This weeks lecture explored the art of criticism. With my background, prior to studying film, being in journalism, it could be said that my views on this topic differ to others. Whilst I am currently pursuing a more visually creative and less ‘clinical’ art form than journalism, the skills I learnt practicing journalism allow me to see two viewpoints- that of the artist and of the critic. Something that particularly sparked my interest in the lecture was the discussion of how to be “good at talking to Journalists”.
Firstly, some good points were raised about conducting research as to who you are talking to, or (more so) who you ideally want to be talking to. This is imperative as it heavily impacts the way in which you will be portrayed to specific audiences which, in turn, can hinder your success. It is also good to remember that, while your work is being publicly analysed, in one way or another so is your critic’s.
Secondly, as much as you do your research on reporters, reviewers and/or critics, chances are they have done more on you! It is important to understand what they are looking for in order for the process to be as beneficial as possible for both parties. This relates back to the fundamentals of writing, the five W’s (and H): Who, what, when, where, how and why.
If you can manage to incorporate the answers to these questions in a conversation-like manner while allowing your personality and/or passion to drive the discussion or interview, you will be a journalists dream! Furthermore, when talking to a journalist, keep in mind that they are always looking for a hook (Summer 2002), something to draw their audience in. If you have done your research, you will have an idea of the angle various journalists might take, in which case you have the ability to manipulate the narrative being reported and how it reflects you and your art.
Madrick, J. (2002). A good story isn’t always the right one to tell: `Enron was merely the manifestation of a broad failure on the part of the financial media.’ (Journalist’s Trade). Nieman Reports, 56(2).