Contacting the media
If you see something in the media that you disagree with, then you might want to directly approach them. This is best done either by a letter to the editor or you might want to suggest a story about what you are doing on your property to manage the environment. MLA can assist with contacting the media, but if you do want to write a letter or proactively approach the media here are a few handy tips.
Recommendations for submitting a letter-to-the-editor
- Word count - Most letters-to-the-editor should be less than 150 words. However, to determine the word count requirements of your specific newspaper, look for guidelines on their website in the "Opinion" section or call the newspaper.
- Exclusive - Letters should be exclusive to the newspaper. For example, don't send the same letter to two different papers. Also make sure to customise any template letters to represent your operation and personal experiences. Your newspaper is more likely to run a letter that sounds authentic.
- Submission method - Most newspapers prefer letters to be emailed to a specific email address. This email address usually is found on their website in the "Opinion" section. Copy and paste the text of the letter into the body of an email; do not send the letter as an email attachment. Newspapers often have software programs to identify emails with attachments delete them.
- Post and fax - If you don't have the Internet, letters can be sent by fax or post. This contact information can be obtained by calling the newspaper.
- Signature - When signing a letter, include your full name, property name (if applicable), mailing address and phone number. Occasionally, the newspaper will call to verify you wrote the letter. Your phone number and address will not be published.
Recommendations for proactively approaching the media
- Go local - Ensure your information is relevant to the media you are approaching. Only contact media publications which are distributed to your suburb/town.
- Detailed information - Highlight your strong results, key achievements and the unique aspects of your farming methods. Always back up claims with recent, accurate statistics or examples. For example, water quality testing revealed that it was cleaner when it exited our property than when it entered.
- Give context - Try to link your information in to the wider context of the industry and/or what is currently topical in the media in relation to the Australian red meat industry.
- No jargon - Ensure any technical terms are explained that would not be assumed knowledge of the publication's readership.
- Images - Ensure you have good quality images that illustrate your projects or that are of your land and/or yourself.
- Advertisements - Local and suburban newspapers might also be prepared to run one of the industry environment as a public service announcement: