There is a bigger discussion needed here than just gathering some
volunteers to appear on TV. We need to work out how we want to handle
press in the UK, with relation to the (imminent) new chapter. There
are two ways we can talk to the press, as volunteers speaking just for
just ourselves and as representatives of Wikimedia UK speaking for the
chapter (obviously, no-one is authorised to speak for WMF, we'll leave
that to them). We need to decide when press work should be handled
under each category, and who should do it. Obviously, anyone can speak
for themselves and they can say what they like.

Speaking for the chapter can be done by anyone the board chooses, but
the real question is who decides what to say. Should individual board
members, or even non-board press contacts, be able to decide for
themselves what do say or should the board determine an official
position, which then gets presented by whoever does the interview
(obviously the person doing the interview needs a certain amount of
leeway otherwise it doesn't work, but the basic idea of what the
official position is can be decided in advance)? The answer is
probably somewhere in the middle - whether the board should decide
something together depends on how important it is (David's example of
a local paper wanting a statement on a piece of vandalism would be an
example of something that whoever answers the phone can just respond
to off the cuff, whereas if the chapter wanted to make a statement
about the IWF block that would probably require a little more thought
and collaboration) and also time constraints (it's not necessarily
practical to have a full board meeting before issuing a press
statement). Major events will end up with multiple people talking to
the press, so it is important that everyone speaking for the chapter
is singing from the same hymn sheet. Perhaps the board should delegate
determining an official position (when there isn't time for a board
meeting) to the Chair and Communications Officer. They can talk on the
phone and work out what needs to be said and then the Communications
Officer can pass that on to whoever is actually talking to the press
(presumably the comm officer would be responsible for assigning people
to requests for interviews).

So, that's my (slight vague) suggestion for how to handle official
statements. The remaining question is when to make official
statements. Do we want to do everything officially through the
chapter, or would it be better in certain cases to leave it to the
community to do less formally? One problem with having some things
done unofficially would be working out who does them - a member of the
Wikimedia UK board, for example, can't really speak unofficially about
things related to Wikimedia, anything they said would be taken as an
official statement. The same may apply to non-board press contacts
that are regularly authorised to speak for the chapter - if
journalists get used to David, say, making official statements (I
don't know what relationship David will have with the new chapter, but
it's plausible that he may serve as an official press contact) then
they may get rather confused if he makes an unofficial, personal
statement on a given topic. Are there likely to be people willing and
able to go on record as "a random Wikipedia contributor" that aren't
also closely linked to the chapter? Possibly not. For that reason, it
may be best to do everything through the chapter. Can anyone think of
a situation where the community would want to talk to the press but it
would be inadvisable for the chapter to make a statement? (I can think
of one - the WMF going rogue. The chapter agreement involves the
chapter agreeing to refrain from "engaging in any activity that might
negatively impact the work or image of the Wikimedia Foundation."
which would prevent the chapter from being able to represent the views
of the community if those views were very anti-WMF, in which case the
chapter would have to keep quiet and let the community handle it. Of
course, this is a very unlikely scenario - does anyone have a more
likely one or is it a situation we can safely ignore?)

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