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Media Opportunity


SylvrStorm
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As I mentioned in the Blood Beach/Spyglass thread about the Belcarra (mini) Blitz event, I've been contacted by a reporter who wants to do a piece on geocaching. She originally proposed accompanying us to that event, but can't get a cameraperson that day. Now she's suggesting that she can maybe join a smaller group of cachers to hunt a couple of caches sometime in mid-January.

 

Nothing is set yet, and I haven't yet determined exactly what she is looking for. There are so many aspects that could be covered, and I'm sure she won't be looking to do a half hour documentary, so we'll have to choose a reasonable set of topics. I'll be discussing it with her further before any firm plans are made.

 

Some of the things we might want to cover (and this list is probably too long):

* CITO

* regular cache

* multi cache

* theme cache

* puzzle cache

* micro cache

* good hike

* urban cache

* experiencing nature

* stealth/geomuggles

* family activity

* physical exercise

* general rules (no burying, food, alcohol, private property, etc.)

* basics of GPSr technology

* trading fair

 

So, opening it up for input...

 

a) I can do this alone, since I do most of my caching alone anyway, but she'd probably prefer more than one source. Is there anyone else in the lower mainland who is interested in being interviewed for a TV spot, and joining me for a media-cache outing? No date/time/place has been set yet, so this is purely to gauge general interest.

 

:lol: Any thoughts on what I should try to emphasize (with the understanding that she'll choose to emphasize whatever she wants)? I.e. add to my list above, or tell me what you think is most important on it.

 

c) Any suggestions for good quality caches? I know of several, but I doubt she'd want one where I just walk up to a hiding place I already know about. An area with two or three in close proximity might be good, in case we're skunked on one. Oh, and I'll have to talk to her about filming the cache location without increasing the risk of plundering. An ideal cache would lend itself well to TV coverage up to and including the final cache hunt, without making it completely obvious to all the viewers exactly where the cache is. Hmm - I'll have to give that some thought.

 

SylvrStorm

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Well, i'd be in for being a sidekick on this one. I have that rugged woodsman look :lol: goes well on the camera...

 

Topics that need to be covered would be

CITO

and how geocaching does NOT harm the enviroment when done properly.

Myabe it could take place in two sperate types of caches... urban cache... shows people how close it could be to their home... get more people into the sport... and then the rugged outdoors cache... with a little TV magic... all in under 10 min! wow.

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all in under 10 min! wow.
Will the spot even get 10 minutes? Most of these media spots are a couple of minutes at best.

 

Be sure to show her the geocaching.com forums...
Have to agree with DeBoggy on this one. Maybe we should mention something about geo-pirates... oops, did I say that? :o

 

I think getting a family out would be great. Its one of the great family things you can do, and that should be hi-lighted.
Agreed, although I'd be scared stiff of what my kids might say. Our dads a freak who drags us out in rain, sleet and snow or to 5 caches in one day... he's obsessed! :lol::P
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I, of course, was joking...

I know.

 

It's just that it's possible that a media person just may blow the forum stuff out of proportion and take it out of context as well. That would be unfortunate. Geocachers are decent people, but here in BC I'm sure there are many people who want any excuse to see us in a negative light. I've met several people who have pulled a face when I said I was a geocacher. We don't yet have the legitimacy of other outdoor sports. Fights in the forums and the refusal of some to follow our own rules and guidelines gives naysayers ammo.

 

They'll say, "those cachers claim they'll follow our rules in how they use the land, but they can't even agree among themselves or follow thier own rules. Why would we trust them to follow our rules?"

 

I've encountered this firsthand. It's no fun tapdancing in front of a park maintenance deputy manager, who's only previous experience with cachers is having to confront a cacher who won't abide by our own rules.

 

We want to avoid giving negative impressions. They're very difficult to overcome.

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Geocachers are decent people, but here in BC I'm sure there are many people who want any excuse to see us in a negative light. I've met several people who have pulled a face when I said I was a geocacher. We don't yet have the legitimacy of other outdoor sports. Fights in the forums and the refusal of some to follow our own rules and guidelines gives naysayers ammo.

 

They'll say, "those cachers claim they'll follow our rules in how they use the land, but they can't even agree among themselves or follow thier own rules. Why would we trust them to follow our rules?"

Which people in BC might you be referring to?

 

I hardly think what goes on in the forums influences non-geocachers opinions of geocachers. If they're pulling a face its probably because of what they think about a grown man obsessing over tupperware hidden in the woods. I think its highly unlikely that a "park maintenance deputy manager" spends any time in these forums unless s/he's already a geocacher. Unless, of course, you directed them here. ;)

 

As far as the media goes, they're going to portray the "sport" any way that suits them regardless of what anyone says or does and nothing you say or do during an interview is going to change that. Its amazing how a little judicious editing can transform a little puff piece into a controversial story - not that a journalist would ever do such a thing. :mad:

 

______________

Gorak

Geo 54 39EMX 65

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Which people in BC might you be referring to?

