If the Media Calls

If you are contacted by the media for an interview, return their call as quickly as possible because journalists work on tight deadlines – not returning the call may result in a missed opportunity to get your key messages out. However, keep in mind speaking to the media can change your issue from a private to a public one and you have the right to decline participating in the interview. If you receive a media interview request, take down the information and agree to call back or arrange a date/time. By postponing the call (even for 30 minutes), you will give yourself time to write down your key messages and be prepared. We encourage you to contact Kidney Cancer Canada for guidance with media interviews.

In you initial conversation with the journalist, find out as much you can about the interview, including:

  • What is the journalist’s story angle?
  • Who else is the journalist contacting for the story?
  • Will the interview be live, taped or over the phone?
  • How long will the interview be? What is the preferred time and location?
  • What is the deadline and when will the story run?
  • Any other details like the journalist’s contact information.
  • If the reporter wishes to conduct the interview on the spot, don’t hesitate to say you’d like to collect your thoughts first. Be sure to call back well before his/her deadline.

Remember when you are being interviewed you have the right to:

  • Prepare for the interview
  • Accept or refuse an interview request
  • Know how the interview might be used
  • Stay within your area of expertise
  • End the interview after a reasonable time
  • Be treated respectfully

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