By Ashley Carnifax
The Working Press
Journalists around the world could soon have extensive access to sources and Web links to help them write diverse, inclusive stories, thanks to Society of Professional Journalists member Sandy Frost.
Frost, who is coordinating the project, hopes to update SPJ’s diversity sourcebook to help educate journalists about minority populations and how best to cover them.
Frost is a member of SPJ’s Diversity Committee and its Western Washington Professional Chapter.
Frost said the project is important because a lot of information in the existing sourcebook is outdated. An updated resource guide would help journalists include people from diverse backgrounds in their stories, she said.
“That’s what I’m most excited about,” Frost said, “to get that spirit of inclusion out there.”
Google Trends would be used to better define categories and make the search for information more intuitive for journalists.
Once categories are re-evaluated, Frost wants volunteers to help review and identify the websites for top organizations, along with any style guides or suggested language the groups might have.
Frost, who has a transgendered child, used gender issues as an example of how journalists would use the guide.
Journalists would go to the category on gender issues. By clicking on the link for transgender, they would then find the name of a potential source, along with a listing of relevant organizations for the transgender community.
Frost said the project could be completed in four months, depending on how fast the volunteers get the work done.
She said prior discussions about the project within SPJ led to concerns about the cost and time commitment.
Frost said the project wouldn’t cost the organization a dime because each volunteer would be expected to commit only five to seven hours to the project.