A lot of people have never met a print journalist – and may never want to – but if one ever calls you and wants to interview you, it’s as well to have a bit of inside knowledge. So here are five things that might help you when speaking to a journalist.
1. If a journalist befriends you – on a professional basis – it’s because they want a story or a good contact, not because they like you (they may like you too, of course)
2. If you tell them a cracking story ‘off the record’, they will want to find a way to publish it
3. Journalists love to have a good contacts book, full of people they can call up for background information or a quote if they’re covering a story on a particular subject or issue
4. A reporter writing an article is in control, so don’t be rude to them. If you are, you are highly unlikely to get a good press
5. In theory reporters are objective, but in practice, the editorial stance and approach of their paper or journal will affect how they write a story