Image of Fish School Participants (Click to enlarge)
Connecting with Media Sources
Many of your fellow citizens will know little about the benefits and risks of eating fish. The Fish School project offers an excellent opportunity for you and your students to do a tremendous public service in your community by educating them so that they can make wise decisions about the fish they catch, purchase, prepare, and consume. Your students' projects will help draw attention to this important health issue. You can reach a broader audience by communicating with your local media outlets. Here are some suggestions.
1. Find out which local reporters/writers typically cover public health issues. Good reference sources include local newspapers, news stations, morning shows and the local PBS station.
2. Prepare a story that can be shared with the media/community members.
-Who: Your school and other partners' involvement -What: Describe the issue that your students are addressing to inform the public, including the effects of contaminants and ways people can minimize risks. -Where: Talk about the fish consumed in your community -When: Now, and the genetic effects on offspring in future generations -Why: Fish are a very nutritious food; yet, if they are contaminated people need to know how to wisely choose the fish they east and properly prepare and cook it.
1. Contact the media at least one week before your students' "health expo." Encourage reporters to attend the presentation/exhibit and to write or speak about the experience.
Describe the public health issue
Talk about ways your students are getting the word out to the community about actions they can take to improve their health.
Offer them background reading based on fact sheets from the workshop.
Effects on pregnant and nursing mothers
Effects on children
The nutritional benefits of fish
Recommended fish based on state advisories
Provide them with photos that illustrate your students in action as they create and deliver public health messages.
2. Follow-up with media contacts
If media writers/reporters have any additional questions, we will be glad to serve as technical resources. They can contact the following Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program Staff:
Leslie Dorworth, Aquatic Ecology Specialist, 219-989-2726
Robin Goettel, Associate Director for Education, 217-333-9448
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program
University of Illinois
1101 W. Peabody Drive
350 National Soybean Research Center, MC-635
Urbana, IL 61801
Ph: 217.333.6444 | Fax: 217.333.8046 | firstname.lastname@example.org