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Act 4, 2023 – Media Spokesperson

The General Assembly, seeking to revise and update the terms of appointment of the Media Officer, enact and ordain as follows:  

1.General Requirements. The Media Officer shall be a Minister or Elder of the Free Church of Scotland.

1.1 The Media Officer shall be an effective communicator, comfortable in dealing with members of the press and other media, and a competent writer in popular style.

2. Appointment. The Media Officer shall be appointed by the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Board of Trustees.

2.1. Appointments Group.The Appointments Group will be responsible for managing the process of filling vacancies that arise in the post of Media Officer.

2.2. Term. The appointment shall be for a period of four years, renewable for a second and final four-year term.

2.3. Review. The Board shall initiate a review of the appointment six months before the first four-year term is due to end.

2.4. Re-appointment. The Board shall have the authority to re-appoint the incumbent Media Officer for the second four-year term.

2.5. Nominations. The Board shall seek nominations for a new appointment six months before the second and final four-year term is due to end.

3. The Role. The Media Officer shall work closely with the Communications Group and the Communications Manager.

3.1. Communications Group. The Media Officer shall be a member of the Communications Group, by virtue of appointment. 

3.2. Media Enquiries. The Media Officer shall be responsible for responding to inquiries from the media when an official position or statement requires to be made on behalf of the Church.

3.2.1. He shall do so in consultation with the Communications Manager in the first instance, and with the Communications Group as required.

3.2.2. He shall also consult with the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the Chair of the Communications Group, the Chief Executive Officer, and the Principal Clerk when the response to the enquiry bears upon the name and reputation of the Church.

3.2.3. He may refer to people with suitable expertise or knowledge within the Church before responding to enquiries and, to this end, in consultation with the Communications Group, shall keep an up-to-date list of those who may be consulted on a variety of issues.

3.2.4. He will work and consult with the Public Engagement Coordinator in all matters regarding public engagement. 

3.3. Legal & Disciplinary Matters. The Media Officer shall also be responsible for making public statements, and responding to enquiries, on any matters of a legal or disciplinary or other sensitive nature in consultation with the Communications Group.

3.3.1. He shall consult with, and have the approval of, the appropriate Church Court, Officer, or body before issuing any response or statement.

3.3.2. He shall also consult with the Moderator, the Principal Clerk of Assembly, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and the Chief Executive Officer before finalising a response or statement on such matters. 

3.4. Expenses. The expenses of the Media Officer in fulfilling the duties of the post shall be met out of the Board of Trustees budget, on application to the Chief Executive Officer.