Video cameras with male videographer during news conference.

Speaking with the Media

The choice to speak with the news media or release a statement is completely up to you. The following is a list of considerations when deciding to grant or deny a request from the news media:

  • It is important to understand that whether you grant an interview or not, your story may still be printed and commented on. If you decide to grant an interview, you can request conditions.
  • Remember that everything you say in the presence of a journalist is subject to being included in a media report.
  • Agreeing to one interview does not mean you have to agree to follow up interviews of interviews with other journalists. You may also end an interview at anytime.
  • You can appoint a spokesperson you trust to speak on your behalf if you do not want direct contact with the media. The role of spokesperson is to represent you and your family in a positive way, seek to protect your privacy and dignity, release written statements at your request and accompany you to interviews if you decide to speak to the media. You may consider leaving a message on your voicemail with the spokesperson’s contact information for all media inquiries.
  • You may choose to release a written statement instead of an interview.
  • You may refrain from answering any questions with which you are uncomfortable or that you feel are inappropriate.
  • If a report contains inaccurate information, you can contact the journalist and seek a correction.

If you agree to an interview, here are some considerations:

  • Time and location of the interview
  • Information about the angle of the story
  • List of interview questions in advance
  • Non-disclosure of interview location and protection of your identity
  • Other family members to be interviewed or shielded from the spotlight
  • Request a specific reporter to conduct the interview
  • Requests for omission of offensive photos or images from the broadcast or publication
  • You may request a signed agreement of terms.

Your requests are negotiable. If the news media representative is unwilling or unable to agree to your terms, you can withdraw from the interview.