Science - June 21, 2016

‘They cherry-pick’

Who? Anke Janssen, project leader at Fresh, Food and Chains
What? Presented a study on the balance between meat and vegetable consumption
Where? In media such as the Volkskrant newspaper, BNR radio news and the NOS television news

Are you satisfied with the way the study got into the media?

‘Not entirely. The NOS and the Volkskrant took me seriously but on BNR News Radio I only got one and a half minutes. They asked leading questions and I hardly had any time to answer them. I had prepared very well so it’s disappointing.’

What was the study about?

‘The balance between meat and vegetables in our diet. So then the media take one tiny thing out of a very broad study, like an experiment by Van der Valk restaurants who surreptitiously served customers less meat. The rest of the study was of very little interest to the journalists.’

Any tips for other people whose research gets into the media?

‘Be very well prepared! They try to personalize the news, but you mustn’t be seduced into that. Stay focused on your message because as a researcher you don’t want personal questions. They only distract people from your message.’