This policy has been developed to provide department employees with guidance as they engage with journalists and the media.
Changes since previous version
- Policy statement
- The department works with the media to inform the public about our work, promote our achievements and advocate for our goals.
- The department’s media unit is the central point of contact for journalists seeking information from the department.
- Where information or public comment is requested or required, the media unit determines the most appropriate response and spokesperson.
- School-based staff
- Principals are encouraged to engage constructively with their local media and are trusted to manage local media relations on positive matters such as school events and achievements.
- Advice and assistance on engaging with media – such as tips for writing media releases, managing media visits, and performing well in media interviews – is available from the department’s media unit to all principals or their nominated delegate.
- Parental permission must be obtained if students are to be photographed, filmed, interviewed or otherwise identified by the media. Permission pro-formas are available from the media unit.
- All enquiries from metropolitan media and all contentious enquiries (from local or metro media) should be directed to the media unit. A matter is contentious if it is likely to attract widespread criticism or argument in the media and/or lead to significant policy and resourcing issues – if unsure, please contact the media unit to discuss.
- Incidents that are likely to generate media enquiries should be reported to the media unit as soon as possible. The media unit will provide advice and support.
- Corporate staff
- All media enquiries should be directed to the media unit.
- All staff are encouraged to identify initiatives that have the potential to generate positive media coverage and to send these to the media unit through their director or the director’s nominated delegate.
- All staff are to identify issues that are likely to generate contentious media enquiries and to report these to the media unit through their director or the director’s nominated delegate. Contact the media unit to discuss the matter if you’re unsure whether it is contentious or not.
- Audience and applicability
- This policy applies to all staff employed by the Department of Education including staff in schools as well as all casual, temporary and contract staff.
- Assisting schools and corporate staff to identify and promote the department’s achievements is critical to the advancement of the department’s work.
- In a large and diverse department, referral of contentious issues to the media unit ensures an accurate, timely and consistent response is provided.
- This policy should be read and interpreted in conjunction with:
- Responsibilities and delegations
- Senior executive and workplace managers are required to ensure this policy is understood by staff working within their area of control.
- Principals are responsible for local media engagement on positive school matters. Where a principal is unsure of the nature of a particular matter (positive or contentious), they should liaise with the media unit.
- It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that effective media relations are maintained in order to maximise the benefits of media coverage and minimise the risk of media misrepresentation for the department.
- Monitoring and review
- The Executive Director, Communication and Engagement monitors the implementation of this policy, regularly reviews its contents to ensure relevance and accuracy, and updates it as necessary.
02 7814 3518