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Media Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to provide a framework for the University's interaction with the media.

(2) The Media Policy encourages and supports accurate, constructive and strategic media coverage of Southern Cross University's teaching and research activities and achievements, and the work of its staff and students.

Scope

(3) This Policy applies to verbal and written comments to the media, including public speaking engagements, opinion pieces and media releases.

(4) This Policy applies to all University staff and students.

Section 2 - Definitions

(5) For the purposes of this Policy:

  1. Area of Expertise:
    1. means an area in which a staff member or a student has been peer-reviewed or published, or nominated through the Head of School or Office of Research as an expert in their field;
  2. Expert Commentator:
    1. means a staff member or student who, as a result of their Area of Expertise, is authorised by the University to speak to the media or make Public Comments on issues in their field;
  3. Media Activity:
    1. means any contact with online, print or broadcast media organisations undertaken with the purpose of generating coverage;
  4. Public Comment:
    1. includes comments under the name of the University which may reach the community;
  5. University Media Release:
    1. means a document provided to the media issued by Southern Cross University's Communications and Publications team, which may quote an authorised University Spokesperson or Expert Commentator;
  6. University Spokesperson:
    1. means a staff member authorised by the University to speak to the media or make Public Comments on behalf of the University.

Section 3 - Policy Statement

(6) University Media Activity may only be conducted after consultation with the Media Team within Communications and Publications.

(7) Only the Vice Chancellor or delegate may represent Southern Cross University's corporate position on matters related to the operations and activities of the University to the media and/or via Public Comment.

(8) Communications and Publications is responsible for the production and distribution of all University Media Releases.

Expert Comment

(9) Subject to clause (6), (10) and (11), staff are entitled to make comment to the media provided that they apply to Areas of Expertise related to the staff member's individual academic or professional appointment.

(10) Academic freedom is valued and protected at SCU, but does not cover comments which:

  1. are made to the media; and
  2. are not made within the Area of Expertise of the individual concerned; and
  3. represent or appear to represent the University.

(11) Clause (9) and (10) do not restrict staff from freely expressing their opinions as private individuals, but comments made in this context must not include reference to the University or the member of staff's University position.

(12) Staff members who provide comment to the media must comply with relevant laws, such as protecting the privacy of individuals, protecting copyright, avoiding defamatory or libellous communications, and avoiding comments that unlawfully discriminate or vilify.

Section 4 - Procedures

(13) See the Media Procedures.

Section 5 - Guidelines

(14) Nil.