Speaking to the media — guidelines and practices

The initial point of contact for members of the media is typically the communications coordinator (Kirsten Bosnak), who provides background information, assists with story angle if needed, and may direct members of the media to contact specific researchers according to their areas of expertise.

KU has established Media Guidelines and Practices for the university, which you may want to review. In general, follow the practices outlined below when speaking with the media. Please use professional judgment in making decisions regarding the content of interviews.

  • Do give interviews: Researchers at every level are highly encouraged to respond to requests for interviews by the media regarding their areas of expertise, and their research projects and products. However, they are not spokespersons for the overall research center.

  • Let others know: Please inform your supervisor/director and the communications coordinator if you are interviewed so they will be aware of forthcoming news.

  • Staff members check with directors: Staff members in individual labs should check with lab directors if they receive a request for an interview regarding research in that lab, or other information about our research center or the Field Station.

  • Make sure reporters have your correct title and the full name of the research center: If you are interviewed, please make sure that the reporter has the correct title you hold at our research center and that they know the full name of the research center: Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research.

  • The director is the spokesperson for the research center: The director (Sara Baer) is the sole spokesperson for the Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research; no other person, unless designated by the director, represents the unit in speaking with the media. Administrative staff members may provide background information to reporters and, in unusual time-sensitive situations in the absence of the director, provide basic information about the research center.

  • Interviews regarding the KU Field Station: The director of the research center (Sara Baer) and the director of the KU Field Station (Bryan Foster) are spokespersons for the Field Station; no other person, unless designated by one of them, represents the Field Station in speaking with the media. There will be instances in which the Field Station manager (Sheena Parsons) and the education program coordinator (Wendy Holman) are interviewed by the media about specific information, projects and events. If you are interviewed regarding research or projects at the Field Station, please limit your responses to your research and experiences there.