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Terri Farley
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Give Horses a Hand with the Press

Dear Readers,
I have a confession.
Recently,  I read a wild horse news story in which a reporter interviewed a source who didn't sound credible.
OK, that's a fib.
I went nuts. Mentally, I raged that she sounded like a crazy cat lady in horse-lovers clothing. She made us ALL sound too emotional, invested in conspiracy theories and -- Yeah. Kind of an over-reaction.

Still, since I've been both interviewer and interviewee, I have a few suggestions to make interviews EASY.

1) Know Your Subject: Memorize 3 facts which explain why wild horses should be protected -- or given shade -- or not sent to slaughter. If you're as poor at memorization as I am, write notes and keep them with you.  (see above diagram)
In addition, have an interesting, sad or entertaining PERSONAL anecdote about the subject which you can share.


3) Know Your Limits: Don't say NO to an interview at a rally, a meeting, a chance encounter. If you don't know the answer to a certain question, don't fake it. Do suggest a source and then quickly offer an interesting or quirky truth about your subject. This is also a good time to use your anecdote.

99.9 % of Reporters are not out to get you or the horses

The vast majority of recent news stories have fallen into two categories: pro horse or press release reprints. Your job is to supply information so that reporters don't have to depend on BLM press releases

Good reporters do their homework. Know your subject and you can have a relaxed conversation about it.
Make reporters' jobs easier by having sources for facts and offering entertaining anecdotes.  
Be succinct. Remember reporters have deadlines.

Some reporters -- bad, lazy, or sometimes just focused --  have a storyline in mind and are likely to ask a question that ends with  ".....right?"
That's your signal to ask for the question to be repeated. Listen carefully. If you agree --
"Wild horses are protected under the 1971 wild and free roaming horse and burro act, right?" 
say YES.
"There are at least a million wild horses on the range, right?"

Don't agree if you don't know the answer.
Have some sources in mind that you can suggest to the reporter.
I trust Wild Horse Preservation Campaign   or The Cloud Foundation

Thanking you for the horses,

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Posted by Terri Farley @ 8:54 PM

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