April 21st, 2006
When you read a sex article (or any article) in a magazine or a paper, or when there’s a guest on television or radio, most times they’ll have something to promote.
The deal goes something like this. They provide a quote or media appearance and in return they’re introduced as so-and-so, book author, website owner etc.
In many cases the expert is dependent on this exchange since it’s advertising for their books or products, and that could be their main source of income.
It’s depressing that their motivation is based solely around self-promotion rather than sharing knowledge, but it’s understandable if that’s the only way you make your living.
What’s more shocking is when there are experts who play the same game but have no excuse. I’ve heard from a number of journalists recently about several high-profile academics and medics who will only speak to the media if they’re guaranteed a book plug.
These are people who already draw a salary from the university and/or hospital that employs them. The extra income they generate from their books is a bonus.
Frequently the content of their books will have been informed by research paid for by charities or organised through work sabbaticals. They have access to huge amounts of knowledge – far more than those experts who only have their products to rely on for survival. And yet they limit the share in that knowledge for a book plug that was created because they were in the priviledged position to write one on the side of their main job.
There’s a simple answer to this problem. If you’re a journalist and an expert in a medical or academic position whose job it is to share knowledge will only speak to you if you’ll plug their book, do us all a favour and don’t bother quoting them at all.Tweet