Don’t Assume Too Much!

We always try to make people attending our media training courses realise it is a fatal mistake to assume too much knowledge on the part of the journalist.  With so many topics to cover, they are rarely likely to understand all the jargon and references that may be a familiar part of your everyday life, and they have to make things as clear as possible for their readers.  The then-Chairman of the Financial Services Authority Callum McCarthy once quoted statistics which suggested that “23% of adults, if presented with the Yellow Pages directory and asked to get from it the name of a plumber cannot do so, while over 20% cannot do simple percentages”.   Let’s hope no reporter is so dim, but nonetheless bear this in mind next time you are wondering how complex you should make your message.