“‘see me’ is a very media savvy and media aware organisation. Unlike charities and other organisations, they aren’t about raising money, more about putting a message across, so their relationship with the media is very good.”
Health Reporter, The Scotsman (‘see me’ media consultation August 2006)
The media has an important role to play building public understanding and improving attitudes to mental ill-health. Working with the media is one of ‘see me’s key ‘see me’ activities.
From the beginning of the campaign our approach has always been to work in partnership with the media and create a relationship that aims to educate and inform journalists. We do this in a number of ways:
· Challenging poor/negative reporting
Taking action to challenge a negative article or poorly reported story is an important part of the day to day activity of the campaign.
‘Stigma Stop Watch’ is the process for responding to articles that are stigmatising or inaccurate in their accounts.
We also rely on ‘see me’ supporters to respond to incidences of stigma, or, to flag it up with us.
To find out more about how you can respond to the media click on Stigma Stop Watch above.
· Praising positive reporting
Praising reporting that is positive is an important part of our work. What we would like to see is balanced and accurate reporting in the press and we think most journalists and other media professionals want the same thing. So we will let the media know when we think they’ve got it right.
‘see me’ also sponsors an award for positive reporting at the SAMH Media Awards.
· Media Monitoring
Every day of the year we monitor the Scottish national and local press as well as Scottish editions of English papers and other papers with UK circulation. We also monitor TV, radio, advertisements and on-line. We can report on trends and pinpoint exactly where any problems lie.
· Provide support and briefings to journalists
Providing information and support to the media can be as simple as sending a fact sheet to a newspaper or involve face-to-face briefings with journalists.
· Promoting of ‘Shift: What’s the story?’ Guidelines
We have always been actively involved in developing and promoting guidelines for the media to use when reporting on mental ill-health. Most recently we have adapted the Shift guidelines for the Scottish media. This publication acts as a ‘tool’ for journalists to refer to when reporting on incidences of suicide or a story involving mental ill-health. (Click here for Shift Guidelines Challenging stigma in the press )