Someone recently sent me a link to an article ” 44 things the media wish you knew”. There were a few things in that list that I was like “F**k yeah!” so I decided to make my own list.
Media are often seen as ‘the bad guys’ and don’t get me wrong, some journalists are simply pot stirrers with their opinion pieces but as with anything, there are two sides to the coin.
So, let me shed some light on the things I wish farmers and people I interview knew about my job.
10 things I wish you knew about Ag journalism
1) Don’t lump me in with mainstream media, general media and news journalists. My primary job as a magazine writer is to share your success stories and inform you on new research and technologies to HELP your business.
2) When I send you a draft copy and say “don’t alter spelling, grammar or style” I mean it! I have a style guide to stick to. If you go changing things like that I only have to go back and change them which equals a massive waste of my time. (And a fair amount of swearsies whilst I do this).
3) Deadlines aren’t flexible. But I will tell you they are because I know you are busy and your time is valuable. I also know you’re doing me a favor by letting me do a story on you so I will do my best to be flexible, even if it means a telling off by my editor.
4) It is truly vexing when a person I’m interviewing gives one word answers. If your not comfortable doing an interview, don’t say yes in the first place. I know it can be hard, but I try my best to make it easy as possible.
5) Shout it from the roof top! If I’m interviewing you you are obviously doing something noteworthy/doing something really well – celebrate it! and don’t be afraid to share your knowledge and experiences.
6) Sometimes because I hate having two phones I will give out my personal number. Please don’t use it to add me on Snapchat and send me endless pics of cows and grass. This one is probably my own fault.
7) Don’t be offended if I reject your offer of a cup of coffee. I’ve likely had 4 already that day and quite frankly who needs that much caffeine in their system?
8) I am only human, as are the rest of the team that work on the magazines. Mistakes happen and blasting us for it just isn’t really helpful. We likely already know about them.
9) I can be extremely shy, calling up a random person and arranging to meet isn’t exactly something that comes naturally to me – so be kind!
10) I am genuinely interested in what you are doing with your farming business and will always try my best to get your story right.