“It may not be for every academic, and if you really don’t want to do it, you shouldn’t need to. But a lot of academics, working in most fields in the humanities and social sciences, could usefully up their media game.”
Professor Philip Cowley has written an academic paper reflecting on his 25 years engaging with the media. (Along with a number of others I read an early draft and made a couple of observations.) Now he’s published the finished piece. It’s terrific and I agree with (just about) every word of it:
I’ll quote from the paper over the next couple of weeks but would thoroughly recommend reading the whole thing. For now though, his reasons why it’s worth engaging with the media:
1. Because you should want to disseminate your findings and work as widely as possible.
2. Because it is in your interests to do it.
3. Because you’ll gain access, knowledge and contacts.
4. Because you’ll learn to communicate better.
5. Because it can make you think about your research agenda.
6. Because it produces benefits to the university in terms of publicity.
7. Because it can be fun.
8. Because you might make some money*
* Though as he expands, “this one should definitely be last.”