The Head of News, Channels TV Abuja, Paul Nwachukwu says the media needs Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) more than CSOs need the media.
Nwachukwu was speaking at a one-day media training on Effective CSO-Media Engagement organized for YIAGA team members. The training was part of YIAGA’s staff capacity development initiative, aimed at building basic communication skills for effective media engagement.
Nwachukwu said media organizations depend on CSOs for data and information in order to perform their fundamental roles of informing, educating and entertaining the public. He stated that because CSOs are usually the ones in the field, there is need for the media and CSOs to collaborate effectively.
“Many CSOs do not know that the Media needs them more than they need the media. CSOs are the ones who go to the field and often have first hand view of issues. The media, on the other hand, depends on CSOs such as YIAGA for data. Therefore, CSOs and the Media need to work together to ensure that the information they have is made available to the public”.
Nwachukwu also highlighted some reasons why media organizations reject press releases and what CSOs can do to prevent this from happening.
“The media landscape is very competitive. There are several stories jostling for an editor’s attention. Therefore, CSOs have to make their stories very compelling”.
He urged CSOs to ensure that their press releases have the major news elements in them and are also written as news.
“Long, winding news stories without news elements will likely not be used by a news outlet. Does your press release have prominence? Is it relevant? What sort of impact will it have? Is it timely? Is it news? These are things to consider when issuing a press release”, Nwachukwu said.
He noted that when press releases must be brief carry the necessary information; most importantly a contact address. This, he said, will enable the journalist to call in for further inquiries after going through the press release.
Answering a question on how CSOs which are not for profit can get their events covered by profit making media organization, Nwachukwu said CSOs should identify the particular media they want to work with and establish cordial relationship with them.
He called on CSOs to not relent in their efforts in engaging the media and it will pay off in the long run.