At Media Potential we have heard many times from clients who have felt the heat of negative media coverage, claiming.. “but it’s not even a story!”
I’m sorry it is.
Like it or not, the journalists, editors and producers are the ones who decide what makes news and what doesn’t. It’s not an arbitrary call, they make that decision based on years of experience, a comprehensive understanding of their audience.. and public interest, yes, sales and ratings. You might not think the subject is a big deal, but there are many others who do. Particularly if that story involves someone in public office.
Former Qld MP Peter Dowling has told Spencer Howson’s breakfast program on ABC radio about his loathing of the media and its role in his downfall (which we need not go over again- but you know the story.. lewd pictures.. a glass of wine..)
“Part of me is so incredibly angry that something that had absolutely nothing to do with the world became so public and it was for the edification of a journalist who thought he had a ‘gotcha’ moment.” Dowling said.
The story was unsavory – but it was still a story. And no doubt sales, ratings and clicks reflected that.
An MP, and chair of the State Parliament Ethics Committee.. with questionable moral judgment.
His wife, Helen, was also interviewed. She has forgiven him, but clearly still holds others to account for her husband’s fall from grace. The person she believes should bear most of the blame is the journalist who broke the story.. followed in second place by her husband’s former mistress.
Nothing could stop this story (and still it goes on…) but there are certainly ways to minimize the fallout so you can recover and move on from front page scandals like this.
Blaming the media and journalists for their role isn’t one of them.