Talking to reporters

I got this question on my ED Bites Facebook page, and thought it was such a good one that I wanted to share it on my blog and get feedback from all of you. Ideally (when I get the time after my manuscript is due), I would like to compile this into a guide for how to talk with the media about eating disorders.

So here is Lindsee's question:

Ok I might need some help because I think when I polietly spoke up after I thought about this about a question on why our state makes this big deal each October and April with a month spread on Autism and Breast cancer awareness, but never really paid much attention towards eating disorder awareness month, I apparently got a response from one of the editors and reporters. They like to do a story or piece so I guess does any of the members have any suggestions they like me to maybe adress or say.

You can comment either on the blog or on the Facebook page. I think it's a really important topic and I'd love to hear what all of you have to say!

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Karen Barber said...

Carrie, I think that everyone is confused and the media needs help on defining Eating Disorder Awareness. As you know there is so much coverage with obesity and Michelle Obama's campaign to eliminate it in school. Well is obesity an Eating Disorder? What in the world are they going to put on the menu in schools now. Will it be well-balanced so that the other side of eating disorders get enough calories. I can understand why the media is confused. Thin must be ok, when there is so much emphasis everywhere on obesity. Good luck with this Carrie. Thank you. Karen

Anonymous said...

A good place to start with how to deal with that is to go to the NEDA page:

If you scroll to the bottom, it has a link that has a handout called "Tips for responsible media coverage," along with some other handouts.

Media like to do shocking. They like to spit out numbers like someone's lowest weight, but I don't think that is helpful to people with an ED that are struggling, and it also perpetuates the myth that you have to weigh X pounds to have a serious problem. A number simply cannot define how unwell a person is (you can't see the internal damage that is going on), nor can you tell someone has an ED just by looking at them.

I think Carrie has had some links about the myths of ED's and perhaps addressing those myths, rather than perpetuating them, would be a good place to start.

hm said...

I vote for YOU to write an article for ed awareness month! ;)

I think these are some poignant aspects:
1. people can have an ed at any size
2. eds have a scientific/genetic basis
3. untreated eds can be deadly

It'd be great to get some media coverage on the true causes of eds.

Linds41482 said...

Ok I'll start off with saying hi, I'm Lindsee and I am the one who posted the question on Carrie's ED Bited Facebook page. I read everyone's comments and some of the points that I felt I was mainly going to talk about in the article.

I had forgotten about the recent obesity topic that has been going on. I currently hit my two year recovery mark, still need to do some work, but I'll get there and I had binge eating disorder since the age of tweleve.

I live in Delaware and as I said every October and April they make a big fuss over Autism and Breast Cancer. It just kind of ate at me how come they never thought of bringing some awareness towards eating disorders.I felt I should speak up or at least ask.

So I sent a letter to the editor asked that question, he forwarded it to one of the section journalists and there you go.

I'll actually go check out the NEDA media page in a bit see what I should or shouldn't say, and I just know I want to do good not cause harm.

I feel if I do this show and explain to people what they sometimes say or do around someone in the process of recovering does, and at the moment a co-worker and regular customers are one cause that's making recovery hard.

I work at TJ Maxx and majority of my shifts I'm up at register and most of our regular customers are RN nurses across the street at Christiana hospital and you'd think after all their training they would know how to speak around someone in my current position.

I feel I must clear one misconception up that people think of why I did what I did,the assumption she wants a boyfriend land a husband. Right now that's the furthest thing from my mind, getting ym master's for counseling and psychology and working on me are my main life concerns.

I reduced my bmi for health reasons, not vanity. If I didn't I probably would have not lived up until this year and turned the big three- o.

Linds41482 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I feel the mental aspect of why a person has an ed is not focused on enough. People seem to focus on the being thin or the media. My ed was never about that but it was about the mental issues that I used the ed for. Then the longer you have an ed from a malnourished state your brain can't think clear. So that ads another layer.
Maybe the media would be less confused if there was more coverage of the inner pain one has and less focus on the actual food and weight

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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