 

I hardly think what goes on in the forums influences non-geocachers opinions of geocachers. If they're pulling a face its probably because of what they think about a grown man obsessing over tupperware hidden in the woods. I think its highly unlikely that a "park maintenance deputy manager" spends any time in these forums unless s/he's already a geocacher. Unless, of course, you directed them here. :o

 

As far as the media goes, they're going to portray the "sport" any way that suits them regardless of what anyone says or does and nothing you say or do during an interview is going to change that. Its amazing how a little judicious editing can transform a little puff piece into a controversial story - not that a journalist would ever do such a thing. :mad:

 

______________

Gorak

Geo 54 39EMX 65

The people in BC I'm refering to are enviromentalists and "no trace" hiking purists. Many of them are aware of geocaching and are NOT amused by the idea. They don't know anything about caching, that's true, but thier initial kneejerk reaction is that caching has no place in thier precious outdoors. It's an emotional reaction, and emotional reactions are hard to reason with. The few people I refered to who "pulled a face" were specifically reacting to the idea that we were going "off trail" and hiding things in the woods that didn't belong there.(PLENTY of others have pulled a face at the idea of a grown man looking for tupperware....I wasn't referring to them. ;)

 

As for the park maint. manager, his only knowledge of cachers was a cacher who went to find one of my caches and caught him ripping the site apart. The cache was a 1.5/2. It was stolen and when the cacher and his companion couldn't find it they began bushwacking all around and upturning everything. To make matters worse it is a protected area. The tapdancing I refered to seemed to have worked. He allowed me to hide a new cache in an approved location.

 

Anyone visiting the site can look at the forums, and it's likely a journalist will.

 

In fact, they are, if you look in the forums a journalist from the New York times is asking about uses of GPS units right now. She was directed there by Groundspeak.

 

A journalist who gets a bad impression, no matter how ill informed, has the potential to spread that impression to many, many others. I mean, I think we've all seen reports in the forums of poorly written stories on geocaching. It would be a shame if those stories resulted from OUR behavior instead thier behavior, wouldn't it?

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It's just that it's possible that a media person just may blow the forum stuff out of proportion and take it out of context as well.

 

It's no fun tapdancing in front of a park maintenance deputy manager

There's nothing to take out of context. Which posts are you referring to?

 

Tapdancing? I've heard they prefer the Tango. ;-)

 

RobertM

Geo 131, 140, 109, 104, 39E-MNXS

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;)

 

Like this needs to be said, but I am going to say it anyway.

 

Use your common sense, I trust that you and who ever would accompany you would try to represent Geocaching in the best possible manner. I have no doubt that you and AlSidprime would be great representatives of our sport, and our values for geocaching.

 

You cannot please everyone all of the time, there are always going to be the ultrasensitive people who believe we should stay at home indoors and not venture into the wild, just incase we step on some sensitive plant, or disturb some wildlife. Yes there are some areas that are special reserves but it is pretty hard to convince people that they should preserve the wild when they are not allowed to enjoy it. And I don't mean by watching it on National Geographic Channel.

 

On the other hand you will not go out and "conquer the wilderness" by driving your SUV up to the cache spinning your wheels and throwing mud and snow and rocks everywhere to get to your "goal".

 

I would suggest some family or couple oriented cache event (define couple in your own way here, this is BC and anything goes), perhaps show yourselves ENJOYING being out hiking/walking whatever in the wild or not so wild. Maybe show a cache in garbage out event or idea.

 

Most of all enjoy yourselves, show everyone else why you like Geocaching. I think we can trust you to portray the majority of us fairly responsible and resonably enviromentally concious, people and just what our sport entails.

 

I look forward to seeing the event on TV, please let us all know how it plays out, who is in it, and when it airs. Thank you for taking the time to make a difference in our sport and our enjoyment of the outdoors! :mad:

Edited by Capitalpete
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As "an outsider looking in" I hope my suggestions may be of value to you. Only talk about the positive. Any suggestion by you that there is even the possibility that anyone could harbour negative ideas about geocaching will be picked up by the viewer. Most won't understand the sport but will understand the negative aspects of it much more easily than the positive ones. You are communicating to people who, for the most part, don't give a rats a** about geocaching and never will. Don't give them any excuse to dislike the sport -other than that most people won't care one way or the other. If you can communicate some positives and attract a few people to the sport then that is just gravy. Don't communicate the negatives.

 

To begin with it is not like this is any sort of investigative report so whatever you present to the reporter will be the basis of the story. It will get edited so make sure that you only say things that show the sport in a positive light. Even a few minutes of negative footage may seriously undermine your efforts if the reporter decides that that portion is the most interesting and that is the only portion of the interview that gets used.

 

If I may suggest, decide ahead of time what three of four positive things you want to convey about the sport and stay on message. In the unlikely event that the reporter asks you an informed question that you do not want to answer - don't answer it. Like this:

 

Reporter: I have heard that geocachers put caches on public land without permission and destroy sensitive areas. (Note, this is not even really a question.)

 

You: Geocachers have a strict set of rules that we all agree to abid by which addresses that concern. One of our most cherished activities is CITO....then explain what it is and how geocaching actually protects sensitive areas via CITO.

