UK press coverage - backup needed

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UK press coverage - backup needed

David Gerard-2
We did a great job on this IWF thing. I did well on radio and TV (if I
say so myself) and the WMF spoke softly and pointed out a fascinating
assortment of big sticks in the background, and the IWF blinked.

*does victory dance on the skulls of the IWF*


I'd like to say, though, I need more backup in the UK ... people who
can go on telly at a few hours' notice, specifically.

This is very little-needed - the last round of telly was Jan 2007 over
the Microsoft OOXML thing - but when we need it, we *need* it. Missing
Sky News was not good.

Press, between Alison and I we coped OK. Radio, OKish. I missed doing
BBC 5 Live. More reliable contacts there would be nice.

But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
notice. Anyone?


(Mostly the press job is very quiet. The routine call is typically
"Hello, I'm from the Hicksville-On-Sea local free sheet. An edit on
your site that was up for 1 minute said our town was 'a tedious
backwater full of chavs' and our mayor is very upset.")


- d.

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

geni
2008/12/10 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:
> But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
> Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
> notice. Anyone?

You would probably be better off pokeing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_London and the
like.



--
geni

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
At 08:50 +0000 10/12/08, David Gerard wrote:
>We did a great job on this IWF thing. I did well on radio and TV (if I
>say so myself) and the WMF spoke softly and pointed out a fascinating
>assortment of big sticks in the background, and the IWF blinked.
>
>*does victory dance on the skulls of the IWF*
>


To a degree.


>I'd like to say, though, I need more backup in the UK ... people who
>can go on telly at a few hours' notice, specifically.
>
>This is very little-needed - the last round of telly was Jan 2007 over
>the Microsoft OOXML thing - but when we need it, we *need* it. Missing
>Sky News was not good.
>
>Press, between Alison and I we coped OK. Radio, OKish. I missed doing
>BBC 5 Live. More reliable contacts there would be nice.
>
>But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
>Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
>notice. Anyone?
>
>
>(Mostly the press job is very quiet. The routine call is typically
>"Hello, I'm from the Hicksville-On-Sea local free sheet. An edit on
>your site that was up for 1 minute said our town was 'a tedious
>backwater full of chavs' and our mayor is very upset.")
>
>- d.


I am not sure I would be confident to talk on TV or radio at short
notice. Also, the charges raised against the IWF for being
"unprepared" should not be levelled against any of us who gets up and
says a few words...

Having said that, I would be happy to be added to a contact list.

Gordo

--
"Think Feynman"/////////
http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Alison Wheeler
In reply to this post by geni
On Wed, December 10, 2008 09:09, geni wrote:
> 2008/12/10 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:
>> But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
>> Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
>> notice. Anyone?
>
> You would probably be better off pokeing
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_London and the
> like.

Without wishing to sound elitist in any way, people who do this need to
have clue, which is more likely here than in public on WP ...

Alison
(who will be able to do more 'in person' stuff once back in London full time)

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Mike Peel
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2

On 10 Dec 2008, at 08:50, David Gerard wrote:

> We did a great job on this IWF thing. I did well on radio and TV (if I
> say so myself) and the WMF spoke softly and pointed out a fascinating
> assortment of big sticks in the background, and the IWF blinked.

Thank you for doing such a good job with dealing with the press, and  
well done.

> But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
> Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
> notice. Anyone?

Are people that are not based in London any use to you?

Mike

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

David Gerard-2
2008/12/10 Michael Peel <[hidden email]>:
> On 10 Dec 2008, at 08:50, David Gerard wrote:

>> But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
>> Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
>> notice. Anyone?

> Are people that are not based in London any use to you?


Most telly news is done in London, but they'd be good to have on hand!

Anyone on the WMUKv2 board should assume press is a possible part of
the job, unless unfeasible for some reason.


- d.

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Abigail Brady-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 8:50 AM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
We did a great job on this IWF thing. I did well on radio and TV (if I
say so myself) and the WMF spoke softly and pointed out a fascinating
assortment of big sticks in the background, and the IWF blinked.

