Media training for volunteers - background

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In 2012, Wikimedia UK has commissioned media training for trustees, staff and volunteers. We are offering the training to WMUK volunteers who, in the course of their volunteering with Wikimedia UK, are likely to have some interaction with the media. This could be local or national newspapers, radio, television, web video and anything related.

Some details of the training are below. If you're interested, but can't see an upcoming session, please email stevie.benton -at-

The first session was on 1 December 2012 in the London Office of Wikimedia UK. The second session was on 2 February 2013 and covered the below and also included a section on crisis management. Third session, scheduled before Wikimania, took place on 5 July 2014.

If you have any questions or comments please contact Stevie - (Stevie Benton (WMUK)).

Course outline[edit | edit source]

What do journalists do all day?[edit | edit source]

If you don’t know what journalists do, then you won’t be able to engage with them in the correct manner. We’ll run through a typical day looking at how important the timing of communication is and what effect it will have on your media relationships

Clarity, narrative and emotion[edit | edit source]

Make it easy and the journalist will come back to you; we look at what they are looking for and how you can present your story / idea / information in a ‘Journo-friendly’ way. It’s great for your story hit rate and in this we look at "do’s and don’ts" of press releases.

Default narrative (break-out session)[edit | edit source]

What is the organisations Default narrative and how will that affect the media view of the organisation? The Default narrative is the route of least resistance taken by a journalist. It’s ‘News prejudice’ it’s what the audience thinks they think of you. The ‘Default Narrative’ of any organisation sets the tone for its media communications. By exploring the Wikimedia UK Default Narrative delegates will be able to prepare for the most common questions, approach, and ‘feel’ of interviews.

Questions[edit | edit source]

What are the four types of questions that you’ll be asked and how do you answer them? Exploring what can go wrong and how to stop it.

Presenting numbers[edit | edit source]

If you can make your numbers robust, compelling and snappy they will be remembered.

Interviews[edit | edit source]

What not to say, how you will be treated and the questions that need to be asked before you even appear. It all builds confidence in spokespeople and makes the experience seem far less scary. A quick session looking at Producer guidelines on ‘fair dealing’ and interviewees frames what they’re allowed to do to you!

Mock interviews[edit | edit source]

Filmed interviews with all the delegates that will then be used for review purposes. All the delegates will be interviewed in front of each other and critiqued by the trainer and their peers. Peer review can be the most powerful teaching tool. Whilst the trainer interviews each of the delegates the others watch and take notes. Then in the safe learning environment they are able to give honest feedback.