 

If you try to respond to the question, you'll just get sucked into telling everyone how bad geocaching is - or at least that will be the impression you leave. Only answer the questions you want to answer - politicians do this all the time and reporters air/report what they are told. Between now and when you are interviewed really watch news reports and particularly interviews on the news. It is rare that the reporters questions are aired - it is usually just the answers so don't give any answers that you do not want aired, regardless of the questions. To view longer interviews go to sympatico.ca - the current news feature now has video clips. These can be up to 10-12 minutes long and are mostly interviews with politicians. Take a look at these and see how the pros do it. Don't repeat the answer over and over. Again, come up with some set answers to 3-4 questions YOU want to answer and then give your spiel. Pay lip service to the quesitons asked and then answer the question you would have liked them to ask. You may even want to practice this.

 

Here is what I think you should talk about, in order if possible:

 

- The technology. this is the most interesting thing from an outsiders perspective. You probably already know enough to talk about this for a few minutes but make sure you do. I'd bet that this makes up the bulk of whatever gets aired.

 

- How the technology is used in conjunction with the sport. The co-operative effort amount huge numbers of people who only communicate through the common goal of directing each other to enjoy the wilderness or urban areas of interest. The good feeling you have from having the chance to share your special/hidden spots with people you will never talk to or meet. (This is cool.) Also trade items could be discussed here but ignore the problems with unfair exchanges etc - don't even bring up the possibility that someone would not trade fair or that anyone cares about this. Only talk about the good.

 

- Outdoor physical fun for the whole family and bring up geocaching events. (even though a geo-event contradicts the "anonymous" nature of the answer above)

 

- CITO - individually and as a geo-event.

 

The rest of your items below? You may care but no one outside the sport is likely to understand or care.

 

* regular cache

* multi cache

* theme cache

* puzzle cache

* micro cache

* stealth/geomuggles

* family activity

 

I hope I helped. If not then ignore it.

 

Les.

 

(Edited 'cause I decided I had more to say.)

Edited by lessenergy
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Thanks!!

 

Yeah, I do talk. Most ideas are difficult to express briefly. At least for me.

 

And, I am who I say I am:

 

- I don't geocache but intend to in the future. It's a cool sport.

- I believe that no cache should be placed on public land with the land manager's approval and a lack of a policy is not approval.

- I think the areas where the sport is permitted is going to get reduced to urban parking lots unless you take positive action now. This means bringing up the issue with land managers and getting permission in advance. Trying to get a positive response from a land manager after he has "caught you" (in his/her view) is a reciepe for a blanket, knee-jerk denial.

- I am no sock puppet - this is my only account.

- I recognize that most of my views are not popular but, to the extent that people will listen, I'll keep trying.

 

Les.

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A.B.

 

You know I could defend myself by indicating that that post applied to only that particular thread and there would be no basis for you to disagree but that is not the case. You're right. When I posted that, I had given up and intended not to post again.

 

Why you thought is was important enough to go find that quote and paste here is beyond me though. Sorry if my inconsistency is somehow offensive to you. I don't claim to be perfect.

 

As I continued to read the posts in that thread (just like I said I would!) and elsewhere, I found that there were just some things I wanted to add my comments on. Trying to be helpfull mostly.

 

I have, for the most part, tried to stay clear of the permission issue but that is pretty difficult since it is the one issue I am most interested in. I do intend to stay away from any wholesale debate on the issue though and won't bring the topic up again anytime soon.

 

I think you'll find that, in my posts since then, I have specifically tried to avoid getting into the permission debate again. I probably will get into it in the future if I think there is some point in doing so though so, if I do and you want to quote me, maybe quote this post instead of the other.

 

Is that OK with you?

 

RobertM,

 

I am very flattered. The fact is it sure sounds like I know what I am talking about and therefore it seems likely that I am a sock puppet. The reality is that I know some things about a small part of geocaching and know nothing about the rest. I also spend a lot of time in the wilderness and although I have never searched for a geocache the actual process in finding one (aside from how to actually use a GPS) is familiar to me.

 

Having never even used a GPS I would sound like a moron if I tried to post on any topic that required that knowledge so my posts are limited to things I know about and care about. Yeah, I go on about permission but I don't geocache yet. I think I can still have a knowledgeable and valid opinion on the subject however. In fact, I don't understand the idea that it is not possible for me to have a valid opinion on it.

 

Those who want to place a value on my opinion can, those who think I don't/can't have a valid opinion can ignore me. Same as the opinions of anyone else who posts here.

 

Les.

 

P.S. Jeeze, I really DO post long messages don't I?

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I brought a CBC radio host out for a cache over a year ago. My blog entry and MP3 of the radio story is at this link.

 

http://mcd.dyndns.org:8080/mt/eastick/000005.html#000005

 

remember, you probably only get 3 minutes in the final edit so something like "puzzle caches" should only get about a description like "solving puzzles or riddles".

 

There was also a story on Discovery Canada a few years back. Searching at exn.ca gives me the following.

 

http://www.exn.ca/Stories/2003/01/16/51.asp

 

http://www.exn.ca/Stories/2001/12/19/51.asp

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