Reframe is a new initiative that aims to help journalists improve the accuracy and authenticity of their coverage of mis- and under-represented individuals and communities and thus build trust with their audiences through precise, human-centered language and respectful, equitable news frames.
We’re developing a set of tools and resources that will help newsrooms use more accurate, inclusive language and news frames to describe their communities throughout the editorial process:
- Language & Framing Workshop: An interactive training session and educational resources for newsrooms that examine how journalists’ word choices and news frames impact their communities.
- Source Auditing: A protocol for newsrooms to easily keep track of who is speaking for their communities, the results of which can point the way towards more equitable and accurate representation.
- Community Standards Panel: A group of community leaders who meet regularly with editorial leadership of partner newsrooms to discuss coverage concerns and provide feedback used in our language analysis tool.
- Community Feedback: Using SMS survey tool Reach, community members provide feedback about language and frames used in local news to inform newsroom practices.
- Language Analysis Tool: A real-time text analysis tool, via browser extension, that provides best practices, crowd-sourced suggestions, and background information on problematic terms.
Why is this important?
There are plenty of style guides out there — from the AP Stylebook and The Chicago Manual of Style to the Conscious Style Guide and the Diversity Style Guide — that aim to direct journalists to the most accurate, clear writing they can employ.
Yet historically marginalized communities continue to feel like they’re inaccurately depicted in the media, and language that promotes stereotypes, erases nuance, or highlights implicit bias is all too common in the news. Meanwhile, distrust of media organizations, political division and industry upheaval run high.
But there’s good news: 69% of Americans who have lost trust in the media say it can be restored, according to research by the Knight Foundation.
What’s the plan?
We seek to fill the gaps between the many resources already out there for journalists and how they become truly integrated into a newsroom. The goal? For news organizations to rebuild that trust and forge genuine connections with their communities.
In early 2021 we’ll launch a pilot program with a handful of newsrooms that will put our tools and resources to the test. Throughout the pilot we’ll also evaluate how these language and framing shifts impact trust in the audiences of our pilot partners.
How can I get involved?
If you are a newsroom or journalist that wants to test our tools or contribute knowledge and expertise to this initiative please reach out to Aubrey Nagle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you just want to stay in the loop about Reframe, sign up for our email list here.