Journalists contact me on a very regular basis, and I’m not at all unwilling to help them out. I’ve been interviewed for newspapers, magazines, I’ve been on television, I really don’t mind occasionally donating some of my time to help spread correct information about sexuality. But there’s one question I’d like to answer once and for all:
“I’m a media person working on a new tv show or writing an article. Can you put me in contact with sex workers/kinky people/poly people/trans people?”
And the answer is “no”.
Look I understand how your field works. It’s fast, you have to get a story out, and you don’t have time to completely immerse yourself in this new subculture. But what you have to understand is that we’ve seen this hundreds of times before. We know you don’t mean anyone any harm, we know you want to ‘give the whole story’, we know you think we should be thrilled to talk to you. But we know exactly the type of product you’ll produce, and we’re not.
I’m not saying you’re a bad person or a bad journalist. Just understand we’re not so enthusiastic.
In your research you will certainly come across organisations run by the people you want to talk about. Sex workers, kinky people, non-monogamous folk, transgender people, they’re organised. These organisations often have a list of people who are available for interviews, or at least know people who are generally open to that sort of thing. Some even have PR-teams.
I’m not going to bother my friends and social circle every other week for yet another journalist.
Do your research, and when you have you’ll know exactly who to contact.
And to the person who asked this:
“But Marijke, with those organisations I’m going to get the same people again, the people who want to talk to the media. But we’re looking for people who wouldn’t normally give their story, maybe someone who trusts you, perhaps a sex worker with bad experiences, or one of your clients?”
Yeah, you? Get out of journalism. You’re a bad person and we don’t like you.