What is Reframe?
Reframe is an initiative of Resolve Philly that aims to help journalists more fairly and accurately report on misrepresented and underrepresented communities. We believe authentic, humanizing language and respectful, equitable news frames are the building blocks of news narratives that can heal, rather than harm, our communities — and we’ve created tools and resources to help.
The initiative is led by editor Aubrey Nagle and senior editorial associate John Hernandez, and is supported by the collaborative and community engagement teams behind Resolve’s Broke in Philly and Equally Informed Philly initiatives.
Is Reframe just for Philadelphia?
How can I get involved?
How can Reframe help journalists?
We want journalists to engage more deeply with their word choices, how they choose which events to highlight, and how they do so. This paradigm requires analysis from journalists — retrospection, introspection and extrospection — because the choices being made have implications that extend beyond the “story” as journalists see it. Too often, journalism defaults to a status quo that perpetuates injustice. We have built a variety of complementary resources that help reporters think deeply about language and framing throughout the editorial process. Our tools tackle the problem at the individual, organizational, and industry levels to create far-reaching, long-lasting change that will benefit journalism and our communities alike.
Journalists can find resources and guidance right now in our Knowledge Hub and join us for upcoming events.
Community members and news consumers can share their experiences with journalists via Resound, our new effort to amplify the personal stories of those directly impacted by journalism.
Funding & Transparency
Who funds Reframe?
Reframe is an initiative of Resolve Philly, a nonprofit organization which receives funding from the Solutions Journalism Network, Independence Public Media Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Lenfest Institute, News Integrity Initiative, the Philadelphia Foundation, Wyncote Foundation and Ford Foundation. You can read more about our editorial independence and donor transparency policy here.
Reframe also generates revenue through consulting, workshops, and other contractual partnerships with newsrooms. You can check out our partners here.
Does Reframe's funding affect its content?
Reframe is an initiative of Resolve Philly, which maintains a clear separation between editorial decisions and all sources of revenue. This firewall ensures that funding does not present a conflict of interest for our journalism or compromise our editorial independence.
Gifts, grants, and sponsorships from individuals and organizations help to fund our nonprofit mission, but our judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their positions.
Resolve Philly may accept financial support for reporting on particular topics. Our editorial staff determines what those topics are and Resolve Philly and its newsroom partners retain editorial control of the resulting coverage. We do not give donors the rights to assign, review, or edit content and editorial copy is never shared with donors prior to publication.
Members of Resolve Philly’s staff, Board of Directors, or Advisory Committees do not accept gifts or favors of more than nominal value, nor any special treatment, from any person or entity that is or could be a subject of or source for our coverage, or otherwise have an interest in Resolve Philly’s reporting.
Our organization makes public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. As a journalism nonprofit, we avoid accepting charitable donations from anonymous sources, government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence. You can learn more about Reframe’s funders here.
Acknowledgement: Resolve Philly established this policy in accordance with standards developed by the Institute for Nonprofit News, while finding further guidance in the editorial independence policy of The Trace.
What is humanizing language?
Humanizing language is how we describe word choices that put the humanity and dignity of journalism’s subjects into focus. This often includes “people-first” language — that is, literally putting words like “people” or “person” first in a noun phrase, like “person who is incarcerated,” instead of using labels like “inmate.” But humanizing language also refers to:
- Sharing power with a source by using their self-description of their identity and pronouns in a story (like, “Evan is nonbinary and they just moved to town”)
- Avoiding dehumanizing language that lumps group of people together like objects (like, “the homeless”)
- Describing cause and effect rather than describing a community with generalizations (like, “this neighborhood has seen disinvestment and job loss in recent years,” rather than “it’s a poor neighborhood”)
Through these word choices, we hope to bring an authenticity and clarity to reporting that builds trust between journalists and their communities.
What are equitable news frames?
The definitions of news frames and framing when it comes to storytelling are far from concrete. But we lean on the definition of framing that comes from David Tewksbury: “…the verbal and visual information in an article [or news story] that directly or implicitly suggests what the problem is about, how it can be addressed, and who is responsible for creating and solving it.”
Framing news equitably includes:
- Avoiding “bothsidesism” by amplifying a range of viewpoints based on their factual accuracy and merit, not based on whether they simply come from an “opposing” side
- Amplifying the voices of those outside of traditional power structures rather than relying on those in positions of authority who are easily accessible for a quote
- Calling attention to systemic problems and systemic solutions over simplistic or episodic narratives
- Treating policy decisions that affect us all as such, rather than describing them as the chess moves of politicians
By insisting on framing news equitably, we hope to contribute to a journalism that industry that helps society address its problems.