*does victory dance on the skulls of the IWF*


I'd like to say, though, I need more backup in the UK ... people who
can go on telly at a few hours' notice, specifically.

This is very little-needed - the last round of telly was Jan 2007 over
the Microsoft OOXML thing - but when we need it, we *need* it. Missing
Sky News was not good.

Press, between Alison and I we coped OK. Radio, OKish. I missed doing
BBC 5 Live. More reliable contacts there would be nice.

But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
notice. Anyone?

I would be happy to do radio stuff, but would need to be persuaded about telly things.

--
Abi

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Alison Wheeler
At 10:45 +0000 10/12/08, Alison Wheeler wrote:

>On Wed, December 10, 2008 09:09, geni wrote:
>>  2008/12/10 David Gerard <[hidden email]>:
>>>  But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
>>>  Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
>>>  notice. Anyone?
>>
>>  You would probably be better off pokeing
>>  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_London and the
>>  like.
>
>Without wishing to sound elitist in any way, people who do this need to
>have clue, which is more likely here than in public on WP ...
>
>Alison
>(who will be able to do more 'in person' stuff once back in London full time)
>

Exactly. I am not sure how well briefed I might be on the IWF or any
future issue. As it happens, I think the recent fiasco was cut and
dried, and David did a good job (on Channel 4 for sure).

Gordo


P.S. Who complained to IWF in the first place?

--
"Think Feynman"/////////
http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Abigail Brady-2
At 11:59 +0000 10/12/08, Abigail Brady wrote:

>On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 8:50 AM, David Gerard
><<mailto:[hidden email]>[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>We did a great job on this IWF thing. I did well on radio and TV (if I
>say so myself) and the WMF spoke softly and pointed out a fascinating
>assortment of big sticks in the background, and the IWF blinked.
>
>*does victory dance on the skulls of the IWF*
>
>
>I'd like to say, though, I need more backup in the UK ... people who
>can go on telly at a few hours' notice, specifically.
>
>This is very little-needed - the last round of telly was Jan 2007 over
>the Microsoft OOXML thing - but when we need it, we *need* it. Missing
>Sky News was not good.
>
>Press, between Alison and I we coped OK. Radio, OKish. I missed doing
>BBC 5 Live. More reliable contacts there would be nice.
>
>But we need people in London who are confident they can represent
>Wikipedia/Wikimedia and talk in soundbites on telly at a few hours'
>notice. Anyone?
>
>
>I would be happy to do radio stuff, but would need to be persuaded
>about telly things.
>
>--
>Abi


Radio interviews are done over the phone, or in a studio, or a radio
car. I assume that people in Cambridge (for example) could get into
the Cambridge studio (BBC)?

Gordo

--
"Think Feynman"/////////
http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

David Gerard-2
In reply to this post by Abigail Brady-2
2008/12/10 Gordon Joly <[hidden email]>:

> Radio interviews are done over the phone, or in a studio, or a radio
> car. I assume that people in Cambridge (for example) could get into
> the Cambridge studio (BBC)?


Something like that. In a pinch they're usually happy with a good
landline, or (sometimes) Skype.


- d.

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Thomas Dalton
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
There is a bigger discussion needed here than just gathering some
volunteers to appear on TV. We need to work out how we want to handle
press in the UK, with relation to the (imminent) new chapter. There
are two ways we can talk to the press, as volunteers speaking just for
just ourselves and as representatives of Wikimedia UK speaking for the
chapter (obviously, no-one is authorised to speak for WMF, we'll leave
that to them). We need to decide when press work should be handled
under each category, and who should do it. Obviously, anyone can speak
for themselves and they can say what they like.

