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NCDJ Releases Updated Disability Language Style Guide

The National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University has released an updated version of its disability language style guide in both English and Spanish for journalists and professionals who report or write about people living with disabilities.

The guide offers information and advice on nearly 100 commonly used words or terms — from “able-bodied” to “wheelchair-bound.”

For the full story: https://ncdj.org/2021/09/ncdj-releases-updated-disability-language-style-guide/

To access the guide: https://ncdj.org/style-guide/

Panel To Feature Journalists Talking About Disability

The National Center on Disability and Journalism and the National Press Photographers Association will host a panel discussion on journalism and disability Oct. 6 at 8:30 p.m. EST.  

The session will focus on how disabilities can affect those seeking to get ahead in the visual journalism industry, how to navigate careers with disabilities and how to improve media coverage of individuals with disabilities.

The session will be moderated by Kristin Gilger, director of the NCDJ and Reynolds Professor in Business Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

Date and Time: October 6th, 2021

8:30pm EST/5:30pm PST

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85492211592

Panelists are:

  • David Allbritton, senior photojournalist at CNN with over 30 years of experience in the news industry. In 1995, while covering the Balkan War for CNN in Sarajevo, he sustained life-threatening injuries when a 500-pound bomb blew up at the television center.
  • Ari Golub, staff photographer and visual storyteller for George Washington University’s student-run, independent paper, The GW Hatchet, and the President of GW’s Disabled Students Collective. He is an individual with autism.
  • Evan Halpop, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he is majoring in journalism with an emphasis in broadcast, print and web. He lives with a form of autism and advocates for inclusion for all.
  • Amanda Morris, the first disability reporting fellow at The New York Times. She previously reported for The Arizona Republic in Phoenix and covered politics for The Associated Press. As someone with a hearing loss, she grew up regularly using American Sign Language with her two deaf parents.
  • Cara Reedy, program manager for Disability Media Alliance Project at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF). She previously worked at CNN producing documentaries and writing for CNN digital, and she is the co-producer of a short documentary, “Dwarfism and Me,” which explores the treatment of Dwarfs in American society.
  • Bruce Thorson, associate professor at the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He previously spent 25 years in newspaper photojournalism. As a young man, he sustained permanent physical injuries in a motorcycle accident.
  • Linda Tirado, a freelance photojournalist who also is a book author and has written for The Guardian and The Daily Beast. She was shot in the face last year while covering the civil unrest that followed the police killing of George Floyd, leaving her partially blind.

Disability Journalism Awards to be Announced in Early October

The 2020-2021 contest for the Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability is closed for entries. Winners will be notified in early October and will be honored in a live-streamed event Nov. 1 from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The Schneider Award is administered each year by the Cronkite School’s National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University. It is supported by a gift from Katherine Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist who also supports the Schneider Family Book Award, honoring the best children’s book each year that captures the disability experience for children and adolescents. That award is administered by the American Library Association.

For past winners, visit https://ncdj.org/contest/ncdj-contest-archive/.

Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Disability Contest Closes August 7

Winners will receive a total of $8,000 in cash awards in large media and small media categories. First-place winners in each category will be awarded $2,500 and invited to give a public lecture for the Cronkite School in fall 2020. Second-place winners will receive $1,000 and third-place winners $500.

Journalists working in digital, print and broadcast media are eligible to enter. Entries are accepted from outside the U.S., although the work submitted must be in English.

Entries must have been published or aired between July 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021. The deadline to enter is Aug. 7, 2021. There is no entry fee. For more information and to enter, go to https://ncdj.org/contest/.

Ford Foundation to Support The Times’s Disability Journalism Fellowship

Amanda Morris

The New York Times today announced that the Ford Foundation will fund its new Disability Journalism Fellowship.

The two-year program will recruit one early career journalist each year to work at The Times to produce stories that illuminate and explain issues that are relevant to the 19 percent of the U.S. population who currently live with a disability – and to countless others who care about them and these matters. The program will provide fellows with mentorship, a peer network and specialized training on how to cover disabilities. The nonprofit National Center for Disability and Journalism will serve as a training partner to the fellows and other members of the newsroom.

Ford is providing a $150,000 grant to create the new fellowship.

Amanda Morris, who previously worked as a bioscience reporter for The Arizona Republic, joined The New York Times as its first Disability Journalism Fellow in June. She identifies with the disability community as she was raised by profoundly deaf parents and has moderate to severe hearing loss.

The application for the 2022-23 fellowship will open this fall.

The Times will retain full editorial control over the fellows’ work. Funders will have no control over the selection or focus of stories. They will have no role in the editing process and will not review stories before publication.

The New York Times Fellowship is a talent pipeline program started in 2019 to seed and diversify the next generation of journalists in local newsrooms across America. It trains journalists in reporting, audio, visual and other disciplines.

The Ford Foundation is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with courageous people on the frontlines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

The National Center on Disability and Journalism is a service of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. For the past 13 years at Cronkite, the center has provided support and training for journalists and other communications professionals with the goal of improving media coverage of disability issues and people with disabilities.

Philanthropies interested in learning more about The Times’s fellowship program should contact Sharon Chan, vice president of philanthropy, at Sharon.Chan@nytimes.com.

