Student Journalism Guide

At EFA we constantly receive requests for comment in the media on issues within the association’s scope. Because we have a history of championing the rights of users of networking services such as the Internet, and because of the large representation of younger people in that group of Australians, we receive a large quantity of journalism students who request that we answer questions either for research purposes or in the form of an interview.

Subject to the board’s other priorities, we respond to student journalism requests as promptly and with as much detail as possible.  We’ve jotted down a few guidelines for journalism students and student journalists (either those enrolled in a journalism course, or those working on a campus radio station or news paper).  If you read through these before contacting us, you’ll make it even easier for us to assist you and subsequently you can expect a better quality result with more time before your deadline.

  1. Please do not misrepresent yourself.  It is not only unnecessary to pretend you are a technology journalist with an established career at a large publication, it is unethical and academic misconduct.
  2. Please consider what the association’s stance is likely to be on issues before asking questions about them.  A question on whether the association supports Internet censorship or recording of Internet communications without a warrant  makes for a boring article because they’re self-evident.  Answers to questions about why the association’s position is what it is, are much more likely to be of interest to your readers or those marking your assignments.
  3. We are all forgetful sometimes, and on occasion that forgetfulness has negative consequences.  One of the negative consequences of forgetting you had an assignment until the night before it’s due, is that it’s unlikely an EFA spokesperson will be able to assist you in a timeframe that will allow you to meet your deadline.
  4. While you are being marked on your final result and not your grammar and spelling in your request for an interview, it has been the case where we have genuinely been unable to understand the questions we were being asked, and on seeking clarification, we were unable to understand the response.  Please try to articulate your questions clearly.  If we can’t understand you no matter how hard we try, we can’t help you.
  5. Please familiarise yourself with our website.  Many, many of the questions we are asked are answered in detail on there.
  6. Finally, please have a look at the section of our FAQ which starts with student advice, and our ISP filtering fact sheets.  Unlike a lot of FAQs that are the questions the authors would like people to ask them (how awesome is your product!) these are questions that we are asked all the time, and answer constantly.  The fact sheets cover a lot of detail about the proposal, and our response to it.

Once you are familiar with these notes on how to get the best result for both yourself and us, email the media address and we’ll help you out.

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