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Media Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

(1) This Policy provides a framework for the University's interaction with the external news media.

(2) This 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.


(3) This Policy applies to:

  1. verbal and written comments to the media, including public speaking engagements, opinion pieces and media releases; and 
  2. all University staff and students.
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Section 2 - Definitions

(4) For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply:

  1. Area of Expertise: means an area in which a staff member or a student has been peer-reviewed or published, or nominated through an Executive Dean, College Dean or the Office of the Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor as an expert in their field;
  2. Expert Commentator: 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: means any contact with online, print or broadcast media organisations undertaken with the purpose of generating coverage;
  4. Public Comment: includes comments under the name of the University which may reach the community;
  5. University Media Release: means a document, audio, video file or photograph provided to the media or journalists issued by Southern Cross University's Media and Content team, which may quote an authorised University Spokesperson or Expert Commentator on the topic specified ;
  6. University Spokesperson: means a staff member authorised by the University to speak to the media or make Public Comments on behalf of the University.
  7. Media and Content: means the the professionals employed or contracted by the University specifically to undertake media work. Contact details should be displayed in an accessible way on the University website. 
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Section 3 - Policy Statement

(5) University Media Activity should, where possible, be conducted following consultation with the Media and Content Team. Where that is not possible, the Media and Content Team should be informed as soon as practicable after the interview.  

(6) Only the Vice-Chancellor, or authorised nominee,  may represent Southern Cross University's corporate position on matters related to the operations and activities of the University to the media or via Public Comment.

(7) Production and distribution of all University Media Releases rests with the Media and Content Team. 

Expert Comment

(8) Subject to clause (5), (9) and (10), 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.

(9) Academic freedom is valued and protected at the University, but does not cover comments which:

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

(10) Clause (8) and (9) 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.

(11) 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 libelous communications, and avoiding comments that unlawfully discriminate or vilify.

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Section 4 - Procedures

(12) See the Media Procedures.