With APSA just around the corner and chilly wind makes Cambridge evenings so pleasant it is time for some reflection on the summer break and a great opportunity to raise the topic of media appearances by political scientists. Of course I’m raising this question because it reflects my unique experience this summer. This was the summer when I revealed the media, or perhaps the summer that the media found me. Either way, as the world was going nuts (and my region of expertise, the Middle East, really outdid itself in the past few months), I got media exposure I never knew before.
It is strange how those of us who study international security benefit from the pain of others. I keep reminding myself that while 9/11 helped me get an academic job, the attack and the events that followed were not my fault. But that issue may be a post for some other time. Here I want to discuss some of the pros and cons I identified as I was going through the media circus. It is one of the many things that graduate school don’t prepare you for. Teaching in a small liberal arts college such as Haverford I cannot say that I was mentored on the question even after graduation. So I hope that such a discussion could help other. I know that I need it myself because I’m still not sure about my own position as I’m still trying to figure out whether interacting with the media is actually worthwhile. As I cannot claim to have an answer I’ll settle for suggesting some pros and cons instead of making sweeping and confident statements.
The pros of media appearances: Continue reading