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Can you cut it in the media?

June 23rd, 2005

Dr Petra

Take the quiz below to find out how you might get on in media.

How to play….
You have to pretend you’re working in the media and have to find people to quote in your story or appear on your programme. Each question below is based on a real example.

1. You’re making a TV programme on food and nutrition, and need to find a spokesperson to talk about diet. Do you pick?
a. A highly qualified practitioner with links to the UK’s top research organisation on food, diet and nutrition?
b. A person who has a questionable qualification and has written a book that includes advice most health professionals dispute?

2. You’re the editor of a newspaper. You’ve got to pick a columnist for a weekly slot commenting on social issues. Do you pick?
a. A social researcher, who already writes for the media, has completed studies and knows where to find the latest data and interpret it?
b. A person who has no idea where to find the latest data, can’t interpret it, and when given information is unable to understand it.

3. You’ve been commissioned to write a newspaper article on relationships for women whose sex lives aren’t as satisfactory as they’d like. You need to quote an expert in the story. Do you pick?
a. Someone with a postdoctoral qualification, years of additional training, and who teaches other health professionals to deliver sexual health care to women?
b. Someone who wrote a final year project on women and sex for their undergraduate degree?

4. You’re putting together a documentary series on popular science, focusing on how the human brain works and need to find a presenter. Do you pick?
a. A group of well-respected neuropsychologists who have researched the human brain and social interaction, and can bring you the most contemporary evidence?
b. A highly qualified medic who has no background in psychology and is unable to tell you the studies they report in your show are no longer valid, and many are highly flawed?

5. You’re writing a magazine feature on building confidence and want an expert to answer some common reader problems. Do you pick?
a. Someone with a social science PhD, additional qualifications in life coaching, and over ten years experience as a teacher of adult learners?
b. Someone who has been to the ‘university of life’ who gives ‘commonsense advice’, although most of what they do is commentate and judge, rather than provide information?

6. You’re making a series of television programmes about body language in the media; you need an expert to answer the presenter’s questions. Do you pick?
a. A social psychologist that has studied interpersonal behaviour, and body language across different cultures?
b. An ex-model who has no qualifications but describes themselves as everything from a ‘social expert’ to a ‘psychiatrist’?

How did you score?

Mostly A’s – Congratulations! You picked the right answers. You’ll have chosen the most qualified experts who’ll be eager to talk to you, share the latest evidence, and ensure you’ll have the most accurate and contemporary story/feature/programme.

Mostly B’s –
Sorry you’ve picked the wrong answers. But don’t worry, you’re not alone. In the past year stories, features and programmes have all been made using people from the B list above. In all cases, an A list person was ready and willing, but a B-lister was picked instead.

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