PHILADELPHIA — On Thursday, Free Press released a directory of resources to help journalists keep their communities informed and safe during the volatile weeks ahead.
Before and After the Vote: Journalism Resources for Keeping Communities Safe & Informed was created in response to what might happen: Many have warned about a possible period of uprisings, white-supremacist violence and intentional disinformation campaigns designed to undermine public trust in the election and deepen the debilitating crisis stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The project includes a database (available here) featuring more than 100 resources that address ways reporters can cover white nationalism and white-supremacist violence, police crackdowns against protests, and disinformation spreading through their communities. In addition, the database offers guides to upholding election integrity in the face of efforts to discredit the vote. Other resources include ways to protect journalists’ physical safety and secure digital communications.
“The threats facing journalists — and their ability to produce trusted reporting for the public — are intensifying and will most likely continue to do so after Election Day,” said Free Press News Voices: Philadelphia Project Manager Tauhid Chappell. “The database is the result of the incredible work of many devoted organizations and individuals that have produced guides, webinars, infographics and other educational materials related to coverage of the election and its aftermath. We’ve brought all of their efforts together in one place so reporters, media-makers and advocates can access and share all of these resources as they cover events.”
“Journalism is at its best when it is in solidarity with those fighting for equity and justice,” said Free Press News Voices: New Jersey Manager Vanessa Maria Graber. “Many non-journalists, especially those in BIPOC communities, have experienced many of the dangerous situations the database highlights. Black and Brown communities are targeted by police and white-supremacist violence, as well as disinformation campaigns meant to sow division and hate. They are more prone to voter suppression via both draconian laws and intimidation at the polls. Their physical safety during protests is not protected by a press badge or a newsroom legal team.”
The database is designed to aid journalists in covering white supremacists without amplifying hate speech; provide tools and tips to ensure communities receive information grounded in facts, truth and credible sources; help communities and journalists remain safe during public demonstrations; and help ensure that those in power do not undermine the election. It will be updated in the coming days and weeks as more resources become available and the election situation unfolds.