesting, knowledgeable people
2. live interviews in the early morning (drive time) period
3. interview partners who can take questions from listeners

Print wants:
1. experts who can speak about an issue in depth 
2. strong opinions
3. thoughtful analysis 

Online wants:
1. “authentic”, personal experiences
2. an “edgy” approach: gossip, informal, fun
3. interactivity with audience (comments/blogs)

Tailor your message to reflect the charactertistics of different media. Understand how and when each medium’s audience uses it, and why they do.