sample media jujitsu


Q “did you come here to get arrested?”

A “i’m not here to get arrested. we don’t want to go to jail, but we’re willing to risk our freedom to help abolish the death penalty.”


don’t feel obliged to answer a difficult question, you can reply with a soundbite.


Q “how many of these people are going to get arrested?”

A “we’re here to protect the last surviving groves of ancient redwood trees”


there’s always the classic response


i’d rather not be interviewed. would you like me to introduce you to _____, our media liaison?”


listen for negative assumptions underlying a question. bring them out into the open and neutralize them. for example:


Q “aren’t you disappointed by the small turnout today”

A “actually we’re amazed at how many people showed up on such short notice”


Q “do you think your beliefs entitle you to break the law?”

A “sometimes we do have to break a small law in order to protect our liberty or our lives. that’s the principle of civil disobedience, as developed by two great Americans, Henry David Thorough and Martin Luther King, Jr.”