Information about responding to media requests

UVA Community
Ian Baucom, Provost, J.J. Davis, COO, and Robyn Hadley, Dean of Students

To the University Community, 

We have received many questions over the past few days about how members of our community can navigate the significant volume of requests for interviews and information coming from news media both here on Grounds and around the world. 

In the wake of this tragedy, it is reasonable and expected that so many members of the media are reporting about the shooting and its aftermath. It is also likely that some members of our community may find it beneficial to share their story or perspective with the media, which they are certainly free to do. 

With that in mind, below are some tips and guidance that we hope you will find useful in the event that you are approached by news media in-person or via phone, text, email, or social media. 

First, while University community members are free to speak to the press, no one is required to do so. If you are approached for an interview or a request for information, it is perfectly reasonable to reply that you prefer not to speak at this time. If a member of the media approaches you in a classroom, academic building, or private residence, it is appropriate to ask them to leave. 

The University has communicated with members of the media who are covering the University this week and asked them to offer our students, faculty, and staff the space and respect they need to process their grief and go about their daily lives. 

Additionally, for those individuals who may have witnessed important elements of the tragic shooting and have or will be interviewed by criminal investigators, we ask you to consider speaking to investigators before making public statements, so as to protect the integrity of that investigation. 

If you do decide to conduct an interview with a journalist, it is perfectly acceptable to bring a friend along with you if that would make the experience more comfortable. 

In the midst of this terrible event, the presence of news media on our Grounds can feel overwhelming, and we have received reports of reporters overstepping their bounds over the past few days. With that being said, most of the journalists who are covering our community right now are doing the important work of keeping the public informed about this tragedy and how we are coping with it together. 

If you have questions or concerns about news media on Grounds, please contact University Communications. Our top concern is creating the environment our students, faculty, and, staff need to reckon with this tragedy and begin to heal together. 


Ian Baucom
Executive Vice President and Provost

Jennifer “J.J.” Davis
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer

Robyn Hadley 
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
Dean of Students