AOPA releases updated online media guide
With the explosion of online and cable outlets and a constant 24/7 news cycle, the media are desperately seeking juicy news stories to “feed the beast,” as reporters call it. General aviation is always an attractive target, especially when it comes to local airports.
So it should come as no surprise when a reporter comes to do stories on topics including pilot training, airspace restrictions, airport security, and accidents or incidents. These are topics that are especially interesting to reporters, but most of them do not have experience covering aviation as a regular beat.
If reporters approach you, it is important to understand how the media work. AOPA's recently updated eight-minute online course, Guide to Talking to Reporters, is designed to offer tips to pilots in case you ever have to deal with reporters' questions. Without proper preparation and word choice, your comments could be edited into a meaning you did not intend and, as a result, portray GA in a negative light.
This course is a great resource that can help you if you are ever approached by a reporter or find yourself the subject of an ambush interview. The first thing you should do any time you are contacted by the media is call AOPA's Media Relations Department (301/695-2162) for assistance. You also should refer the reporter to AOPA's in-house and third-party experts for further comments on GA issues.
By using this guide, you will be better prepared to handle any media inquiry. It also serves as a reminder that the AOPA media relations staff is always available to help.
April 30, 2012