There is no doubt that sociologists have become more publicity conscious of late. Partly this is a defence, an attempt to demonstrate relevance and utility in an era of shrinking resources and greater competition for grants. But it is also indicative of a new responsibility, a sense that those of us who live off public funds should be accountable for the ways in which we spend them. Having one’s work featured in the major mass media is a way of satisfying both criteria with the minimum of bad faith. But coverage is not always an advantage. It can equally be a problem. It depends on the conditions which produced it In thinking about this it is helpful to distinguish between publicity and access.