By: Megan Peterson
As PRSA Detroit President Don Tanner mentioned in his recent President’s Message – there was a lot to learn at the last Meet the Media event. Alan Stamm of Deadline Detroit, Marge Sorge of Detroit News Hub, Jon Zemke of Metro Mode-Model D and Dustin Blitchok of Metro Times shared many insights, particularly on how they prefer to be pitched and the current stat/future of media and journalism
- Alan is only interested in trendy news like music, food/drinks and restaurant/bar openings. He expressed that he prefers pitches via email and always appreciates pictures and videos as assets whether it’s before or after an event.
- Marge wants Detroit neighborhood stories that tell the story of the individual/community/resident. She appreciates pictures and videos as well, but notes that if there aren’t captions/names that accompany those assets, they’re useless.
- Jon is only a fan of local, exclusive content. He prefers to be emailed but only if the sender has exclusivity in mind.
- Dustin loves event previews, but needs three weeks in advance. He also appreciates when PR pros consider the audience when pitching him to ensure their story/idea is right for his readers. Dustin added that he never runs a single story without a picture, so PR pros must supply them/anticipate supplying them.(Expert tip: Dustin’s production day is Monday, so avoid pitching him on this day.)
Future of Media
- Jon foresees those that pursue journalism going forward will have to be truly passionate because the industry is facing severe pay cuts.
- Alan thinks that some of the larger (local) news outlets will consolidate. He even predicts that someday, all southeastern Michigan media will be online.
- Marge shared that she feels it’s unfortunate that there are less seasoned reporters to mentor new journalists today, due to budget cuts, and believes that will continue to be the trend. She shared that bloggers/blogs are blurring the lines of what is ‘news’ and that the integrity of journalism is struggling to stay intact – so it’s the job of new journalists to repair this going forward. She also expressed that the recent trend of reporters inserting their opinions into their stories isn’t appropriate – she feels news should continue to be objective. Lastly, Marge stated that she feels ‘parachute journalism’ (where reporters ‘drop’ into Detroit for a couple of days, write one story and leave) will become more and more common in the local area.
- Dustin stated that the nation is looking at Detroit now more than ever, because of all the big stories that have arisen (Flint water crisis, DPS, etc.). He feels it’s up to journalists and PR pros alike to tell the Detroit story with journalistic standards in mind.
It was a great event to be able to hear each reporters’ perspective and get the insider scoop on the world of media. See you at our upcoming meetings!
Megan Peterson is a Communications Executive at MCCI (Mort Crim Communications, Inc.), a Detroit Economic Club Young Leader member, a national/Detroit chapter member of PRSA and a PR volunteer for The Lake House in St. Clair Shores.