In response to the excellent feedback following our last media training workshop in September, Equal Press decided to bring Shari Graydon of Informed Opinions back to Vancouver for two more workshops in February. These workshops were tailored specifically to women and gender-diverse experts in the fields of gender and gender-based violence (GBV) who want to increase their effectiveness in engaging with the media.
The first workshop, Writing Compelling Commentary, was a highly interactive session focused on providing participants with the tools to translate their expertise into compelling written commentary for op-ed pages and online news sites. Shari challenged attendees to own and articulate their authority and knowledge, and shared tips and strategies to write about their expertise concisely and persuasively.
Participants described the workshop as “very concrete, inspiring, and encouraging,” and said they would absolutely recommend the workshop to others as it “demystifies and simplifies the writing of commentary.”
A couple of days later, Shari returned to facilitate another workshop, Making the Most of Media Interviews. Similar to the workshop held back in September, this session focused on enhancing attendees’ capacity to use media interview requests as opportunities of education or advocacy. Participants learned how to prepare for news interviews, craft concise and quotable messages, and use bridging techniques to transition from asked questions to their own key messages. At the end of the workshop, eight attendees were able to practice their learned skills in a mock interview with Shari.
Participants from this workshop also gave overwhelmingly positive feedback, calling it “extremely helpful and actionable in only 4 hours.”
We were thrilled to have experts from Vancouver Coastal Health, Médecins Sans Frontières International, Rise Women’s Legal Centre, Peak Resilience, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Emily’s Path Consulting, University of British Columbia, New York University, Rainbow Refugee, Moving Forward Family Services, and Ending Violence Association of BC attend these workshops. We hope that these trainings will help amplify the voices of experts and advocates doing important work in the fields of gender and GBV.
Equal Press is a project of MOSAIC that seeks to address how local news media represents gender and gender-based violence. The project applies an intersectional lens which takes into account the diversity of class, race, and sexuality in the community, and endeavours to help journalists integrate a trauma-informed approach into their work. Equal Press also works to amplify underrepresented voices in the media through their database of local women and gender-diverse experts on gender and gender-based violence.
Informed Opinions is a charitable non-profit building women’s leadership through media engagement. They are working to bridge the gender gap in Canadian public discourse by 2025. Informed Opinions delivers keynote presentations and highly-rated workshops that train and motivate women to translate their expertise into online, print and broadcast commentary. Through their expert women online database, they make it easier for journalists and conference programmers to find qualified female sources willing to share their insights and analysis on critical issues facing communities and the world at large.