Representation of reenactment in the Media

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Representation of reenactment in the Media

Postby brendan on Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:25 am

This is a new thread falling out of some recent publicity and split away from the original conversation.
Basic questions:
    Should we deal with the media?
    What are the potential pitfalls?
    How can we use the media to our benefit?

Brendan
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Re: Representation of reenactment in the Media

Postby wiblick on Mon Aug 10, 2009 11:20 am

I love this link. From a credit union in the states of all things!

http://www.ohiocul.org/OMN/PR-MediaFund ... oMedia.htm

In answer to your 'questions'

For the moment I think re-enactors should steer clear of the media, and should certainly not seek them out unless they are very well prepared. I think if everyone took on a version of the above then dealing with the media would be less fraught. We will rarely be presented well but we can give it our best shot.

personally I'm going to look to amateur dramatics for my cue and try to learn how to present living history credibly through a careful blend of seriousness and fun.
I am off active duty for 2009 & 2010. I continue to research but will be attending few if any shows for these two years. I got some chickens and hope to bring them along with a more fully rounded household display in 2011.
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Re: Representation of reenactment in the Media

Postby Jess de Búrca Monty on Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:54 pm

That is an excellent link and encapsulates all that needs to be done. Careful considered responses and a better sense of control as to what is being put out there. These are very much my points. Also, it is possible to have a good relationship with the media, it starts with confidence in what you yourself are about.
My other grievance - people doing stuff for peanuts or the scrappings of a few quid, why?
Now this is where it gets confrontational. I think people are afraid to ask for help I suppose for various reasons, fear of losing the gig or face might be the obvious ones. The only trouble is when you do a piece for next to nothing you will get treated like such or the other side line of attack is to butter you up telling you how wonderful you are are, as the production company lines their pocket with monies saved from the budget, there is always a budget! You only do it for nothing if it's a student film or for charity.
Just because you love re-enactment and do it for fun, you don't have to do it for free or for a cup of tea and your dinner.
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Re: Representation of reenactment in the Media

Postby brendan on Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:53 pm

That is a really good link.
I know that personally I never write a work related email without the expectation that it can and will be forwarded to someone else without my having a say in it. The same applies here. When talking to the public or the press about this hobby we are effectively 'working'.

On the case of working for peanuts there are alternate models: Back in 1977 a guy made a low budget movie and couldn't afford to pay his reasonably big name star. The big star agreed to take a percentage of gross instead of his usual salary. The director got his film on a shoestring and the actor gambled his usual fee for 2% of gross. The star was Alec Guinness and the film was Star Wars.

That said, sometimes all people want is a few cool pictures of themselves in kit.
It all bounces back to whether we do this for fun or as work. I suppose the point is that if someone else is making a bucket of cash from us enjoying ourselves we should get some of the pie.

BUT back on topic: What is the message that we should be trying to convey? How is it that we want to be perceived?
Oh, and good point on the idea that a relationship with the press need not be confrontational

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Re: Representation of reenactment in the Media

Postby ciaranc on Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:57 pm

I think we really need to be very careful dealing with the media, there has been a lot of bad press come from throw away comments and quite often the media person does not identify themselves as such so you should be prepared to stand by every word that comes out your mouth. If someone is asking questions you dont know the answer to why not direct them to someone you know will have the answer rather than try and make up something that sounds plausable.

re the working for nothing, well if no one is willing to do it for nothing then no one will have to
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Re: Representation of reenactment in the Media

Postby lordedward on Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:27 pm

Great link with sound advice.

The important thing is to think before you speak, not a skill everyone has.

Definitely don't repeat any line that a journalist feeds you.

In Napoleonics an officer from the staff is always appointed as Media Relations Officer at events. Basically someone who can develop a relationship with journalists answer the big questions, select suitable interviewees and, God forbid, if anything goes wrong issue a (agreed with the event organiser ) statement.

I think we do need to engage with the media we can't be invisible or the hobby dies or gets marginalized, left out of budgets and legislated against. But it is everyone's responcibilty not to infect us all with foot-in-mouth disease :)
There is a fine line between hobby and mental illness -Dave Barry
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