The Front Page: Disability Pride Month

It’s Friday, July 29th.

In celebration of Disability Pride Month, the University of California, Berkeley chapter of the Disabled Journalists Association has spent the past 30 days highlighting the work of disabled journalists, writers, and media makers on Twitter.

Some of the individuals spotlighted so far include Alice Wong, founder of the Disability Visibility Project; Shruti Rajkumar, co-host of the Disabled Standard; and Neelam Bohra, the New York Times’ disability reporting fellow.

The work in and of itself is incredible, but the thread also serves as a reminder that these issues deserve coverage outside of a designated month. More than 60 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability and it’s crucial that journalists center them in their reporting and that newsrooms hire disabled journalists. 

When disabled people aren’t consulted, outlets run the risk of publishing stories that make false assumptions about disabilities or leave disabled people out of the conversation, entirely. As s.e. smith, a founder of Disabled Writers, explains:

“Disabled people need to be considered as experts in their own right not just on disability, but their work, whether they’re bakers or astrophysicists or accessibility experts.”

Hiring and sourcing practices aside, the language we use to write about disability often lacks nuance and reinforces ableism, as was the case last year when the Associated Press’ updated their entries on disability. Using the Disability Language Style Guide when addressing questions on the topic is a small but important step in making sure available coverage isn’t part of the problem.

— Holly Rosewood


A Bit More Media

Q&A: Patrick Garvin — Alt text shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of tech staff. Patrick Garvin has created two Twitter bots, Accessibility Awareness and Alt Text Awareness, to help journalists learn about and implement best practices for web accessibility. Read more about the bots and Garvin’s tips for making progress here.

The Austin American-Statesman delivers (literally) — Though most Uvalde residents are Latino, many of whom prefer reading in Spanish, the Texas House Committee only published its report on the Robb Elementary School shooting in English. In response, the Statesman translated and distributed 10,000 Spanish copies of the 77-page report.

Remembering Tim Giago — Founder of the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA) and cofounder of the Lakota Times, Tim Gialgo died July 24. “I know generations of Indigenous journalists will look to his dogged dedication to the truth for decades to come,” said NAJA executive director Rebecca Landsberry-Baker.

How legacy publications normalize transphobia — The New York Times and J.K. Rowling have something in common, but it’s not the Best Sellers list. As Lexi McMenamin writes in Teen Vogue, the Times and other mainstream media outlets promote trans-exclusionary radical feminism (TERFism) by invoking “bothsiderism” in coverage of trans issues.

“Don’t Got the Beat” — Beyond being purported as “journalism on easy mode,” the crime beat can pose a real threat to communities and early career journalists, say Rebecca White and Valerie Osier on the RANGE podcast. For the sake of reporters, many of whom don’t have support for trauma they experience on the job, they call for an end to the crime beat.

The Latino Media Network — Eighteen Spanish-language radio stations in markets across the U.S. are now owned by the Latino Media Network, a “distribution and content-creation hub” created by Stephanie Valencia and Jess Morales Rocketto. “It’s not even just about making money. It’s about service to the community,” Morales Rocketto told the New Yorker.


Stay Up To Date 

5 days until … the 2022 NABJ-NAHJ Convention and Career Fair. ($$$) Onsite registration is available for this year’s four-day conference. 

5 days until … the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication 2022 Conference. ($$$) This year’s convention is in Detroit. 

12 days until … Are Hospitals Profiting By Shunning Patients of Color? The USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism hosts this free webinar.

What else should we feature? You tell us. Send an email to [email protected].


A few more resources

Looking for a job? Here are a few places to look: INN | ONA | JournalismJobs.com | 10 Jobs and a Dog | NABJ | AAJA | NAHJ | NLGJA | @WritersofColor | MEO Jobs | Freelance Journalist Rates | Source Jobs | Opportunities of the Week ($)   

How about a style guide? Trans Journalist Association | Diversity Style Guide | Tribal Nations Media Guide | NABJ Style Guide | Disability Language Style Guide | AAJA Guide to Covering Asian Pacific America | NAHJ Cultural Competence Handbook |  SPJ Race & Gender Hotline | AMEJA Media Resource Guide | The Press in Prison

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We’ll have more for you soon. 

This issue is by Holly Rosewood with editing by Curtis Yee.

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