Dealing with the media

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This page is a translated version of the page Faire face aux médias and the translation is 100% complete.

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English • ‎français • ‎Nederlands


There are three types of media:

  1. Written media (among which the internet)
  2. Auditory media
  3. Visual media

The RTBF, the only national french-speaking public media. The PDF document which contains the RTBF agenda of 2011 (fr)

How to hold a mic?

Absurd question? Not so sure, when we see a good number of people in politics, sports, even journalists who hold the microphone wrongly. A microphone can have multiple directions from where it records sound (unidirectional, bi, etc.). So let's assume that it works basically via an imaginary straight line that starts from the top of the microphone. It must therefore be directed towards the mouth. The microphone stands at an "ampan" of the mouth, that is, at a hand distance (see illustration), to avoid labial bass (sounds in P or B) that sound wrong. Do not forget that we have a microphone to answer and therefore we should not move our hands too much. A wired microphone can also record wire-related interferences. To avoid these (only in case of recording), simply make a loop with the thread around the hand. Last remark: a journalist who gives you the microphone is a bad journalist. He (or the sound engineer) must normally take care of the position and the holding of the audio material (except lapel microphone). wearable-phone-concept.jpg ("ampan" distance)

Request for an interview

In general, an interview is never done live and a preparation is always possible before answering the questions of the journalist, except during reporting in full event (press conference, event ...). Even for the radio, when recording over the phone, it is possible to request a later call to collect data and prepare. It is even essential for a television passage since the journalist can hardly erase or modify your stutters and possible errors like in writing or radio. Television journalism in general is especially fond of this kind of wanderings from subjects. As the processing of the interview is usually done afterwards, do not hesitate to resume, to repeat your answer to be clearer (it works also in radio in case of recordings) or to request more information in case of vague question.

How to stand?

In case of a filmed interview, the image is just as important as the remarks made. Avoid crossing your arms or putting your hands on the hips, which are signs of closure. Stay upright, looking at your interlocutor between the eyes or at the forehead (do not move your eyes from left to right). To stay upright, simply sit on the edge of a seat and force yourself not to let go. Do not hesitate to imitate your interlocutor, when he puts his fists on the table or when he relaxes. Keep your hands above the table, make gestures without falling into the Italian caricature, to support your remarks visually (without giving the middle finger, like a certain Laurette).

The drinks

General note, only drink when it's not your turn. If you are served alcohol, do not let it be shown and avoid drinking it in front of the camera. Michel Daerden's gone, no need to replace him. Same remark on tobacco or any other drug (chocolate included).

This document is a draft. Questions, suggestions? Submit them below to get an answer!

Text originally written by Cédric Dautinger