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Media Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) Under the Code of Conduct - Employees and Entreprise Bargaining Agreement all University staff have a responsibility to communicate information about the University, including knowledge produced within the University in a constructive and professional manner. This ensures the University maintains a positive and professional reputation and image.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) This policy outlines the obligations on University staff  when interacting with the media to ensure professional engagement with the media.

(3) This policy governs the association of personal and professional comment to the name and brand marks of the University in the public arena. When making public comment staff must exercise good and ethical judgement in any public comment.and must not not harass, vilify, intimidate or defame the University or its employees.

(4) This policy does not restrict the right of any individual, member or representative of any professional, community or representative body to freely express their opinions. This policy is not to detract from the University’s commitment to intellectual and academic freedom as outlined in Academic Freedom and Freedom of Speech policy.

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Section 3 - Scope

(5) This policy applies to all University staff interacting with the media and making public comment or media statements. This policy applies to all forms of media, including both News Media and Social Media.

  1. News Media - refers to newspapers, blogs, magazines, newsletters, television, radio, podcasts or any other platforms that posts, publishes  or disseminates information for consumption by the public  
  2. Social media - means any service for online publication and commentary, through and on the internet. This includes interactive tools that facilitate comments and/or conversations that expand the reach of work and enables others to share with friends and networks, and includes, but is not limited to, blogs, wikis, pod casting, forums, video and photo posting, RSS, social bookmarking, tagging, mash ups, virtual worlds and any social networks or networking sites including, but not limited to, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, Reddit, Google+ and Flickr.
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Section 4 - Policy

(6) All media inquiries or outreach  for publicity about University events, policies, procedures, official positions, and actions should be channeled through the Marketing, Media and Communications team, in order to ensure effective communication.

(7) The University recognises, values and protects academic and intellectual freedom.

Commenting on behalf of Charles Darwin University

(8) Any communication with the media on behalf of the University, in a manner that officially represents or appears to represent the University and/or its interests will be led and coordinated by the Media and Communications team, within the Marketing, Media and Communications unit.

(9) All inquiries by news media representatives to individuals in their capacities as university employees must be channeled through the Director Marketing, Media and Communications. It is the responsibility of the Director to manage these interactions with news media including initiating contact with news media and responding to news media requests.

(10) Only the Chancellor, Vice-Chancellor and members of the Senior Executive can comment publicly on behalf of the University as a corporate entity.

(11) Other members of the Senior Management Group (staff members holding the position of Dean or Director (or equivalent) of the University) can comment publicly for the University if they have been delegated to do so by a member of the Senior Executive.

(12) An expert who is directly contacted by a journalist to comment as an expert on topics relating to their area of study or expertise, should contact and coordinate the request with the Media and Communications team.

(13) An employee or department that seeks to publicise a program, event or achievement through news media must contact the Media and Communications team

(14) The Media and Communications team has access to numerous news media contacts and will work with the University staff to coordinate publicity or visibility for programs, events or newsworthy issues.

Expert Comment

(15) Expert comment  means comment within the staff member’s area of expertise

(16) The Media and Communication team facilitates media enquiries and manages contact with subject matter experts and senior management across the university.

(17) Any expert commentator who is requested to provide media comment on their area of expertise should liaise with the Media and Communications Manager to ensure that if there are follow up enquiries, the University response is coordinated and consistent. 

(18) It is not acceptable for staff members to engage with the media or engage in any activity or comment designed to bring the University into disrepute.

Individual Comment

(19) This Policy does not restrict the right of any staff member to freely express opinions in his or her private capacity as an individual member of society. However, individuals who wish to make public comment in this capacity must not in any way indicate that they are speaking for or on behalf of the University in accordance with his or her obligations under the Code of Conduct – Staff and any other University governing documents.

(20) This means that private statements made must not include the University’s name or the title of the staff member’s University appointment or identify the staff member’s University appointment or identify the staff member in any way as a staff member of the University.

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Section 5 - Non-Compliance

(21) Non-compliance with Governance Documents is considered a breach of the Code of Conduct – Staff or the Code of Conduct – Students, as applicable, and is treated seriously by the University. Reports of concerns about non-compliance will be managed in accordance with the applicable disciplinary procedures outlined in the Charles Darwin University and Union Enterprise Agreement 2022 and the Code of Conduct – Students.

(22) Complaints may be raised in accordance with the Code of Conduct – Staff and Code of Conduct - Students.

(23) All staff members have an individual responsibility to raise any suspicion, allegation or report of fraud or corruption in accordance with the Fraud and Corruption Control Policy and Whistleblower Reporting (Improper Conduct) Procedure.