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  • Writer's pictureMrsAeroLec

Hi Mum, I am on TV Tonight... about a Dripping Dreamliner

This was the phone call I made to my mum a few years ago to tell her I would be on TV that evening to give my opinion on a reported incident of the then new Boeing Dream liner leaking fuel. It does not matter how old you are, parents generally want to know when their offspring is in the media. Your kids do to BTW, either so they can tell all about it at (primary) school, because then you are still cool, or so they can hide as they feel embarrassed by you (at which stage they are most definitely in secondary or higher education).


[RTL4, 16 March 2018 - image links to interview in Dutch]


All academics at least at one point in their life, get interviewed these days. Sometime by mainstream media, online platforms, or (if you are really hip and cool) by influencers, bloggers and vloggers. I have not reached that last bastion as yet, but that's is cool with me if you pardon the pun. But in all fairness, it is nice when your work gets noticed and people want to interview you about it or when your opinion is asked by the media because of your expertise. It means people feel you have a story to tell and are able to tell it.


Granted, talking to the media is not without its challenges. I am forever grateful for Michiel van Baal's Media Training for Academics which he gave when he was still working at TU Delft and how he explained the mechanics of the give and take process that takes place when you get interviewed and his blogs on communication are well worth a read. If you get the chance, do treat yourself to such a workshop. They are generally fun, and you learn a great deal on how media operates, how you come across, and what the mutual expectations are. So that when you get that phone call, you are not panicking...




Also don't be disappointed if the caller is not your favourite high-brow media outlet. In fact, embrace the prime-time, popular behind the news shows. Why? For me, not primarily to satisfy my own ego, or to attract more attention to my research but because a little boy or girl may be also be watching and be inspired to follow their dreams into a field that I love. #STEM #STEMpromotion

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