Spreading the Word About Psychology
Why Should You Work With The Media?
As psychologists, we have an obligation to explain psychology to the community at large and communicate what we know to help address social problems. Too often, we leave this important task to media personalities whose information may be biased, incomplete, or just plain wrong. This misinterpretation of science in the media influences a wide range of issues from educational policy to medical research. Conversely, the public can benefit tremendously from a deeper understanding of psychology.
This website addresses the many ways that an average psychology instructor can interact effectively with the media. The site is designed to help you discover some of the basic secrets of media success. It includes a description of the needs and expectations of traditional media (radio, newspaper, TV); guidelines for becoming an expert source, columnist or blogger, talk show guest, featured interview subject, or presenter; examples of print, audio, and video approaches to specific psychological issues; and ideas for class projects. By working with the materials on this website, you'll learn to identify local media outlets, select newsworthy issues, develop your ideas into appropriate forms, approach your chosen media outlets, and establish long-term relationships with your local media.
Why We Created This Website
This website was created in conjunction with Taking it to the Streets: How to Give Psychology Away and Become a Local Media Hero, a workshop offered at the 30th annual NITOP (National Institute for the Teaching of Psychology) conference on January 3, 2008 in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida. We created the workshop because we believe that psychologists and other scientists should share what they know with the public, instead of complaining about the misinterpretation of science by media personalities. We hope the information on this website will help you succeed in that endeavor. We encourage you to experiment with some of the new media. Be daring, and have fun!
If you discover resources that you believe would be useful to others, please contact William S. Altman (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can update this site.