News Media Protocol
Cooperation with the media is an important part of the Bibb County School District's relationship with the local community. The public needs to understand our policies, plan and programs, and the news media can help us reach Bibb County. In working with the news media, as with other organizations, it is important that district employees conduct themselves in a professional manner. This protocol provides some basic rules to assist in the orderly transfer of information and to protect district employees and students.
Access to a school or school grounds when students are present by news media representatives requires approval of the Communications Department. News media representatives must contact the Communications Department.
Media Contacts with District Employees
Once approved by the Communications Department, district employees may speak directly with the news media. The following topics cannot be discussed:
- Information or questions about school employees;
- Information or questions about students;
- Disciplinary proceedings against an employee or a student;
- Matters in litigation or matters that may result in litigation;
- Potential criminal matters or criminal investigations;
- Investigations by District personnel; or
- Matters turned over to other persons with the District for handling.
In such cases, the district employee approached by the news media representative should not provide information or give an interview. For his/her own protection, the employee should refer the representative to the Communications Department.
School employees may not be interviewed without their permission.
News Media Contacts with Students
News media representatives often want student perspectives. Communications will provide guidance for students. Students must be willing to be interviewed and comfortable. Be sure to check the parent release form to ensure that there is no parent restriction on student news media contacts. The principal or assistant principal should always be present during student contact with news media representatives.
Press Releases and Media Advisories
The Communications Department will be responsible for making the media aware of events taking place in the schools and the district. When planning events at your school for which you would like to request the media's presence, please provide the Communications Department with as many details about the event as possible. Who, what, when, where, and why the media would be interested - these are all helpful details when sending notice of events to the media.
Requests for press releases and media invites should be made in a timely manner to allow the Communications Department time to invite the media or to schedule a representative from the district's TV station to attend the event.
The Communications Department publishes a newsletter and social media items throughout the school year. Photos and detailed information should be emailed to the Communications Department within 2 weeks of an event. When submitting items for publication, please submit photos as separate .jpeg attachments in the email. Photos should be clear and should not have any text over the images. Please make sure all students in the photos have media release approval.
A representative from each school should be identified to serve as the school's webmaster. Each school's website should be updated regularly to ensure information is accurate and current. Information that should be posted to school websites includes, but is not limited to, the following: school address and contact information, principal and assistant principals' names, bell times, school supply lists, dress codes, administrator bios and welcome messages, and updated calendar information.