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JOURNALISTS ADMIT ENVIRONMENTALISTS GET MORE ATTENTION THAN BUSINESSES, BUT SAY IT'S EXECUTIVES' FAULT

JOURNALISTS ADMIT ENVIRONMENTALISTS GET MORE ATTENTION THAN BUSINESSES,
 BUT SAY IT'S EXECUTIVES' FAULT
 ATLANTA, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Business people have long complained that environmental activists get more attention from the media than they do. Now, they may be surprised to learn that many reporters agree with them.
 In a recent national survey, two-thirds (67 percent) of media decision-makers agreed with the statement, "The news media generally pay more attention to the statements of environmental activists than those of business people."
 The study, conducted by the Atlanta public relations firm Knapp Inc., analyzed 100 completed questionnaires from a cross-section of media decision-makers in 43 states. One-fourth of the respondents were television news directors; one-fourth were business editors at major daily newspapers; the remainder were daily and weekly newspaper editors, editorial columnists and editors of business magazines.
 Knapp Inc. also polled business leaders on the issue, finding that 92 percent agreed with the statement. The 100 business respondents were from a random sample of chamber of commerce presidents, municipal government officials and economic development executives, among others.
 Journalists' comments indicated that environmentalists may get more attention because they do a better job of cooperating with reporters. "To be quoted," advised one editor, "you have to be both quotable and accessible."
 When asked to name their greatest frustrations in dealing with business people, journalists most frequently cited inaccessibility/unavailability, insensitivity to media deadlines, "no comment" responses and excessive technical jargon.
 "Journalists pointed out that business people often are their own worst enemies," said John C. Knapp, president of Knapp Inc. "The fact is, environmental activists have learned to do a better job with media relations, even though businesses have been at it a lot longer."
 Yet despite admitting environmentalists often command more of their attention, most journalists said they did not feel their coverage of environmental issues had been one-sided. Sixty-two percent agreed with the statement, "On environmental subjects, the news media have done a good job of balancing the concerns of business/industry with those of environmentalists."
 Only 29 percent of business leaders agreed with this statement. But when asked about specific environmental issues, they were far less critical of the press.
 For example, 55 percent of business leaders agreed with the statement, "Exxon was treated fairly and reasonably by the news media during the Valdez oil spill crisis."
 An overwhelming 77 percent of journalists also agreed.
 Both groups were slightly less convinced about the statement, "Coverage of the wetlands issue by the news media has presented a fair balance between the needs of business/property owners and concerns about the environment."
 Forty-seven percent of business people and 67 percent of journalists agreed.
 The findings were part of a Knapp Inc. study of the relationship between business and the news media, particularly as it pertains to environmental topics. It was presented recently at the annual meeting of the Southern Industrial Developers Conference.
 Knapp Inc. specializes in issues management and corporate communications for clients in environmental, financial, food commodities and other fields.
 -0- 1/13/92
 /CONTACT: John C. Knapp or Patrick Wallace of Knapp Inc., 404-688-1777/ CO: Knapp, Inc. ST: Georgia IN: PUB SU:


BN-BR -- ATFNS1 -- 8896 01/13/92 07:32 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1992
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