There are many questions to consider when deciding whether to talk to mainstream news reporters while on the street at an antifa action. What media outlet wants to conduct the interview? How are they likely to construe your message? How are you likely to be viewed by the media outlet’s audience? Are you the best person positioned to make public statements on the issue? Could your comments be used to incriminate you or your comrades?
Here are some pointers on conducting an effective interview with mainstream media:
- Choose your political goal(s) for the interview, pick 2-3 main points you want to make and practice making your points (you may even want to develop talking points and catchy sound bytes).
- Emphasize that you are speaking for yourself (as an anarchist?) but not representing any political constituency nor speaking as a leader or spokesperson for the antifa movement.
- Try not to have open-ended conversations with reporters and try not to stray too far from your main points. Reporters will typically only quote one or two sentences if they quote you at all, so make it count and stay on point.
- Prepare to redirect leading questions. You don’t have to necessarily answer the questions you’re asked and you may want to redirect the discussion to the 2-3 points you want to make.
- The issue of violence is likely to be raised at an antifa action and you should be thoughtful about how you respond. It can be helpful to redirect discussion of violence between people at a rally to the daily violence perpetrated by the state (the greatest purveyor of violence) or to white supremacists who seek, more generally, to subjugate and harm (or even eliminate) certain peoples.
Contact Agency if you are working on an anarchist project and are looking for media support. We would love to hear from you and discuss how we can help!