Understanding the Media Today


The overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) use multiple platforms to access news on a typical day including national and local TV, the Internet, local newspapers, radio, and national newspapers.1 News media help shape public opinion and can focus public attention or increase public awareness on key issues of importance. Domestic Violence Awareness Month offers an opportunity to call attention to the complex and Radio studio microphonemultifaceted issue of domestic violence through various media outlets.

There are many ways to disseminate messages about domestic violence to the public. These include: television and radio news programs; talk shows; newspaper and magazine articles, feature stories, editorials, columns, letters-to­ the-editor and guest editorials; stories in community and ethnic or specialty newspapers; public service announcements (PSAs); and social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, and blog hosting sites, among many others.

Media coverage of the complex and multifaceted issue of domestic violence ranges from helpful to harmful. To successfully educate the public about domestic violence, encourage them to take action to prevent or reduce domestic violence, or ask them to support our efforts, we must work with the media both in response to specific cases and as a proactive measure.

 

Working with Media

 

Engaging with various media outlets can be challenging at times. The resources and materials provided here are intended to enhance that process by helping advocates be proactive, prepared and knowledgeable.

 

Developing Your Message

 

 

Before engaging the media, it’s important to define your message and identify two or three brief, clear and compelling talking points to support it. As much as possible, use colorful words and examples, analogies and contemporary references that people can identify with. Tangible numbers speak volumes.

 

The following resources offer support in framing your message:Front page of Awareness + Action = Social Change infographic

 

3-Legged Stool Talking Points Forms offer helpful fully-cited statistics and talking points in response to key questions related to domestic violence:

 

Centering Survivors' Voices

 

From the Front of the Room: A Survivors Guide to Public Speaking

As our work is driven by the lived experiences and needs of survivors, it is important that we center their voices when bringing visibility to the issue of domestic violence through any media platform.

 

Advocates can play an important role in centering survivors’ stories when engaging with media during DVAM and throughout the year. It may be helpful to keep a list of survivors who have expressed interest in sharing their stories, although it’s important to obtain permission from the survivor for each and every request before identifying them to the media.

To assist advocates and survivors in preparing for this experience, NRCDV has developed several resources:

 

Additional Resources