As the publisher of 13 blogs in the Boles Blogs Network, I write a lot of articles and I get tons of requests from other press organizations for interviews. I have learned to generally ignore any request that comes from a mainstream media outlet because they really just want you to do their background research for them — but without any reciprocal links back or appropriate recognition of the work you do for them. Here’s an example of a request from Fox News that landed in my Inbox late Tuesday night with a story deadline of the next day.
Sometimes things work out with the mainstream press. Oftentimes, they do not.
I won’t spend my money making a phone call to a major media outlet. I always prefer to do these sorts of “interviews” via email instead of the phone because, with email, there is at least a text record of exactly what was said and what was not said.
The major media corporations always want to only talk over the phone — so there is no record — and they prey on what they assume is your need for national exposure and want for self-aggrandizement… even though they don’t plan to actually provide you any.
At 5:37am this morning, a Google Alert popped up in my Inbox with a link to the Fox News story. Even though I didn’t call — I was still quoted — and my name, of course, was misspelled. Misspelling your name is but one way to punish you for not playing along.
Here’s the cut-and-paste quote from the Fox News article:
“Once you get the idea of their disability the uniqueness of the show is gone, unless you get joy watching them struggle to fit in and do average-bodied tasks each week,” owner of Bowles Books Writing & Publishing, David W. Boles commented on his blog Celebrity Semiotic. “If you’ve watched the Roloffs, then you pretty much know everything about Dwarfism there is to casually know.”
Did I “comment” on my blog, or did I write the entire article from which she is quoting — without a proper link back to me as the original source? I shudder to think what would’ve appeared online if I’d actually replied to her in any way.
Here’s a screenshot of that quote from the Fox News article to preserve the record of my name being misspelled:
Most interview requests are looking for a fight or to use your quotes against you in a pre-fixed context. Major Media article writing today is more about fitting together puzzle piece quotes and not really painting a larger picture that enhances understanding and congeals the effort of humanity to rise up against its middling, mainstream, oppressors.
One guy with a national radio show based in Texas wanted to interview me about spanking. Looking him up online and seeing who he was, and knowing who I am, it was obvious the guy was looking for a bloodfeast and not a thoughtful debate about corporal punishment used against children to forcibly modify their bad behavior in public.
The New York Times is the worst waster of my time. It took three “interviews” for me to finally realize they were only using me, and my work, as background for their larger plans. I was never properly quoted, or mentioned, even though my ideas and experience were used in publication on their site.
Now, when the New York Times calls or emails, I tell them I’m happy to help them as long as they use my name — and correctly spell it! — and provide a proper link back to my article they’re quoting. I haven’t done a New York Times interview since I invoke my pre-qualification interview terms.
Be wary when Big Media comes a callin’ — because you are not likely going to be complimented — you’re probably getting set up for a slamming, or you’re just being air kissed for the information you have and they want to access to without any accreditation or simple acknowledgment.
Create your own context by writing your own content. Let your words stand against the wind. The good-minded reader will search you out in spite of any cut quotes or misspellings or missing links to read the entirety of what you wrote because they will never be satisfied with a snippet of your larger argument. Place your faith in the common folk and never trust the elitist machine.