Speaking for the chapter can be done by anyone the board chooses, but
the real question is who decides what to say. Should individual board
members, or even non-board press contacts, be able to decide for
themselves what do say or should the board determine an official
position, which then gets presented by whoever does the interview
(obviously the person doing the interview needs a certain amount of
leeway otherwise it doesn't work, but the basic idea of what the
official position is can be decided in advance)? The answer is
probably somewhere in the middle - whether the board should decide
something together depends on how important it is (David's example of
a local paper wanting a statement on a piece of vandalism would be an
example of something that whoever answers the phone can just respond
to off the cuff, whereas if the chapter wanted to make a statement
about the IWF block that would probably require a little more thought
and collaboration) and also time constraints (it's not necessarily
practical to have a full board meeting before issuing a press
statement). Major events will end up with multiple people talking to
the press, so it is important that everyone speaking for the chapter
is singing from the same hymn sheet. Perhaps the board should delegate
determining an official position (when there isn't time for a board
meeting) to the Chair and Communications Officer. They can talk on the
phone and work out what needs to be said and then the Communications
Officer can pass that on to whoever is actually talking to the press
(presumably the comm officer would be responsible for assigning people
to requests for interviews).

So, that's my (slight vague) suggestion for how to handle official
statements. The remaining question is when to make official
statements. Do we want to do everything officially through the
chapter, or would it be better in certain cases to leave it to the
community to do less formally? One problem with having some things
done unofficially would be working out who does them - a member of the
Wikimedia UK board, for example, can't really speak unofficially about
things related to Wikimedia, anything they said would be taken as an
official statement. The same may apply to non-board press contacts
that are regularly authorised to speak for the chapter - if
journalists get used to David, say, making official statements (I
don't know what relationship David will have with the new chapter, but
it's plausible that he may serve as an official press contact) then
they may get rather confused if he makes an unofficial, personal
statement on a given topic. Are there likely to be people willing and
able to go on record as "a random Wikipedia contributor" that aren't
also closely linked to the chapter? Possibly not. For that reason, it
may be best to do everything through the chapter. Can anyone think of
a situation where the community would want to talk to the press but it
would be inadvisable for the chapter to make a statement? (I can think
of one - the WMF going rogue. The chapter agreement involves the
chapter agreeing to refrain from "engaging in any activity that might
negatively impact the work or image of the Wikimedia Foundation."
which would prevent the chapter from being able to represent the views
of the community if those views were very anti-WMF, in which case the
chapter would have to keep quiet and let the community handle it. Of
course, this is a very unlikely scenario - does anyone have a more
likely one or is it a situation we can safely ignore?)

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Theresa Knott
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
I'm literally a few hundred yards down the road from the BBC in
Portland Place and  would be happy to do interviews provided that a) I
know what I was supposed to say, there needs to be a planned and
coordinated response to anything like this  and b) The topic was one
in which I was comfortable.  I ultimately backed down on the Sky thing
because as a school teacher I have to consider the likely reaction of
any parents, and it's difficult to judge how they might feel about
child pornography allegations.

Theresa

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 1:36 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:

> 2008/12/10 Gordon Joly <[hidden email]>:
>
>> Radio interviews are done over the phone, or in a studio, or a radio
>> car. I assume that people in Cambridge (for example) could get into
>> the Cambridge studio (BBC)?
>
>
> Something like that. In a pinch they're usually happy with a good
> landline, or (sometimes) Skype.
>
>
> - d.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia UK mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_UK
> http://mail.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimediauk-l
>



--

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Theresa_knott

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

David Gerard-2
2008/12/10 Theresa Knott <[hidden email]>:

> I'm literally a few hundred yards down the road from the BBC in
> Portland Place and  would be happy to do interviews provided that a) I
> know what I was supposed to say, there needs to be a planned and
> coordinated response to anything like this


One of my key talents in this appears to be that I've been very good
so far at winging it.


>  I ultimately backed down on the Sky thing
> because as a school teacher I have to consider the likely reaction of
> any parents, and it's difficult to judge how they might feel about
> child pornography allegations.


oh yay.


- d.

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Theresa Knott
On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 8:57 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 2008/12/10 Theresa Knott <[hidden email]>:

>
> One of my key talents in this appears to be that I've been very good
> so far at winging it.

