The team at The Last Word on TodayFM were asked to consider a question posed to Sunday Business Post journalist Adrian Weckler in a recent blog post: Are (well written) news releases still relevant and important to you as a media researcher and editor?  Their answer follows:

News releases are our lifeblood – they inform us of events, markers, speakers, positions and inform the news of the day. The release is not dead but its role is changing – it is a signpost for the information we need to gather and conversations we must engage in with our contributors.

Releases are the start of a news story – before they might have been the middle and end as well. They kick off conversations and relationships, broaden a panel of guests. When programme teams remain tight to deadlines and need to digest information the release is their first port of call – from a mediated news perspective they probably won’t die for a while.

Of course news is changing and for other mediums like blogging the release is increasingly a point of departure.