What’s a media “interaction”?
It’s a carefully organised social meet-up between a group of media professionals and a diverse group of members of our Angles network. They last between one and two hours, and normally take place over lunch or coffee, usually onsite at the journalists’ offices.
During the interaction, the conversations are off-the-record (unless agreed otherwise) and designed to get people thinking. There is a mixture of one-to-one chats so people can get to know each other, and group discussions. Participants get a chance to know more than one person and hear a breadth of experiences and unique insights from the group. They are enjoyable and above all, useful for both journalists and Angles members.
What’s in it for you, the journalist?
Great contacts and great ideas. The All About Trans interactions have led to consultations on scripts and storylines in Hollyoaks and Eastenders, the production of award-winning factual and fictional programming in TV and radio on Channel 4 and the BBC, changes in headlines and off-screen opportunities.
They have also led to more visible media appearances in broadcasting and print for spokespeople and leveraged over £5.5 million in programming.
The interaction gives you a chance to gain both insight and excellent relationships with people in this area who may inspire new content, provide good analysis or comment when required, or help with advice and guidance when working with this topic.
What to expect on an interaction
Moving away from traditional campaigning, we’ve taken inspiration from the journalists and activists we work with, and we’ve tailored the meetings to meet everyone’s needs.
Before we plan an interaction, we will work to understand the needs of the media organisation and put together a group of network members who will have the necessary diversity of experience and expertise to create a great meeting.
We bring between 4 and 20 people together, with a 50-50 split between journalists and Angles members. We usually visit the media organisation to hold sessions in-house and so far have held interactions with over 450 media professionals at places such as the BBC, Channel 4, The Sun, UKTV, The Daily Mail and many more. We’ve also visited BBC Scotland, BBC Wales and regional newspapers and broadcasters around the UK.
Each interaction is led by an Angles facilitator who understands sexual and domestic abuse. They will have personal experience of the issue and/or work in the sector.
During an interaction we don’t shy away from challenging topics of conversation, nor do we preach or tell journalists how to do their job.
“Journalists often only meet people who have suffered in this way in a formal interview, or seeing them across a court room when covering a case. Our meeting gave us an opportunity to speak off the record with some extremely wise and brave people in a friendly, informal atmosphere.” Stephen Pritchard, Reader’s Editor, The Observer
“Overall excellent experience. A fantastic workshop, I feel much more prepared to tackle video stories on this topic.” Amy Ashenden, LGBTQ Correspondent & Assistant & Video Editor, Evening Standard online
“It was great to be reminded of the positive side of media, the role and responsibility it has to educate, inform and help change the world for the better.” Angles member
We follow up with everyone and ensure all participants have each other’s details, and ideas for collaboration may circulate. We also provide resources to journalists and keep in touch when stories arise to re-introduce people when necessary, or point journalists in a helpful direction.
Looking after the members of our network is paramount and they receive training and facilitated monthly peer support. Before heading in to meet the journalists, we also hold briefings for our network members to relax and prepare, and to understand a little more about the organisation we are about to meet. After the interaction, we gather our network members together for feedback and a check-in to see how everyone is doing.
“Absoultely brilliant interaction. Really great teamwork and gave me the idea again about why it’s so important to keep engaged in a community as its the opposite of abuse, which is about isolation.” Duncan Craig, CEO of Survivors Manchester, following an interaction with BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat
Our Angles network includes nearly 50 people with personal experience, campaigners, front-line workers, academics, and more – find out about a selection of them, about their work and the kinds of issues they speak out about by visiting their Profiles for more info. If you’re an activist keen to engage with the media, here are resources to get you started.
If you’re a journalist covering these issues and you need a comment, or a broadcaster researching an idea and you want to learn more – please contact us to arrange an interaction and meet with Angles members.