Engaging with the media can be tough, as noted by many of the academics who attended the PolicyBristol workshop. Some of the potential barriers they identified included:
– Requirement for research findings to be ‘timely’
– Mismatch of pace
– The feeling of needing to be an expert
– Distraction from ‘day job’
– Fear of misrepresentation
But behind these potential challenges, there’s a whole host of benefits. Getting your research into the public domain is often essential for realising its impact, and can also be an important source of participants/collaborators for your research itself. One could also argue that, from a moral or ethical perspective, change should involve public opinion. As Sue Littlemore, former BBC Education Correspondent, pointed out: it’s not about engaging with the media for its own sake – it’s about ‘communicating with the world’.