Loyola’s department of University of Marketing and Communication (UMC) drafted a change to its media policy, following editorials by The Phoenix Editorial Board which voiced concern over the previous media policy.
The department revised the policy to make it clear faculty and administrators are allowed to respond to requests from news media representatives on their own, without first being required to go through UMC, which the policy previously stated. Members of the administration met with employees in the School of Communication and The Phoenix’s editor-in-chief Henry Redman to discuss the policy in the weeks since the editorial.
“Loyola faculty are encouraged to respond to requests from the media regarding their research, scholarship, and/or professional expertise,” the policy reads. “UMC can also assist in coordinating interviews as needed.”
The editorials argued the previous media policy prevented the university’s administration from being transparent, or held accountable to give accurate and timely information to reporters, since the only point of contact was through UMC.
The Phoenix also reported outside sources advocating for a change in the media policy, such as a petition started by professors in Loyola’s School of Communication and an open letter to President Jo Ann Rooney from Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.
Rooney said she was pleased with the progress made with the changes made to the media policy after vice president for UMC Jeremy Langford met Redman and the interim dean of the School of Communication John Slania.
“This resulted in a working draft of the policy, written in collaboration with Interim Provost [Margaret Faut] Callahan, Interim Dean Slania, Student Media Manager Dr. Ralph Braseth, Jeremy, and myself,” Rooney said.
The policy defines news media as newspapers, magazines, newsletters, online publications, student media and broadcast outlets such as radio, television and podcasts.
If any faculty member wants to promote news coverage regarding a program, event or achievement, the policy directs them to contact UMC for help in coordinating any publicity.
Parts of the policy are still currently under review, according to the department. A task force of students, administrators, faculty members and professional journalists will be finalized to begin working on writing a completed policy after spring break.