Have you ever come across CERN in your favourite newspaper? Have you watched a documentary featuring the LHC? Or have you read a popular science book about particle physics? Newspapers, TV stations, radio channels and blogs worldwide talk about CERN on a daily basis. Most official journalists, photographers, writers and bloggers contact the CERN Press Office when they want to cover stories about CERN, check some facts or find interviewees or other resources such as photos and videos.
Around 500 to 1000 people from the media visit CERN every year, and the Press Office organises bespoke visits for them. Whenever possible, the press officers find interviewees or guides who speak the same language as the journalist, so that technical concepts are easier to digest even for journalists without a science background. The Press Office also takes care to ensure that access and safety rules are followed and, finally, monitors and archives articles mentioning CERN. During the next long shutdown (LS2) in 2019-2020, we expect a large number of media visits.
However, the Press Office is also aware that some members of the media might contact you directly, maybe because you have worked together before or they found your name on a publication, webpage or conference programme. In such cases, we invite you to contact the Press Office (press(at)cern.ch) as early as possible for assistance with the visit, ideally one month in advance due to the high number of requests we receive. The Press Office will then help to organise a complete visit that extends beyond your experiment or department, and meets the needs of the reporter. The journalist will also leave CERN having had a richer experience, and maybe will have gathered ideas for new CERN-related stories to write about in the future. Moreover, specific release documents must be signed to authorise filming within CERN, and to legally protect you from the inappropriate use and distribution of material. Finally, the Press Office can keep in touch with the journalists and send them updated information about CERN.
CERN coverage in the media is only possible thanks to the collaboration of all CERN people who give up their time to guide media visits and answer journalists’ questions. You are encouraged to contact the Press Office if you are running an interesting event at CERN, if your high-profile publication has been accepted, or if you want to challenge yourself by explaining your research to the media. The Press Office also organises media training sessions in collaboration with the HR Department twice a year. There are still some places on the course in May, so hurry up and register if you are interested, it’s not too late!
The Admin e-guide procedure regarding media visits is available at this link: https://admin-eguide.web.cern.ch/en/procedure/requests-media-information-or-visits