Conversation with the media

On Monday, March 7, Margaret Holt, the Standards Editor of the Chicago Tribune, visited Access Living to meet with staff and members of the community. According to the Tribune website, the Standards Editor’s role is to work “closely with reporters and editors about issues of accuracy, fairness and ethics. She has a particular interest in urban issues and diversity of coverage and regularly meets with community leaders and groups to talk about coverage.” Access Living invited Holt to Access Living for a conversation about coverage of the disability community.

Over the course of an hour, Holt and members of the community talked about:

language in the context of disability issues;
avenues members of the community should follow if they have concerns, compliments or questions about reporting;
how the disability community can position itself as a resource for media; and
how the community can engage with the media.

The meeting was a great opportunity for Access Living. Access Living and many others in the community recognize the importance of building relationships with media in order to share positive, successful and urgent messages about disability. Meeting with Holt was an important step in the effort to build that relationship.

In addition to providing the audience with specific guidance on outreach to media, Holt emphasized participating in conversations. With today’s technology, the disability community has a number of ways to contribute to conversations with media. For example, the Tribune often has online forums covering different issues. Holt urged Access Living and others to follow the forums and to speak out during the conversations. The more we do, the more we will raise awareness around disability and disability issues with the reporters moderating the forums and with other forum participants.

The next Tribune online forum will be on March 17. The issue is the changing role of neighborhood pharmacies. See “more information” for a link to the forum.

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