Scientists supported by NASA grants and contracts are required to release newsworthy information through NASA channels. NASA has "first right of refusal" for such items. NASA has a policy to distribute all information and news fairly and equitably. This policy also means that exclusive news releases are not supportable.
Scientists with potentially newsworthy observations are encouraged to contact the CXC Science Spokesman directly or through the public affairs office (PAO) of their organization. CXC and NASA HQ will coordinate with the PIs, or PAO in the preparation of a draft news release and other ancillary materials such as photo captions and sample images for submission to NASA HQ.
After approval (in 48 hours or less) of the press release by NASA HQ , CXC and NASA HQ will coordinate with the PI home university Public Information Office to set a date for release. The press release date will be timed to coincide with acceptance of the research for publication in a science journal, or presentation at a major astronomical meeting. If results are particularly significant, the PI might be asked to participate in a televised press conference broadcast from NASA HQ.
If the scientific results warrant announcement in an IAU telegram, PI's are advised to contact the CXC Science Spokesman before the telegram is issued. Under such special circumstances, it may be possible to issue a press release within 24 hours of notification.
The following guidelines will apply to the dissemination of news for results of various degrees of news worthiness:
For major newsworthy discoveries of importance to the general public, a Space Science Update press conference will be held at NASA HQ. This would involve NASA-Select TV, a televised press conference, e-mail list server, World Wide Web, and a video news release.
Significant, newsworthy scientific results of importance to the general public would be distributed via electronic news and press photo releases by e-mail list server, World Wide Web, and video news release.
A Chandra image of interest for largely aesthetic or educational reasons, but with no hard news value would be distributed by e-mail list server, and the World Wide Web.
If NASA decides not to participate in a press release, the press release can be distributed independently or jointly by the PI institution and/or the CXC, as per mutual agreement.Contacts:
Megan Watzke, CXC Press Officer
For Space Science Update (SSU) inquiries:
Dr. Peter Edmonds, Chandra Press Scientist