Letter: We seek truth, public seeks Oprah (3)

October 19, 2001

Frank Furedi misses two key factors. First, there are relatively few media outlets in Britain compared with the US, and those that exist already have a base of intellectual resources: journalists.

For academics to be successfully and continually published, they need to join the club. Rather than accepting a position as occasional external expert, an academic should negotiate a broader, more central contribution to a media company's output.

Second, gossip as a base for opinion writing should not be underestimated. The British media likes to write about people and the things that affect them. That is why so many journalists are successful, even if they seem relatively dim. They can cover a topic in a way that readers and listeners relate to.

Academics should understand that the media wants material that shows how and why the subject matters to people, not just why and how it came to exist.

James Hyde
Fit for Purpose Ltd
Lismore, Ireland

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