Media no longer just applies to professionally trained TV, radio, and newspaper journalists. People from all walks of life are in the mix, “reporting” from blogs, Twitter feeds, and YouTube accounts. Some bloggers and social media personalities are important opinion leaders—and a few are also good journalists—so we need to think broadly about media outreach. At the same time, professional journalists often still set the agenda for public conversation, so they are the most critical to engage.
The media form a vital link between you and the public. They are usually the first to alert the public to emergencies, and they keep people connected to the latest developments. Think of the media as your partner in keeping the public up-to-date and informed about health issues and risks. As a public health emergency unfolds, your job is to help the media get your messages out.