I need to redress the balance.
In my last blog I concentrated on the slightly angry relationship that journalists have with charities looking to place stories with them; the event that needs publicising, the campaign that needs a push, the general outward facing PR generated by any given charity.
A friend, who's an ex-journalist and now does some expert PR for charities, reminded me that it's not just charities who need journalists...
Actually she said "can you then do a post for journos to appreciate what charities provide them with and not take the piss?"
Yes... yes I can.
So what do charities provide journalists?
Content - "I need something for the 20 past slot, get a charity on!"
Comment - "Benefits are being cut, quick get a charity to comment!"
Context - "The government have released some figures... can we get a charity who works in the sector to put their side?"
Clever People - "Anyone know what the situation is like on the ground? Get an aid organisation!"
Conversation - "We need to populate this debate programme, get a charity involved"
Looking at the current most read stories on the BBC News website (10.52 Monday the 29th of April) 50% of them mention or quote charitable organisations directly, the others could be widened, localised or moved on by a journalist contacting a charity for comment.
Yes, journalists don't want to do the "awareness raising" stories... but what would they do if charities refused to do the things the journalist wants?
Charities and Journalists are in a dysfunctional, co-dependant relationship, so just be nice to each other.