Yes and that's a very important talent! But it should only be relied
on in emergencies. The truth is we knew on Saturday that this was
likely to be picked up by the media, and we certainly knew by Sunday
that it was likely to hit the national press. Yet no one thought to
discuss on this list what we should do if interviews were requested.
Hopefully next time we'll be better prepared.

Theresa



--

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Gordon Joly
At 06:17 +0000 11/12/08, Theresa Knott wrote:

>On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 8:57 PM, David Gerard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>  2008/12/10 Theresa Knott <[hidden email]>:
>
>>
>>  One of my key talents in this appears to be that I've been very good
>>  so far at winging it.
>
>Yes and that's a very important talent! But it should only be relied
>on in emergencies. The truth is we knew on Saturday that this was
>likely to be picked up by the media, and we certainly knew by Sunday
>that it was likely to hit the national press. Yet no one thought to
>discuss on this list what we should do if interviews were requested.
>Hopefully next time we'll be better prepared.
>
>Theresa
>
>
>
>--



Might be worth adding that all journalists are trustworthy and have
no axes to grind.

Gordo

--
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http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
At 15:34 +0000 10/12/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:

>There is a bigger discussion needed here than just gathering some
>volunteers to appear on TV. We need to work out how we want to handle
>press in the UK, with relation to the (imminent) new chapter. There
>are two ways we can talk to the press, as volunteers speaking just for
>just ourselves and as representatives of Wikimedia UK speaking for the
>chapter (obviously, no-one is authorised to speak for WMF, we'll leave
>that to them). We need to decide when press work should be handled
>under each category, and who should do it. Obviously, anyone can speak
>for themselves and they can say what they like.
>
>Speaking for the chapter can be done by anyone the board chooses, but
>the real question is who decides what to say. Should individual board
>members, or even non-board press contacts, be able to decide for
>themselves what do say or should the board determine an official
>position, which then gets presented by whoever does the interview
>(obviously the person doing the interview needs a certain amount of
>leeway otherwise it doesn't work, but the basic idea of what the
>official position is can be decided in advance)? The answer is
>probably somewhere in the middle - whether the board should decide
>something together depends on how important it is (David's example of
>a local paper wanting a statement on a piece of vandalism would be an
>example of something that whoever answers the phone can just respond
>to off the cuff, whereas if the chapter wanted to make a statement
>about the IWF block that would probably require a little more thought
>and collaboration) and also time constraints (it's not necessarily
>practical to have a full board meeting before issuing a press
>statement). Major events will end up with multiple people talking to
>the press, so it is important that everyone speaking for the chapter
>is singing from the same hymn sheet. Perhaps the board should delegate
>determining an official position (when there isn't time for a board
>meeting) to the Chair and Communications Officer. They can talk on the
>phone and work out what needs to be said and then the Communications
>Officer can pass that on to whoever is actually talking to the press
>(presumably the comm officer would be responsible for assigning people
>to requests for interviews).
>
>So, that's my (slight vague) suggestion for how to handle official
>statements. The remaining question is when to make official
>statements. Do we want to do everything officially through the
>chapter, or would it be better in certain cases to leave it to the
>community to do less formally? One problem with having some things
>done unofficially would be working out who does them - a member of the
>Wikimedia UK board, for example, can't really speak unofficially about
>things related to Wikimedia, anything they said would be taken as an
>official statement. The same may apply to non-board press contacts
>that are regularly authorised to speak for the chapter - if
>journalists get used to David, say, making official statements (I
>don't know what relationship David will have with the new chapter, but
>it's plausible that he may serve as an official press contact) then
>they may get rather confused if he makes an unofficial, personal
>statement on a given topic. Are there likely to be people willing and
>able to go on record as "a random Wikipedia contributor" that aren't
>also closely linked to the chapter? Possibly not. For that reason, it
>may be best to do everything through the chapter. Can anyone think of
>a situation where the community would want to talk to the press but it
>would be inadvisable for the chapter to make a statement? (I can think
>of one - the WMF going rogue. The chapter agreement involves the
>chapter agreeing to refrain from "engaging in any activity that might
>negatively impact the work or image of the Wikimedia Foundation."
>which would prevent the chapter from being able to represent the views
>of the community if those views were very anti-WMF, in which case the
>chapter would have to keep quiet and let the community handle it. Of
>course, this is a very unlikely scenario - does anyone have a more
>likely one or is it a situation we can safely ignore?)
>
>________________________________________


David Gerard was speaking as a "Wikipedia volunteer" in the media
over the past few days. He is/was press officer for WMUK 1.0...

