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Policy on Communicating with the News Media

Statement of Principle: As a public university, Eastern Connecticut State University has a responsibility to keep the public informed of its activities, through the University’s own publications and through the news media. Being responsive to news media inquiries by providing accurate and timely information is critical to fulfilling this important responsibility.

Procedure: The Office of University Relations serves as the central point of contract in coordinating all news and information to be released by the University to the news media. To ensure consistent and timely communications with the press:

  1. The Office of University Relations will encourage the news media to contact that office when seeking information or comment from the University.
  2. When the news media requests information or comment, the Director of University Relations will decide who is the most appropriate person to speak to the issue at hand.
  3. In instances where an official University statement or comment is requested or is in the best interests of the University, the Director of University Relations will work with the appropriate administrator or faculty member to develop the statement, clear it as necessary with management, and release the statement to the news media.
  4. When information not requiring an official University statement is requested, the Office of University Relations will gather and provide the information to the news media, or will direct the reporter to the appropriate department or individual.
  5. When reporters request an interview with a University official, the Office of University Relations will schedule and coordinate the interview.
  6. When members of the news media contact individual staff members for comment regarding University matters, staff members are asked to refer the media inquiry to the Director of University Relations for disposition.
  7. This policy does not abrogate the faculty’s right to address the news media on issues unrelated to University policy or official business. The University welcomes media inquiries that seek expert opinion from faculty and staff. Faculty comments to the news media are only subject to prior review by the administration if the intention is to address official University policy or to speak officially on behalf of the University. In such instances, faculty should notify the Office of University Relations to ensure proper coordination of the University’s response.
  8. In instances where faculty and staff are contacted by the news media on non-policy issues, the Office of University Relations is available on request to provide support and assistance.

Edward H. Osborn
Director of University Relations
September 2005