Can journalists tell if you’ve been media trained?

Can journalists tell if you’ve been media trained?

Can journalists tell if you’ve been media trained?“What’s your first question, please?” That’s what many media trainers tell their delegates to ask the interviewer in the moments before they go live on air.

Yet, it’s the biggest give-away that you’ve been media trained, and often irritating for the journalist. First, many interviewers don’t know what their first question will be until they start speaking, and it’s annoying to have to commit to an exact question in advance. Secondly, it’s a rather aggressive thing to say. Thirdly, you might tempt the journalist into being more negative in a kind of “right, so you think you know it all do you?” way.

A much better, less aggressive request is: “How were you thinking of starting?” That way you get the information you need to help you start the interview well, without upsetting anyone.

Do journalists care if you’ve been media trained? They certainly care, and rightly so, if you’ve been “trained” not to answer the question, or “trained” to treat an interview like an advertisement (advertising opportunity). 

But good media training is about helping you communicate naturally, with enthusiasm and colour. It’s about ensuring you meet your business objective, while still enabling the journalist to get a good story. It’s about teaching you always to address the question you’ve been asked, even if it’s something you dread.

Good media training is, therefore, something that most journalists welcome.

Article date

February 27th, 2012

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer


My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

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