Media Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 14 May 2013 and incorporates all amendments to 12 February 2015.

Section 2 - Purpose

(2) To enable the University to manage effectively interaction with the media, promote the University consistent with its strategic plan, and build the University's reputation.

Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all University staff and all types of media (including, press, radio, television, social media, etc.).

Section 4 - Policy

(4) In accordance with the Academic Freedom Policy, the University recognises and values the tenets of academic freedom as central to its endeavours in scholarship, teaching and research and is committed to its promotion and protection within the University. It supports the right of its scholars to engage in critical inquiry and robust and unfettered critical debate which extends to engagement with the media. In their exercise of academic freedom staff and associates must at all times comply with the requirements for personal and professional behaviour in the Code of Conduct.

(5) Academic staff are encouraged to engage freely with the media in their areas of expertise, but on politically or socially sensitive issues, they are encouraged to seek the advice of the Media Relations and Corporate Communications Unit.

(6) Academic staff may make other public comments as long as the staff member makes it plain he or she does not represent the University when making these comments.

(7) All media enquiries to non-academic staff, including requests by and invitations to media to visit Deakin campuses, must be referred in the first instance to the University's External Relations Unit. University spokespersons will be briefed by the Media Relations and Corporate Communications Unit to make public comment on matters of University policy or University management decisions.

(8) All media engagement initiated by the University, including the issuing of media releases, should be coordinated with the University's Media Relations and Corporate Communications Unit.

(9) The University recognises the use of and participation in social media to learn, advocate, collaborate, exchange and contribute information and ideas. Social media is recognised by the University as a key channel for remaining active, aware and fully engaged with its students, staff and communities.

(10) Use of social media by University staff and students, where there is a connection with the University, must comply with this and all relevant University policies and procedures. Use of social media will have a connection with the University in each of the following circumstances:

  1. if the social media account is established or used as an official University social media channel;
  2. if the social media is accessed using University information technology systems or equipment;
  3. if it is clear there is an affiliation between a staff member or student and the University on the site; or
  4. if the content of the social media is specifically about the University or its staff or students, in whole or in part.

(11) The University will authorise and maintain social media accounts and channels according to specific criteria, as outlined in the Social Media Procedure.

Public comment

(12) In accordance with the Code of Conduct and the Academic Freedom Policy the University supports the right of its scholars to engage in critical inquiry and robust and unfettered critical debate which extends to engagement with the media, including social media. The views expressed are the views of the academic staff even though an affiliation with the University is indicated. Views on behalf of the University can only be expressed by officials and executives because of the position they hold or by other University staff if specifically authorised to do so.

(13) Academic staff are encouraged to engage freely with the media in their areas of expertise, but on politically or socially sensitive issues, they are encouraged to seek the advice of the Government and Media Relations Unit. Academic staff may make other public comments on social media as long as the staff member makes it plain he or she does not represent the University when making these comments.

(14) All enquiries regarding the use of all media to non-academic staff, including requests by and invitations to media to visit Deakin campuses, must be referred in the first instance to the University's Media Relations and Corporate Communications Unit. University spokespersons will be briefed by the Media Relations and Corporate Communications Unit to make public comment on matters of University policy or University management decisions.

Personal use

(15) Personal use of social media accounts via the University's internet, intranet and extranet systems, by staff members must be in accordance with the University's information technology policies.

(16) Staff and students who use social media sites in their private lives are responsible for the content of comments and posts on these sites. In accordance with the Code of Conduct and the Student Code of Conduct, staff, associates and students of the University must not, when using media or social media sites for private purposes, bring the University into disrepute, and should take care to avoid activity that could damage their good standing with the University.

Section 5 - Procedure

(17) Refer to the Social Media Procedure.

Section 6 - Definitions

(18) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Media: traditional and new media including print, television, radio and online forums (including but not limited to news sites, comment boards, social networking sites, blogs, podcasts).
  2. Social media: Internet and mobile-based channels and tools that allow users to interact, share opinions and content - via written comments, video or audio files - and encourage participation and engagement in building communities or networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube).
  3. Social media account: a user profile established on a social media platform for the purpose of official social media use.