Media Relations Policy

Version of 10th April 2012

Background

1. Internet Australia frequently interacts with official and unofficial media.

2. In some circumstances, Internet Australia initiates contact, typically through media releases, but also in conversations with individuals known to be active in reporting on relevant topics.

3. In other circumstances, media people initiate contact. In some cases, the purpose is to gain a background briefing, and in others to get ‘quotable quotes’.

4. This document expresses the organisation’s policy on dealing with the media.

5. These policies relate to statements that are made in a person’s Internet Australia role. They do not purport to affect statements made by a person who has an Internet Australia role but who is making the statement in some other capacity – subject to the proviso that this is made clear to the media person.

Policies re Dealing with the Media

6. No person is to make a statement that purports to be made in an Internet Australia capacity unless it is sanctioned in a manner consistent with this policy document.

7. Any Board member can speak to the media in their role as an Internet Australia Officer or Board member, but subject to the following provisos:

a. where the Board, or pro tem the President, has nominated an Internet Australia spokesperson, avoid speaking on the topic, and instead pass the media on to that nominee

b. on Internet Australia internal matters (such as budgets, elections, and membership numbers), avoid speaking on the topic, and instead pass the media on to the President or VP

c. speak only on matters on which you have sufficient expertise, and sufficient knowledge about any prior Internet Australia statements in the area

d. except where relevant Internet Australia policy exists, ensure that the interviewer understands that the statements are not by Internet Australia but by you, in your role as a Board member of Internet Australia

e. to the extent that relevant Internet Australia policy exists:

    • communicate that policy
    • clearly distinguish statements that are Internet Australia policy from statements that go beyond it and that are comments of the Board-member rather than of Internet Australia

f. do not make statements that are in direct conflict with relevant Internet Australia policy. For clarity, a statement such as “our policy has been X, but we might need to reconsider that now” is not in direct conflict, i.e. that is okay

8. The Board can nominate a spokesperson on any topic, and generally does so by brisk email consensus between meetings.

9. It is normal, but not necessary, for a person nominated as a spokesperson to have an official Internet Australia role, in particular Board-member but also SIG Leader or Committee member.

10. any urgency or sensitivity exists, the President has the delegated authority to nominate a spokesperson by email to the Board list.

Policies re Media Releases

11. proposed Media Release must be exposed in draft to the Board.

12. Because most Media Releases are produced under time-constraints, the Board typically provides in-principle approval to a draft, i.e. some support and no material objections from anyone, and delegates to a nominee as lead-author / editor and to a nominee (commonly the President) as the authority for its release.

13. Media Releases use a designated Template and style, take advantage of lists of relevant media organisations and individuals, are published on the Internet Australia website, and are promoted to both the relevant media and to members.