Mainstream media perpetuates many problematic narratives about drug use and addiction that increase stigma, discrimination, and bad policy. One way to address these shortcomings is to increase the coverage of evidence-based approaches to addiction treatment and recovery. To do this, we need bridges between subject matter experts and the media. However, many experts are not trained to interact with journalists in today’s media environment. Thus, this workshop is designed to offer customized training to support interactions between addiction workforce members and the media. Topics covered include preparing for interviews and how to pitch ideas/op-eds to the media.
A few learning objectives:
- Identify stigma in the media
- Describe how to reduce stigma in media coverage
- Tangible tips you can use to improve your interactions and reporting in general
About the presenters:
Ashton Marra is the co-director of Reporting on Addiction, a collaborative project of nonprofit media outlet 100 Days in Appalachia and the Opioid Policy Institute. 100 Days in Appalachia is a 2021 national Edward R. Murrow award-winning publication and as its executive editor, she oversees the work of a team of editors, contributors and reporters across Appalachia to create content by Appalachians for Appalachians. Ashton is also a teaching assistant professor in the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, where she teaches news writing, video storytelling and community-focused journalism. She’s spent more than a decade working as a professional journalist for both public media and commercial news outlets, on local, statewide and national platforms, including NPR and ABC News.
Jonathan JK Stoltman is Co-Director of Reporting on Addiction and Director of the Opioid Policy Institute. In 2019, they completed their PhD in Lifespan Developmental Psychology from West Virginia University and has worked as a researcher focusing on opioid addiction treatment and recovery since 2013. Jonathan’s academic work has appeared in leading journals and national conferences. Their current work focuses on addiction stigma, the media, and digital approaches to addiction treatment.