The Awareness in Reporting initiative was conceived nearly two years ago. Its planning continued through the months, including last summer, when NAB sponsored a panel covering race and ethnicity at the joint conference of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ). That discussion was followed by a gathering of broadcast and news industry leaders, who explored and expanded on themes generated during the NABJ/NAHJ panel discussion. Over the ensuing months, the toolkit began to take shape. We invited input from leading voices on journalism diversity and journalism educators.
The Reporting on Race Toolkit, the first to be published, includes ideas that can be implemented at a corporate level by station managers and in newsrooms. The primary goals are better journalism, maintaining the appearance of fairness and the wellbeing of field reporting teams.
Each toolkit will take into account that stations serve different market sizes and demographics. They will offer practical, easily executable suggestions that can be applied in various regions of the country and market sizes, keeping in mind that no two stations' needs are exactly the same. These toolkits can form the basis of formal newsroom training programs, be used during staff discussions or serve as a guide as stories unfold.
The Reporting on Race Toolkit is divided into six sections, beginning with an introduction and followed by ideas for news management; reporters, producers and writers; photojournalists; and corporate leaders. Areas encompassed in the suggestions range from story development to maintaining safety during tense or volatile situations.
As work on this initiative progresses, we will publish additional toolkits. Ideally, however, none of the work is ever completed as we view this as an ongoing, organic process that takes into consideration the evolving dynamics of covering sensitive topics. To keep this content current, we will continue to seek the input of NAB member stations, professional industry organizations, industry leaders and journalism educators.
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