The media offers opportunities for psychiatrists to communicate with a wide and varied audience, thereby influencing the views of the public and policy makers on mental health issues. There are many different types of media outlet, including daily news media, documentary makers, specialist media, features and comment, and new media. The Science Media Centre is an independent press office that aims to help ensure that the views of scientists, clinicians and researchers are heard in the UK national news media when their area of expertise hits the headlines. In the news media, journalists work to tight time frames and often focus on sensational and controversial topics, presenting challenges for those wanting to engage. For experts to work effectively with the news media it helps to understand more about the way the media works and how to develop necessary skills. Psychiatrists who do work successfully with the media can help ensure that the public receive accurate information about mental health problems, and gain an appreciation of the importance of research in the field and a better understanding of the role of the psychiatrist.