We could all speak to the press if we wanted to, since we are
Wikimpedia volunteers. We do not need to have signed up to anything
else.

Gordo


--
"Think Feynman"/////////
http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Gordon Joly
In reply to this post by Thomas Dalton
At 15:34 +0000 10/12/08, Thomas Dalton wrote:

>There is a bigger discussion needed here than just gathering some
>volunteers to appear on TV. We need to work out how we want to handle
>press in the UK, with relation to the (imminent) new chapter. There
>are two ways we can talk to the press, as volunteers speaking just for
>just ourselves and as representatives of Wikimedia UK speaking for the
>chapter (obviously, no-one is authorised to speak for WMF, we'll leave
>that to them). We need to decide when press work should be handled
>under each category, and who should do it. Obviously, anyone can speak
>for themselves and they can say what they like.
>
>Speaking for the chapter can be done by anyone the board chooses, but
>the real question is who decides what to say. Should individual board
>members, or even non-board press contacts, be able to decide for
>themselves what do say or should the board determine an official
>position, which then gets presented by whoever does the interview
>(obviously the person doing the interview needs a certain amount of
>leeway otherwise it doesn't work, but the basic idea of what the
>official position is can be decided in advance)?

[...]


I watched a presentation (online) by a chap from Amazon yesterday at LeWeb.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Vogels

"He is the only executive apart from Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos to speak
publicly on behalf of Amazon.com."

I wonder if that is a model?

Gordo


--
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http://pobox.com/~gordo/
[hidden email]///

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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Peter Cohen-2
In reply to this post by David Gerard-2
In-Reply-To: <p06240802c5668d9e24eb@[192.168.116.8]>
> Might be worth adding that all journalists are trustworthy and have
> no axes to grind.


Well, of course. So much so, that one set of people I know who ran science
fiction conventions took to telling journalists who turned up at the door
expecting free entry that "you can pay just like anyone else". Then, when
the usual cliched rubbish about us "beaming down" etc. was published, my
friends could say "and we've got their money".


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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Alison M. Wheeler
In reply to this post by Theresa Knott
On Thu, December 11, 2008 06:17, Theresa Knott wrote:
> Yes and that's a very important talent! But it should only be relied
> on in emergencies. The truth is we knew on Saturday that this was
> likely to be picked up by the media, and we certainly knew by Sunday
> that it was likely to hit the national press. Yet no one thought to
> discuss on this list what we should do if interviews were requested.
> Hopefully next time we'll be better prepared.

I should just point out here that whilst the effect of the blockage was
felt in the UK the nature and manner of the response was something for the
Foundation as the 'blockee'. As such this issue was being heavily
discussed by the communications committee from late Saturday evening and,
to a large extent, the level of response directly from the UK was set by
Sue, as CEO, and Jay, as Press, from the Foundation.

Other organisations, including the Open Rights Group, were also
extensively discussing the matter and other options from a different
direction. There is also the matter of 'keeping one's powder dry' in that
this is a public-accessible list and to discuss possible media interaction
here is, in some ways, a redundant activity.

Alison


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Re: UK press coverage - backup needed

Thomas Dalton
> There is also the matter of 'keeping one's powder dry' in that
> this is a public-accessible list and to discuss possible media interaction
> here is, in some ways, a redundant activity.

Indeed, such discussions need to take place somewhere more private -
when a quick decision is required, phone calls are probably the way
forward.

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