Almost every industry has had to alter the way they operate during the COVID-19 pandemic and the media is no exception.
In an era of social distancing, the way news and current affairs stories are gathered and presented has inevitably changed.
But rather than slowing down, the media is going full steam ahead and their appetite for stories is stronger than ever before.
The New Normal
In the past, most television journalists insisted on face-to-face interviews at a location and time that suited their deadline. Then there were lights, cameras and microphones to set up.
Going into a studio was even more time-consuming. Often you spent more time in hair and make-up, getting mic’d up and seated than in front of the actual camera speaking.
But in the past few months, TV news and current affairs programs have had no choice but to drop some of these requirements to adhere to lockdowns, restrictions and general health advice.
These days more people are appearing on TV via teleconferencing platforms such as Zoom and Skype, from the comfort of their own homes.
This provides more opportunities for those who may not have had time before or were turned off by how involved the process was to get on television.
TV journalists are discovering they can speak to a wider range of people because they don’t have to be in the same location. They no longer have to rely solely on their go-to experts.
While COVID-19 will dominate the news for some time yet, there are still plenty of opportunities to get your name out there, whether that be on TV, radio or in print.
More than ever before the media wants clear and simple information. Explainers from experts are a good example of the content the media is after.
With politicians taking up plenty of airtime most days, there is also a need for more human-interest and good news stories. News directors and editors want to hear from the average person about how COVID-19 is affecting them – emotionally, socially and financially – or how they have come up with a quirky, fun or innovative way to deal with the pandemic. They are less interested in influencers, spin and waffle.
There is also a bigger appetite for more uplifting stories to help us all take our minds off COVID-19.
Newspaper editors are also more likely to publish submitted photos now in an effort to maintain some distance between their photographers and the public.
It’s hard to say how many of these changes will remain once the pandemic is finally over.
If you’re an expert or have a good story to tell now is a great time to think about doing media.