During the Interview
Tip 4: Turn a needs-based question into an strengths-based answer.
If they ask a question that is based on our needs or struggle, we can answer as honestly as we’d like about our experiences… AND in that same answer, we can reframe it to be strengths-focused.
Reporter: How is the rising cost of living affecting you and your family right now?
You: My family has certainly had to make sacrifices, just like many hard-working folks. But the people in my Overtown community have never taken hits lying down. We’ve always worked hard to protect and improve what’s ours. I’m part of a group called Overtown Community Champions, and we’re taking matters into our own hands. So even though it’s tough right now, I’m inspired by the work we’re doing to demand fair treatment and change.
Tip 5: Use the interview to shine the spotlight on those responsible. AKA, call them out!
If they ask more questions about needs/challenges, you can answer honestly and still bring it back to your priorities here, such as talking about who is responsible.
Who is it that needs to take action here? Who is it that should be held accountable? What do we want them to do? Call them out respectfully. We don’t want to lose credibility by coming in too hot.
Our voices have power and we are using that power to demand accountability.
Tip 6: Use your ‘Off the Record’ power.
Did you know you can tell a reporter that something you say is off the record? Both parties must agree, but by all standards of ethical journalism, a reporter has to honor your request to be off the record. Otherwise, they could get in trouble with their supervisors and news organizations.
Why would you share something that’s “off the record” with a reporter? For example, if you want to give them an “inside scoop” about something you want them to investigate further, but you don’t want your name to be attached to it. Or maybe you want to give them a clear picture of something that’s going on with you or your community, but you don’t want them to reveal those details or your name.
Tip 7: Use your ‘Scratch That Part’ power.
If something doesn’t come out the way you wanted, you can tell them to scratch what you previously said. Ask them if you can repeat it in a different way, and ask them to use the new statement instead.