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Drugnet Europe News from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction — April–June 2007

Reitox Academy on relations with the media

Adapting communications to today’s media and building fruitful relationships with journalists were among the issues covered at the latest EMCDDA Reitox Academy on relations with the media held from 28–29 February in Bucharest. Organised in cooperation with the Romanian national focal point (NFP), the event was opened by Professor Dr Pavel Abraham, Member of the EMCDDA Management Board and Head of the national anti-drug agency.

On Air sign

The Academy was preceded by a half-day working session for Romanian journalists on the products and services of the EMCDDA and the Romanian NFP and on practical tips for covering drug stories. Here, perceptions of drugs in the media were explored, as were common mistakes in interpreting scientific material on drugs and difficulties in achieving responsible coverage on the issue.

The two-day Academy was organised around four sessions led by three experienced journalists (1) from the written press and TV and by EMCDDA staff. A reflective session on how coverage of drugs issues has evolved over the last decade set the scene and was complemented by hands-on sessions on working with TV and tailoring products to today’s fast-moving media. The final session explored NFP communication 'success stories' (see Spotlight), including discussions on national events coinciding with the launch of the EMCDDA Annual report.

The working groups following the sessions were designed to generate practical checklists on: communicating responsibly on drugs (terminology, imagery, definitions); best practice for working with TV (tips for preparing, pitching and performing); adapting outputs to different media (targeted strategies); and organising national launches of the EMCDDA Annual report and/or NFP national report. These checklists will be compiled in a final report of the event and offered to the participants for consideration in their daily media-relations work.

(1) Dr Daniel Deckers, political editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung; Thomas Christou, technical director at the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC); and Alain Lallemand, foreign correspondent at Le Soir. Julie-Emilie Adès of the French NFP gave a presentation in the session for Romanian journalists.


Drugnet Europe is the EMCDDA's newsletter launched in September 1996. The newsletter provides regular and succint information on the Centre's projects and activities to a broad readership.

Page last updated: Wednesday, 30 April 2008