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Guidelines for Media Enquiries
December 4, 2015

This notice is intended to provide basic information for press on how the U.S. Embassy handles the media – including Malaysian, third country, and U.S. press.

The Embassy Press Office can arrange interviews and backgrounders with very little lead time. Our Information Resource Center is also available to the press to provide additional topical and background information.

The primary point of contact for all media seeking information from members of the Mission is the Mission’s Press Office. Please contact us at 03-2168 5000.

Ground Rules for Media Interviews 

The U.S. Embassy uses the following ground rules for its press interactions. These definitions also prevail in the United States:

On-the-record means that the media representative may use the U.S. official’s name and title and quote him or her directly. Generally, only the Ambassador or spokesperson will give on-the-record interviews, though Section Heads are often called upon for their expertise.

On Background means the journalist may use direct quotes or any information provided, but may not use the official’s actual name or title. The interviewee is generally cited as “an American/Western diplomat” or “foreign observer” or “source.” The specific term to be used should be clearly set out in the ground rules.

Deep Background means no attribution may be given for the information, even in general terms, but may be used in qualifying phrases, such as “it is understood…” or “it has been learned that…”

Off the record means that the journalist cannot directly use the information provided. It is offered to improve his/her understanding of an issue, but is not for publication or broadcast.