Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Talking to the media: for academics

Today's Leonardo workshop was our "Communications workshop," or what I call "Talking to the media: for academics." Run by Tim Padmore and Doug Rushton, the workshop was designed to help us (as scholars on the cusp of world fame and media attention) engage the mass media by practicing answering pointed journalistic questions about our research in front of a camera. We had to prepare slides before the workshop and make a short presentation on our topic of choice. We then acted out the experience of being interviewed at a conference by a reporter on the presentation we just made.
So far, my experience with interviews of this nature have been "trial by fire" so it was valuable for me to be able to experience it in a safe "training" environment rather than the 'real' thing. It was also great to each get in-depth critique from Tim and Doug while we watched ourselves (!) after the interview on the television.
A valuable thing I think every academic should have to do if they want their research to be represented in the public sphere in a positive manner. I told them afterwards that they should do these seminars for Faculty (or anyone else interested) at SFU. As much as some people may think they're 'old hat' at this... it never hurts to learn more. It's a skill that must be practised, like anything else.

Tim Padmore is a retired physicst, journalist, and public servant, through all of which runs a streak of communications experience. Doug Rushton is a professional media trainer with a lifetime of journalism experience in print and television.


Blogger Richard said...

SFU does these media training seminars for faculty. They are pretty good.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Florence Chee said...

If they're not compulsory, they should be! ;)

3:41 PM  

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