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Media Procedures

Parent Policy

Media Policy

General

(In these procedures references to Monash University or the University include Monash South Africa [MSA].)

1. Statements to the media regarding university policy or matters regarding the University's operation can be made only after consultation and approval via the Media Communications Unit (M&C Unit) or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA).

2. Staff responsible for determining specific Monash University policies may make statements with regard to their policy area following consultation with the Office of Marketing & Communications (OMC), M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA).

3. University media releases will be issued only via the OMC M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA). All faculties and campuses should submit draft releases for approval, editing and sign off. All follow up media liaison will be managed by the M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) in consultation with the spokesperson / department.

4. Academic staff are encouraged to speak to the media about issues relating to their fields of expertise wherever appropriate, recognising the responsibility of Monash University staff to conduct quality research and the obligation to communicate results of that research to the wider community.

5. When engaging an external public relations agency and / or consultant, departments are encouraged to engage the central M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) for guidance and advice prior to signing any contracts. All external PR consultants are required to work collaboratively with the M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) and are not authorised to distribute PR materials on behalf of Monash University without prior approval.

6. Staff representing the University in the media must conduct themselves at all times as representatives of the University and in accordance with all human resource and media policies regarding authorised spokespeople. This includes disclosing themselves as staff members of the organisation.

7. When engaging in media interviews and making media statements staff should not:

  • Use profane or offensive language or content;
  • Engage in content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, age, religion, gender, marital status, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or other grounds protected under Commonwealth, Victorian or South African equal opportunity legislation;
  • Use sexually explicit or pornographic content or links to sexually explicit or pornographic content;
  • Write content to intimidate or bully another staff member, contractor, student or other person;
  • Write content that is or is likely to be defamatory;
  • Accept or make solicitations of commerce;
  • Use material that is, or might be construed as, threatening, harassing, bullying or discriminatory towards another staff member, contractor, student or other person;
  • Engage in conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;
  • Pass on information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems;
  • Use content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other person, including breach of copyright or other intellectual property rights of another person;
  • Use or disclose any confidential information or personal information obtained in their capacity as a staff member/contractor of the University;
  • Use the Monash Name, crest or logo unless prior approval from the Office of Marketing & Communications or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) has been obtained;
  • Use content that is misleading or deceptive; or
  • Use content that involves unreasonable personal use.

Responsibility

Members of the University community using social media
Associate Director, Media & Communications

Issues Management

1. During a declared crisis or emergency, communications with the media must be made following advice from the media coordinator and should only be made by the designated public spokesperson or media coordinator.

2. All day-to-day negative / ‘issue' related media matters must be directed to the Head or Manager of the respective area along with the M&C Unit - Associate Director of Media & Communications or the Executive Director, Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) as soon as possible.

3. Any internal and external communications will be prepared in consultation between senior management and the M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) to ensure consistency of message, timeliness of communication and effective minimisation of the issue.

4. No individual staff members are authorised to speak to the media in the event of an issue or crisis unless authorised by senior management and the M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA).

Responsibility

Members of the University community using social media
Associate Director. Media & Communications

Spokespeople

Authorised spokespeople for Monash University may comment on the following matters:

 

1. Monash University management / operational matters:

Vice-Chancellor, Vice-President (Administration), Pro Vice-Chancellor (Monash South Africa), Executive Director, Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) or other as advised by the Associate Director, Media & Communications (i.e.: Dean / Faculty Manager)

2. General Faculty matters - i.e. class times, events etc:
Authorised Senior Management upon approval

 

All key spokespersons for the University must undertake media training.

Responsibility

Authorised spokespeople

Expert Commentary

The University recognises and protects the concept and practice of freedom of opinion and expression as essential to the proper conduct of teaching, research and the pursuit of scholarship. This right carries with it the duty of staff to use the freedom in a manner consistent with a responsible and honest search for knowledge and truth, grounded in scholarly evidence. Within the ambit of freedom of opinion and expression lies the traditional role of the University in providing informed comment on societal mores and practice, and in challenging held beliefs, policies and structures.

In engaging with the media, expert commentators can expect the support of the University. This does not imply endorsement of a particular view put forward, but means that their right to speak as a University staff member in their area(s) of expertise will be upheld.

When a comment or media statement based on scholarly evidence or professional expertise may cause offence to a stakeholder in or of the University, staff members should consult their senior manager and the Office of Marketing & Communications or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA), who will consult with the relevant Senior Executive (as necessary) before communicating with the media or public. This will allow the University to exercise its duty of care to staff members and students who otherwise may be the subject of a public controversy, as well as effectively manage the University's stakeholder relations.

It is not acceptable for University staff to engage with the media or public in any activity or comment that is designed to bring the University into disrepute.

Where public comments are offered by staff as members of the University it is expected that the comments will relate directly to the individual area(s) of expertise of their appointments. In that case, staff members may use the University's name and give the title of their University appointment in order to establish their credentials. This does not restrict the right of a staff member to freely express opinions in their private capacity as an individual member of society, but statements made in this context should not include the University's name, or the title of the staff member's University appointment.

The above should be read in conjunction with the Social Media Policy and Procedures and the Conduct and Compliance Procedures - Representing Monash (Public Utterances).

For further guidance on expert commentary please contact the Media & Communications Unit at media@monash.edu

Responsibility

Members of the University community
Associate Director, Media & Communications

www.monash.edu/news

1. In Australia the Office of Marketing & Communications M&C Unit manages the operation of the www.monash.edu/news section. In South Africa Advancement and Corporate Affairs manages the operation of the http://www.monash.ac.za/news/ section. All news articles and media releases for the Monash University website (including faculty websites following the web presence project) should be submitted to the M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) either via designated faculty communications staff members (who uploaded into the news database) or by contacting a member of the M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) directly. 2. Staff members are encouraged to write opinion pieces as mentioned in Expert Commentary for use on the Monash website or to be pitched externally and opinion pieces may be submitted to the M&C Unit or Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA) at any time. Members of those units are available to assist experts with their pieces.

Responsibility

Members of the University community
Associate Director, Media & Communications
Executive Director, Advancement and Corporate Affairs (MSA)

Content Enquiries: Monash Media

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