Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

August 8, 2007

A call for unity against TV sensationalism

Robyn Trask, director of Loving More, has done yeoman's work getting us decent coverage in the news media despite all obstacles. Last spring she and family members were treated poorly by the Montel Williams daytime-TV talk show — but, applying hard-won experience in how to handle TV producers, she recently got vastly better treatment as a guest on the Michael Baisden show (scheduled to air October 7th).

There are known ways to do it right and wrong, such as the agreements to get in writing beforehand. TV shows treat "pros" who know how to negotiate and what to ask for a lot better than they treat clueless rubes.

Robyn is offering negotiation and paperwork help, as well as TV coaching, to those considering going on the air. In other words she'll be your agent, for free. And she is making the following appeal to the community:

A call for unity against TV sensationalism

Loving More® is currently talking with Pilgrim Films about a polyamory reality show. Personally, I am not fond of reality shows, but they are big right now, and like it or not, there will be reality shows on the subject. As a community we have the ability to influence how we are represented. By working together we can have an effect. Loving More is currently working with a few people within the poly community willing to do media appearances, but we need more diversity.

This show is important. As of now they are looking for people who represent the majority of society: a family raising kids in suburbia or some type of middle class poly folk. I know that many of us do not exactly fall in this category and some even resent that they are looking for that, but I am asking all of us to look at this as an opportunity to educate people in a real way. Poly people come in all shapes, orientations and classes of weirdness, but if we want the public to take this movement seriously and make progress toward changing attitudes, then we need to help the average person open their mind. This is important for all of us who may have jobs, kids, family or other matters that can be affected by our choice of polyamory as a lifestyle. There are many poly people out there living in suburbia raising kids, but few who feel safe to be out. Those who are willing to come out and talk to media are often not representative of the community as a whole but one small segment that many people can not relate to.

I get asked many repeated questions by the media that imply certain assumptions. One of the most common is the perception that poly people are long haired, granola eating hippies still living out their experience of the 60's, or that we are sex-addicted deviants. Is this the perception of polyamory you want portrayed? Does it really matter? Only when we show people another version will we change these preconceived ideas.

All of you can help in several ways:

1. By coming to Loving More when you are asked for or are considering a media appearance. Let us help you by negotiating on your behalf. We are getting good at working with the media so that you are treated well, compensated for your time, and not ambushed. We can help you prepare for interviews or TV appearances.

2. By letting us know that you are willing to speak to the media and what kinds of media you are willing to do. For this we need pictures and bios.

3. Let us know when you hear of a documentary, talk show, or other media looking for poly people. Chances are we have already heard from and talked to them, but let us know anyway so we can help.

We are not here to tell you how you should do an interview or TV appearance but to simply help put your best foot forward. Talk shows, reality TV, and similar shows are entertainment media out there to make money. They are not journalists, and I feel sometimes it is easy to confuse the two. We also work with the journalistic media, but this is a different media and in my experience they have been fair and easy to work with. TV entertainment shows thrive on sensationalism and have their own agenda. What we want is to take advantage of the opportunity, influence the content, and minimize the exploitation.

We are a diverse community looking to change the possibilities in personal relationships, from our granola eating vegetarians to our sex crazed Republicans. Working as a community we can have a real impact. If we are united they will have to at least meet us partway to get people for their needs. Change can happen, and my wish is that polyamory becomes just another option in personal loving relationships.

Let us know if you or someone you know would be a good fit for this show and willing to do it. Also, if you are not up for this show but would be interested in something else, then share that with us. Email us, with "media" in the subject line, at lovingmore(at)lovemore(dot)com. or call 303-543-7540.

Thanks for all your support and help.

Robyn Trask
Loving More

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad somebody's trying to do this. Good luck herding the cats. But the more non-scary people we get in front of the cameras, the fewer scary ones will be there instead making the rest of us cringe.

August 09, 2007 11:09 AM  

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