Contact with the media
When you are contacted for an interview or asked for information by the media, there is a lot to consider. Follow the tips and advice below in your media contacts.
- Be clear about your main message
- Use straightforward and simple language
- Pursuant to the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression, anyone has the right to express themselves in the media. They may also do so anonymously. We recommend that you, within your department or research team, discuss who wants to have contact with the media. It does not necessarily have to be a professor, as they may be difficult to reach.
- If a journalist wants your expert opinion, it is of course perfectly acceptable to ask in what context your remarks will be used. Be prepared that the journalist will be in a hurry and may want to conduct the interview immediately or on the same day.
- If you need to reflect on what to say, it is fine to ask for the opportunity to get back to the journalist shortly. You can also give them the name of a colleague who is better informed than yourself.
- In case of a TV or radio interview (but not live broadcast) and you feel you want to change your answer to a question – ask for a break in the interview, take a moment to think about it and, if necessary, rephrase. TV/radio journalists are generally used to this.
- In case of a live interview – consider your main messages and prepare for likely questions. Before both recorded or live broadcast interviews, you can request to review the questions with the journalist in advance so that you are more prepared. It is in both parties’ interest that the interview is as good as possible.
- In interviews for the purpose of demanding accountability, you cannot expect to receive the questions in advance.
- You can request to read your comments, or have them read to you, before they are published. Agree on this in advance, and remember that the journalist working on a tight schedule. When it comes to recorded interviews, you cannot expect to see/hear the segment before it is broadcast or published online.
- After the interview – feel free to offer the journalist additional facts/information and be available to them in case of any follow-up questions. This increases the chances of the article or piece being accurate.
- Pursuant to the principle of public access to official documents, all documents which cannot be classified as working documents or confidential, are to be accessible to the mass media.
- If you notice an error, start by contacting the journalist you spoke to and request a correction. Be sure to have an open dialogue and consider the severity of the error before requesting a correction.
- Depending on your message/topic, you may need to consider whether you need to communicate in more ways than through the media, e.g. internally with your colleagues or to external target groups.
- If you need advice, please contact the press managers or communication managers within the relevant organisation of Lund University
Page Manager: eva [dot] andersson [at] kommunikation [dot] lu [dot] se
28 September 2018