When you meet the media
If you are contacted by a journalist, there are a few points that are worth bearing in mind to enable you to benefit from your media contacts and to make sure that what is published is correct.
When you get a request for an interview
- Think about whether you are the right person to answer the questions. Do you have insights into or knowledge of the subject? If not, say so to the journalist. Try to also say who they should contact instead.
- You do not need to answer questions straight off. If you want to have time to prepare yourself, you can ask to get back to them in a while. Agree an appointment when you will get back to them and keep that appointment.
- You can ask to get the questions in advance by email, so that you know what the interview will be about. You can also choose to answer by email.
- If you are quoted, you have to right to be allowed to read your quotes before publication, according to the press ethics rules. In general, tell the journalist right away in conjunction with the interview that you want to see them. Bear in mind that you only have the right to read your own quotes – if you are allowed to see the whole article, it is up to the journalist to determine whether they want to take account of comments on the rest of the text.
- You have no right to see and approve images before publication. But it is often possible to have a discussion with the journalist about this. If you are photographed, you should be clear at the time when the photos are taken about what kind of pictures you feel comfortable with.
- If you want a sounding board before the interview, you are welcome to contact the Communications Division:
Peter Ardell , press officer
David Callahan , international public information officer
Jill Klackenberg , management communications officer
Johanna Blomqvist , responsible for content and press work
The interview situation
Some pointers that can help with the interview itself:
- Take your time and think before answering. Don’t let the situation stress you.
- Think through who the target group are – it is not the journalist – and what you want to say to them.
- Express yourself in a simple way and avoid technical language as far as possible.
- Be clear and honest in your answers.
- If you get a question that you cannot answer, say so. Avoid speculating about questions that you are not familiar with, and refer the journalist to other people, when required.
- See the whole conversation as an interview and never talk “off the record”.
Freedom to communicate
As a public employee you have a constitutional right to give information and express personal opinions to the media. This is called freedom to communicate.
KTH will not, and must not, get involved in whether you use this right, and nor does KTH have the right to try to find out who has made use of it to say something. This is called prohibition of inquiries.