Yearly, more than half of researchers in the humanities and social sciences have more than one contact with the media, including interviews or discussions. Many researchers actively communicate with the non-academic public using scientific blogs, Twitter or Facebook. Researchers are also exposed to considerable pressure from research funding agencies and universities. Public outreach is now an important criterium for evaluators, and the dialogue with a broader public is an important part of a university's mission.
So, is it just a matter of getting yourself in front of a microphone? There is a rather complex relationship between academia, the public and the media. They are structured differently and are subject to their own logic. Understand what you need to watch out for when dealing with journalists and in turn, how to use media for your own public visibility.