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Every Breaking News Story Follows An Arc
This is important to know because depending on your area of expertise, you will know where you will fall in the media requested timeline of appearances. When a tragedy strikes - the first layer of bookings will go to Public Officials and Eyewitnesses. The media is looking for the government body to identify, declare, and detail what has officially occurred. This happens for the first 24 hours of news.
In addition to Government Officials or Public Officials (like spokesperson for an airline), eyewitnesses get the first round of screen time. They add the details to the "official statement."
On Day #2 of a Breaking News Story - the "Digesters" are called in. They don't necessarily need to have any direct relation or experience to the actual event; however, they have experience in the arena of conversation and they are booked to help the viewer "process the information" and "prevent something similar." This can be a former Government or Public Official or a personal story that relates to the experience that either the victims or the eyewitnesses have gone through. This is also the day that the requests will come from Therapists, Psychologists, Life Coaches, Psychiatrists, Grief and Trauma Experts. Producers and Bookers often work from an M.D. or Ph.D. and/or a credible institution backwards in credentials.
On Day #3 depending on whether "new information" is being revealed - the first two days will recycle the same pattern or "polarity" sets in. Producers will look for the two sides of the argument - the Victim and the Victimizer conversation. This is where taking a side becomes important in the layer of speaking points that an expert is willing to take. Weaker, more grey or neutral opinions get pushed further down the booking chain to later days. Having the courage to take a point of view will "up" your chances of getting booked, especially if it's OPPOSITE than what might be expected or predicted based on the access of your expertise. Often, at this stage, "The Voice of Reason" is not invited to the table. However, we believe the "Voice of Reason" can be balanced in the polarity of the conversation, but the Expert needs to be locked down in the boundaries of their own content. PERIOD! This is why we are big "On Camera Training" thumpers. The opportunity is there, but you need to understand how to craft an argument that is within the integrity of your mission statement.
On Day #4 if the story does not have any "new developments" then it often opens up to related or "Kaleidoscope" points of view. This doesn't necessarily require a direct relation to the event or even a polarity of opinion. This is where more of the "What have we learned?" or "What can we learn?" conversations open up. This is where tangible practical tips are required. If it's a fire, "Stop, Drop, and Roll" matter. If it's Prince dying without a will, "What three things do we need to have in order for our own lives and family?" Simple, pedantic, information can get passed here.
There is an opportunity in every story to share your part of the tale and to contribute to the collective story; however, demand, timing, and content are key. When you get booked, execution of the material will be what determines your rebooking.