Media Training: Translating Family Science for the Public

Preconference Workshops
1:00 PM
5:00 PM
Sundance 2
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About the Session

Presenter: Stephanie Coontz, M.A., Professor Emerita, Evergreen State College; Director of Research and Public Education, Council on Contemporary Families

This workshop will introduce participants to the benefits of taking scholarly research and best practice findings public, offering guidelines about how to do so effectively, and how to avoid common pitfalls. Attendees will practice finding and fine-tuning their take-away points, responding to journalists' questions, and/or making short statements for the radio or television, receiving feedback from Coontz and other workshop attendees. In this highly personalized and interactive setting, we address the challenges of messaging and handling difficult topics in ways that reflect the improvisational quality of working with media. Coontz will also explain how to construct publishable opinion pieces for the mainstream media, outlining the role of hooks, ledes, nut graphs, and kickers.


--How to identify what parts of their work will most interest a broader audience; How to change academic conventions of writing and speaking that turn audiences off.
--How to frame arguments in ways that recognize and speak to differing moral frameworks and anxieties;
--How to become a news source (and when not to be one), how to get quoted, and how to minimize the chance of being misquoted; How to write op-eds, blogs, and letters to the editor that get published; How to handle statistics and figures, find powerful examples or anecdotes, and translate graphs and figures into clear sentences; and How to get comfortable doing radio and TV: Learn the secret audition lurking behind every radio or television pre-interview, and practice how to bridge back to key take-away points during interviews and talk shows.

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