Media policy

Policy Number TI-A-137 Effective Date 24 March 2016 Review Date 31 December 2016

Purpose

This policy sets protocols for dealing with the media and responding to media enquiries across NSW Department of Industry.

Communicating with the media informs the public of the work and policies of the department and is important to achieving our strategic objectives.

Scope

The policy applies to all divisions and authorities within NSW Department of Industry.  It applies to all ongoing/term/casual/ temporary/seconded employees and private contractors/consultants who may interact with the media within the department's areas of responsibility.  It applies to all forms of media interaction, including verbal, written or electronic (other than social media which must be done in accordance with the Social Media Policy).

It does not apply to emergency event response (e.g. animal disease, foodborne outbreak, flood or fire).  In the event of an emergency, standard emergency management practices are invoked.

Policy

  1. Initiating contact with the media. You must not initiate contact with the media unless authorised by a delegated officer.
  2. Approval: You must direct any media enquiries to your relevant media team to ensure that the department's response is accurate, coordinated, consistent and in accordance with the Code of Conduct. You must not attempt to respond to the enquiry under any circumstances without approval from your relevant media team.
  3. Media releases: All NSW Department of Industry media releases, or joint releases mentioning the department or its divisions, must be approved by the Executive Director, Communications & Engagement (or delegate) and the Secretary (or delegate) and must be issued by the relevant media team. The relevant logo should be included on the media release as per branding guidelines.
  4. Ministerial workflow: Any draft media material prepared for a minister's office is to be provided via the relevant media team.
  5. Media interviews: Only spokespeople approved by the Executive Director Communications & Engagement are permitted to speak to or be interviewed by media outlets.
  6. Operational matters: Where professional officers are requested to provide comment directly on operational matters, they are permitted to respond to requests within their acknowledged area of professional expertise, only after consultation with the relevant media team.
  7. Public information and events: Where issues of significant public interest or government policy are to be discussed in a public forum, employees must inform the relevant media director at least one week prior to the event. Employees should provide advance warning of the likelihood of contentious issues. Examples include court cases, ongoing public criticism of an issue, protests, conflict between stakeholders, complaints, exotic or emerging plant and animal diseases and issues that involve other government departments. Alternatively if in unforseen circumstances, media has attended an event where comments or a presentation from an employee has been made, employees must advise the Executive Director Communications & Engagement as soon as possible.
  8. Integrity: Employees are to present the policies and decisions of the department and the government of the day in an impartial manner. Media requests for information must be responded to with honesty, accuracy and in a prompt manner via the relevant media team.

Procedures

Divisional protocols for staff dealing with the media.

Roles and responsibilities

Relevant media teams:

  • responsible for all interaction with the media
  • responsible for drafting all media releases and obtaining relevant executive or ministerial approval to issue releases
  • can advise and assist staff in responding to requests for information and the formulation of pro-active media and communications opportunities/campaigns

Approved spokespeople:

  • can interact with media on issues approved by the relevant media team
  • are encouraged to participate in media training as organised by the relevant media team

Employee:

  • must direct any media enquiries to the relevant media team
  • must raise any potential media issues with their relevant media team
  • must comply with the department's code of conduct when dealing with the media
  • encouraged to contact their relevant media team with opportunities for pro-active/positive media stories

Delegations

Approve:

1) media spokespeople:

  • Executive Director Communications & Engagement

2) media releases and responses to media inquiries content and distribution:

  • Executive Director Communications & Engagement (or delegate)
  • Secretary, NSW Department of Industry (or delegate)

3) initiating contact with the media

  • Executive Director Communications & Engagement

Legislation

  • Nil

Related policies

  • Code of Conduct
  • Social media

Other related documents

  • Nil

Definitions

Media: Organisations that prepare or disseminate mass media information, including reporters, journalists and researchers working for or on behalf of such organisations.

Significant issue: Any local, state, or national issue that can be expected to generate substantial media interest.

Operational issues: Routine, non-contentious matters that do not involve comment on government policy.

Superseded documents

  • Dealing with the media A-002
  • Media Policy - NSW Office of Water 2009
Revision history
Version Date issued Notes By
1.0 27/07/2012 New policy developed for new Trade & Investment structure Manager, Corporate Communications
2.0 07/04/2014 Scheduled policy review Principal Communications Officer
3.024/03/2016Administrative amendments made to reflect new organisational structureCommunications Officer

Review date

April 2016

Contacts

Communications & Engagement Branch