Why dietitians are a health journalist’s best friend

— Melanie McGrice

 

One of the things that I love about being a dietitian is that we are always learning new things about nutrition.  New research is always being released, and as ‘nutrition scientists’ we know how to access it and understand it.

How is this relevant to media?  Media are always looking for new and newsworthy topics.  And, put yourself in their shoes, it’s their job and they have to find stories which are going to sell.  So, if we can help them, we can save them a lot of time and effort.  ‘Eat more carrots’ in itself is not likely to sell, but ‘eat purple carrots’, ‘carrots are the new superfood’ or ‘carrots will reduce your risk of cancer’ just may.  We know that many others are trying to capture the attention of the media by exerting that their diet is the next big thing, but dietitians have a distinct advantage – the research that we read is both newsworthy and based on evidence.

Another angle which makes a topic newsworthy is linking your topic to some other topical event in the media.  For example, if you want to promote grapes, link it to a newsworthy topic or person.  With Valentine’s Day coming up, you may look for an angle about how grapes can act as an aphrodisiac.  Or you may look for a photograph of a celebrity eating grapes and use their credibility to get your message across.

At the end of the day, your goal is for your article to be read by as many people as possible.  So, spend some time thinking about an interesting way to get your message across.