I think most people dislike media because it’s hard to understand where a narrative came from. If you aren’t in the business of telling stories the natural braiding of emotions, motivations and public opinion can seem foreign. It’s like the weather. It’s completely comprehensible how different patterns emerge but you cannot predict precisely how it will play out. There is a science but the specificity of the modeling isn’t so accurate you can predict the course.
This is why I encourage startups that work with me to think about the long game. Give context about your space and your opinion of how it will change and grow. Don’t be afraid to state clearly and in specific why something is the way that it is when talking to a journalist. No one is out to get you.
Journalists just want to show a story that makes sense to regular people. A cohesive truth that can be proven with outside and objective fact still matters to virtually everyone outside of very specific Murdoch outlets (never give a quote to the NY Post).
So much of being covered in the media is not about having a publicist or being trained but is rather about interacting with the 4th estate as if they are human just like you. A reporter will happily tell your story if you can make a case for why it’s true. And no one is coming to “gotcha” over some secret. The Internet may roast you but that’s just the crowds. No one has control over public sentiment. You too may one day become the main character on Twitter. But that’s probably your fault and not a journalist’s doing.
So if you want to live in public think through what the long game might be. And work on convincing others that the future you see is not only good but inexorable. And repeat it with conviction. It’s ok if you get some shit wrong, cancel culture won’t demolish you. Probably. I mean some of you deserve to be canceled but somehow it never seems to happen to the assholes who really deserve it.