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My work is in integrated resources management and conservation. Some of the work is at the policy level and some is very "on the ground" dealing with the livelihoods of communities and poverty reduction. A number of outputs and findings from these projects are as important as the findings of pure science and social science.

Exposure of project activities and results in the press, tremendously increases the positive impact of these undertakings and greatly improves the practice. We are not getting the coverage required.

My inquiry as a practitioner and not a journalist is what draws the interest of the press in the above mentionned topic and othere sustainable development issues? What would make the headlines if I dare say? I, as a practitioner, and I think many more, need to understand the press better so a win-win situation is created to the benefit of the world.

I thank you and appreciate your suggestions and feedback.

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Comment by Charbel Rizk on June 25, 2007 at 17:43
Thanks Mike for the valauable tips

It would be interesting also to understand what makes people tic. I find sometimes that even when you explain the advantages of say sustainable development, people seem not to care. It feels like they have devlopped an apathy for the subject. Does the press do surveys of level of knowledge and undertanding of people on specific issues or do they usually go bu gut feelings on the level of detail or comlexity they address an issue.
Comment by MikeShanahan on June 25, 2007 at 17:16
Hi Charbel, Here are some tips.

Make contact with some journalists and find out how they like to receive information (email / telephone), etc. When you have some news to share, make sure that you are telling the journalists what is new and what is significant. The "first ever...." or the "biggest ever..." always make something interesting. But also try to you indicate the significance of your findings, for example, in terms of how many people they affect or are relevant to, or how much money it would save to implement a new technology or cost to ignore a science-based warning. It is really important to know the audience that the journalist is writing for, and to frame your information so it is relevant to them. If the newspaper is read by business people, then you should use language that they use and understand, for example.
Comment by Charbel Rizk on June 24, 2007 at 18:09
Thanks Tran for your addition and valuble comments. Does it help to make teh story talk about the benefit to teh lives of people??
Comment by Tran Le Thuy on June 24, 2007 at 10:33
Whenever I write about serious and complicated issues like development, policy and science, I face the question of how to avoid writing a dry story that few people would read. In my experience, a story would work if it has lively, touching, down-to-earth case studies or human stories, great quotes, simple and clear explanations(no jargon, please)and of course, something newsworthy that the readers can relate to
Comment by Ruba Al-Zubi on June 23, 2007 at 16:40
Very valid question. In addition, even if we get the press interested to cover such issues, what would be needed to ensure that the reader is attracted to the story? In other words, what are the criteria for a best-selling story?

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