20 September 2009
Dr Evan Jones and statue of John Cabot
Image by Dave Pratt
Choosing the right topic and opening up questions for an audience to examine is vital for a successful public event, and can be informative for all – me included.
Evan first worked with the media on a story about 16th century Bristolians involved in organised crime. The original research was published in the journal Economic History Review. The press release read like something out of a TV drama, involving smuggling rings and conspiracy.
Another of his stories appeared in the Alumni publication Nonesuch. That article was noticed by Bristol alumni working in the media and featured in dozens of publications, ranging from the Vancouver Sun to the BBC History Magazine. It got people all over the world interested in Bristol historical research.
Illuminating how a city develops into what we now see around us is valuable and opens up the subject of history in a tangible way.
During an interview, Evan is careful to make sure his facts are clearly understood to avoid a story being changed accidentally. A newspaper article’s initial circulation can be a hundred thousand people, which increases as websites pick up on the story. He concluded: “Sometimes I’ll receive an interesting question about maritime history, on occasion something really amazing will come through. One example is… Well, that’s another press release.”
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