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< prev - next > Information communication learning KnO 100050_Using Existing Mass Media (Printable PDF)
Communities can make use of the mass media (newspapers, radio, TV. internet) to publicise
their own information, opinions and concerns to a large audience, and to influence people in
power. This may be achieved by approaching journalists with ideas for them to feature, or by
producing material for them to broadcast or print.
Advantages of Using Existing Mass Media
Mass media reaches very large audiences and is therefore an efficient means by
which community views and opinions can be widely publicised.
It can be inexpensive for the community if the media companies wish to feature their
How to use Existing Mass Media
When approaching media companies to
feature your community story, be very clear
about what opinions or issues you want
publicised. Be aware that professional
journalists might misunderstand the issues or
dramatise or exaggerate the story.
Consider using a press release. This
is a means by which to alert the
media of an event or experience
which you would like publicised. It
should be a concise and informative
written description of the issue. A
press release can be sent out to
several media organisations at once; Recording material for radio, Woldia, Ethiopia
some may choose to follow-up with
media coverage.
Writing to Newspapers. Local newspapers are often pleased to be invited to report on
interesting issues or events, and will often send their own reporters to write the story.
Newspapers will also accept letters for consideration for inclusion in their letters
Radio (and TV). Radio stations are keen to get feedback from their listeners and local
or community stations are often actively looking for content to broadcast and are
likely to welcome community contributions. To be featured by larger broadcasting
organisations you will have to secure their interest in your idea. You can do this by
submitting a written idea or ideas recorded on a cassette tape.
A tape does not have to be broadcast quality but you should prepare the tape carefully, either
working from a script or to a prepared structure. Include interviews with relevant people if
appropriate. The aim is to spark an interest in the listener at the station so that they will want
to find out more.
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