Reporting guides

Helpful reporting guides for local journalists


There’s “positive adoption language” and “honest adoption language.” Then there’s what Merrill Perlman of CJR calls “traditional adoption language,” or the way society used to refer to adoptions.

Breaking News

To help you make sense of the rumors and revelations, the myths, the misleading language, and the tired media narratives that clog up news coverage, On The Media brings you this ongoing series of Breaking News Consumer’s Handbooks, from WNYC Studios.

Building trust

This helpful guide from the Free Press News Voices project is meant to help reporters build deep relationships with the communities they cover, and it to enhance community trust in newsrooms.

Covering climate (list)

Compiled by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism to help journalists cover the climate crisis with depth, nuance and accuracy. Feel free to add! Questions? Email

Collaborative projects

These tip sheets are pulled from the seminal report, “Comparing Models of Collaborative Journalism” by Sarah Stonbely and should provide useful advice and best-practices for each of the six collaborative journalism models studied in Sarah’s research.

Collaborative workbook

A comprehensive workbook from Project Facet to help newsrooms plan and manage the details and logistics of editorial collaborations and collaborative reporting projects.

Community engagement

This toolkit from Free Press will show you how newsrooms can engage the communities they serve using techniques that help journalists better understand and address residents’ needs and concerns.


Stories about people with disabilities often fall into two broad categories: so-called “inspiration porn” and crime stories. Kristin Gilger says the lack of nuanced disability coverage might stem from a lack of representation in newsrooms.

Economic language

Reporters working on Broke in Philly stories asked the people they were reporting on how they describe themselves, or how they would like to be described in the article or broadcast.

Gender identity

Journalists from all beats and publications need to be able to write about transgender and non-binary individuals without promoting stereotypes and harmful narratives.

Global Press Style Guide

The Global Press Style Guide establishes rules for referring to the people and places around the world where Global Press Journal reporters work to promote dignity and precision in their journalism.

If It Happened There

An occasional series from Slate in which American events are described using the tone and tropes normally employed by the American media to describe events in other countries.

Immigration reporting

Researchers systematically interchanged the words “illegal,” “undocumented,” “unauthorized” in questions on immigrant rights and asked respondents how they felt toward immigrants.

Mass shootings

​Mass shootings challenge the skill, capacity and ethics of news professionals. These tip sheets and other resources from the Dart Center can help reporters who are covering these tragedies.

Non-extractive reporting

What vulnerable communities stand to gain — or lose — from sharing their stories with reporters, and what reporters are doing about it.


A tip sheet from Journalist’s Resource to help journalists think more deeply about how they select and cover stories.

Race Reporting Guide

The Race Reporting Guide includes guidelines for covering key issues with a racial lens and reporting on specific racial and ethnic groups while avoiding harmful racial discourse practices.

White supremacy

To help journalists better understand issues around white supremacy and right-wing extremism, Journalist’s Resource interviewed two experts in the field.

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