My Tea with Meredith Dake

Ok, it wasn’t tea.  She was drinking diet Coke and I was on my usual caffeine fuel.  But Meredith had some very relevant ideas on how to become more active in today’s politics, battling media bias, and engaging in citizen journalism.

When you write, interview or make a video:

Make it have a personal side.  If the person looking at your content can have a personal connection with you it will help make them care more about the topic.

When talking to others about political topics, and they aren’t deeply into the topic you’re discussing:

Don’t talk down to them or treat them like a low information voter. If you treat them as someone ill-informed, they will not respond well.  Talk to them as an equal, and if they don’t understand something, take the time to explain it to them fully without making them feel stupid.

On using Social Media to affect coverage:  Get involved on Twitter and Facebook with people that are in the business.  Don’t be afraid to ask them questions.  Follow groups and people that you disagree with so that you can better understand their thinking.  When you do ask them questions, don’t be rude or inconsiderate.  Ask good clear questions that are not showing a personal bias.

Go Local:  In other words, if you have good video or information and think its pertinent information, don’t be afraid to send it to your local newspaper or TV station.  If they have interest in it, they will probably contact you.  You can also put it out on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks to get some traction.  If you truly find yourself with good video, audio or other forms of media then don’t be afraid to send it to websites.  A lot of them will look at it because they are always in search of good content.

State “Just the Facts”:  When doing journalism this way, make sure you stick to the facts.  If you start putting your conjecture or opinions in pieces, they will lose importance.

On submitting video or audio:  Don’t edit videos or audios or whatever you have. They want to hear it all, to be sure that it is a factual piece. If you send them just a snippet it might just be discarded as dribble.

On being ready to capture news:  Your camera phone is an excellent weapon! Use it to get anything you think might remotely become a story. It’s always easy to delete it later!

Recapping what Meredith had to say about changing the biased way news is covered today:

  • Engage journalists with polite, serious, unbiased questions
  • Influencing your friends can help change public opinion, which can change the way stories are covered
  • Local media is likely to be responsive to input than national media
  • Press local media on national candidates from your local area

And on getting your original content covered:

  • Even if you film it, always write about it.  Get exclusive quotes and details where possible; it helps get your content in front of media
  • Tweet @instapundit with good content you produce, it may help give your story traction

Follow Meredith on Twitter

Watch the entire interview at Prairie Dogma, and catch the show Wednesdays at 10 pm Eastern!