4.11 Working with journalists in country and arranging journalists’ visits

Competition for media attention is intense during an emergency. The Emergency Communications Officer needs to take a proactive approach to building relationships with journalists on the ground and demonstrating that CARE has an interesting story to tell. Find out where key journalists are staying and let them know what CARE is doing.

Being a good host to a journalist can provide an opportunity to influence the journalist’s understanding of the issues. CARE should identify and promote opportunities to show journalists our work. Many journalists will be keen to accompany CARE to the field and to view emergency relief being delivered. Briefings and site visits should be planned carefully and managed by the Emergency Communications Officer in cooperation with the programme staff to show CARE’s best work to the media and to make sure that the media presence does not interrupt relief delivery. Remember: a journalist visit is not a VIP visit: no organized tours or lengthy visits with local officials! Journalists want to talk to community members; find a good story to tell; and get good photos/video of the situation. See Annex 13.9: How to arrange media field visits for details on how to arrange a visit to the field for a journalist. You can also find examples of media visit agendas and pitches here while the session of the 2018 Skillshare on how to organize media visits is also available.