Contacting the Media
Inviting the media
The staff of the WSU News and communications staffers within each college and campus of WSU offer stories and story ideas to reporters frequently through phone calls, e-mailed news releases, and tip sheets. Anyone acting on behalf of the university is encouraged to use their services in seeking news media coverage of particular issues and events. WSU communicators facilitate and encourage media coverage of WSU, but cannot guarantee that all of the information issued will be reported. Ultimately, individual reporters and editors will determine whether the information provided by the university is of sufficient interest to warrant bringing it to the attention of their readers, listeners and viewers.
Editorial coverage vs. advertising
If information released to the news media by WSU is viewed by an editor as among the most important or interesting issues or events of the day, a reporter will likely be assigned to the story. Information about campus events is often picked up from WSU news releases and used in brief news stories about things that are happening within the community. WSU does not pay for such coverage and exercises no control over the content or whether the story is aired or published. It is considered free media.
If you want to ensure that information about your event or program will appear in the newspaper or in the electronic media, you may want to consider advertising. Advertising ensures that your information will be published or aired in the space you purchase on the date you specify in the format you provide and does not have to be deemed newsworthy by an editor. .
Expert faculty commentary
WSU faculty often are called upon by reporters to provide insight, analysis, background or informed reaction to issues that receive media coverage. Economic trends, social issues, court decisions, government initiatives, political activities, international affairs, pet care and a virtual host of other topics related to the research and expertise of faculty often cause reporters to seek out those whose credentials and authoritative points of view can be expected to add weight to their stories.
It should be remembered that the word "expert" often is used loosely by the media and can sometimes prove intimidating even to faculty members who are well-qualified authoritative sources on the general area of inquiry. If you consider yourself knowledgeable about a topic that relates directly to your academic field or research interests and feel comfortable explaining your views to a reporter, please do so. If you genuinely believe you are not an appropriate source on an issue, or that another faculty member might be more qualified to discuss a particular aspect of the inquiry, let the reporter know.
The university maintains an online experts search engine that suggests potential sources on many topics to any reporter who might choose to access it. Faculty members who elect to register information related to their academic and research expertise provide a valuable service to both the news media and WSU.