Media Advocacy Interactive ModuleTarget Length: 30 minutesParticipants: Psychiatry Residents and FellowsFacilitators: Media Relations staff, attendingsScenario:You are a psychiatrist in a rural area. Within the last 3-4 days, a terrible tragedy hasoccurred – a young person was observed to have shot and killed 10 others. At thispoint in time, his potential motives are unclear, although it appears that he has beendisorganized and paranoid in his thoughts and behaviors for the last several years.There is widespread suspicion that he has underlying mental health issues. As youprepare to start your busy clinic day, you receive a call by a journalist for the localpaper, asking for a comment on the tragedy.Questions to consider:What type of story will this be? (News, feature, editorial column)Will I be quoted? Is this on/off record (assume on the record if not explicitly statedotherwise)What is your deadline?I have some clinical responsibilities at this time. Could I call you back later in the dayto discuss this?What do you want to do now? Familiarize yourself with the topic/situation in question? Contact colleagues? Locate some relevant statistics?Assess what kind of “angle” the journalist/newspaper/media organization may betaking on the story and compare with your experience/advocacy stance?Remember to:Develop 1-2 key themes/thoughts that you want to convey. State these clearlymultiple times throughout the interview.Cite evidence, if you have any.Give appropriate caveats.Look for advocacy angles.Directions:Have audience split up into groups of 2-3 members. The groups will be given 5-10minutes to practice their interview.Each group will then present to a facilitator. Facilitator should play the role of ajournalist. Assume the journalist is coming from an “angle” that the person inquestion should have been evaluated earlier and somehow “slipped through thecracks.” Questions can and should be asked, but not in an antagonistic way.Facilitators should assess for key components listed above, as well as body
language, presentation style. They should then give brief feedback after thepresentation.The last ~5 minutes at the end of the session should be used to solicit residents’experience, evaluate challenges and/or surprises.