NCDJ Opens Up 2021 Contest Recognizing Excellence in Disability Reporting

The National Center on Disability and Journalism is now accepting entries for the 2021 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, the only journalism contest devoted exclusively to disability coverage.

Winners will receive a total of $8,000 in cash awards in large media and small media categories. First-place winners in each category will be awarded $2,500 and invited to give a public lecture for the Cronkite School in fall 2020. Second-place winners will receive $1,000 and third-place winners $500.

Journalists working in digital, print and broadcast media are eligible to enter. Entries are accepted from outside the U.S., although the work submitted must be in English.

Entries must have been published or aired between July 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021. The deadline to enter is Aug. 7, 2021. There is no entry fee. For more information and to enter, go to https://ncdj.org/contest/.

Amanda Morris Named Reporting Fellow Focused on Disability Issues

Black and white photo of Amanda Morris. Morris has a wide smile, showing her teeth.

Amanda Morris will be The New York Times’s first reporting fellow focused on disability issues.

The fellowship is in partnership with the National Center on Disability and Journalism and Mass Communication at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University, which works with journalists around the world to improve reporting on disability. The two-year program is philanthropically supported and will recruit one fellow each year to work at The Times.

Raised by profoundly deaf parents, Amanda identifies with the disability community, having a moderate-to-severe hearing loss. She has worn a hearing aid since she was a year old. A graduate of New York University, she has reported for The Associated Press, NPR, CNN and The Hartford Courant, among others. Most recently, she was a bioscience reporter for The Arizona Republic.

Read the full release in the New York Times.

NCDJ Opens Up 2021 Contest Recognizing Excellence in Disability Reporting

The National Center on Disability and Journalism is now accepting entries for the 2021 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, the only journalism contest devoted exclusively to disability coverage.

Winners will receive a total of $8,000 in cash awards in large media and small media categories. First-place winners in each category will be awarded $2,500 and invited to give a public lecture for the Cronkite School in fall 2020. Second-place winners will receive $1,000 and third-place winners $500.

Journalists working in digital, print and broadcast media are eligible to enter. Entries are accepted from outside the U.S., although the work submitted must be in English.

Entries must have been published or aired between July 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021. The deadline to enter is Aug. 7, 2021. There is no entry fee. For more information and to enter, go to https://ncdj.org/contest/.

The New York Times, NCDJ Partner to Enhance Coverage of Disability Issues

NCDJ logo and New York Times logo together on black and grey grid.

By Kasey Brammell

The National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University is partnering with The New York Times to create a new fellowship program to enhance coverage of disability issues and people with disabilities.

The program, to launch later this year, will place an early-career journalist in The Times newsroom each year for the next two years to develop expertise and report on a range of disability issues. It is set to be funded by philanthropy.

The fellow will be part of a larger fellowship cohort at The Times and will receive mentoring from both a Times’ staff member with expertise in covering disabilities and the NCDJ, which provides support and advice to journalists around the world who cover such issues. The NCDJ also will provide training to the Times’ newsroom.

Nearly one in five people in the United States lives with a disability, but these issues are undercovered, said Ted Kim, director of Early Career Journalism Strategy and Recruiting for The New York Times. “Few avenues exist to develop journalistic expertise on disability issues because such beats do not exist at most news outlets,” he said. “The lack of coverage, in turn, results in a lack of awareness about issues that affect a large portion of the country.”

Kristin Gilger, interim dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU and director of the NCDJ, echoed the need for more and better coverage of disability issues and people with disabilities. “This fellowship program is an important step in the right direction at one of the nation’s top media institutions,” she said.

The application is now open for the first fellow, who will join The Times in June. Preference will be given to promising early-career journalists who also have experience living with a disability or who have developed a deep understanding of disability through the experiences of a family member or loved one. The deadline to submit an application is 5 p.m., New York Time, on March 31, 2021. Applicants are advised to submit well before the deadline.

The fellows will be part of The New York Times Fellowship program , a talent pipeline initiative started in 2019 to seed and diversify the next generation of journalists in local newsrooms across America. It trains journalists in reporting, audio, visual and other disciplines.

The National Center on Disability and Journalism is a service of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU. For the past 12 years at Cronkite, the center has provided support and training for journalists and other communications professionals with the goal of improving media coverage of disability issues and people with disabilities.

ProPublica Illinois, Chicago Tribune, Argus Leader win top prizes in 2020 Schneider Disability Reporting Competition

From left to right three women wearing black are pictured headshot style from the shoulders up.
Jennifer Smith Richards of the Chicago Tribune; and Jodi S. Cohen and Lakeidra Chavis of ProPublica Illinois.

The National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication has announced winners of the 2020 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, the only journalism contest devoted exclusively to the coverage of people with disabilities and disability issues.

Journalists working in digital, print and broadcast media from around the world competed for awards and cash prizes totaling $8,000. The NCDJ received more than 100 entries.

First place in the large media market category was awarded to “The Quiet Rooms,” an in-depth investigation by ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune. The project, written by Jennifer Smith Richards of the Chicago Tribune and Jodi S. Cohen and Lakeidra Chavis of ProPublica Illinois, investigated the practice of isolating school children, many of whom have disabilities. The journalists examined records from more than 100 school districts across Illinois, concluding that while seclusion is sometimes legal, in many instances it was used outside the bounds of the law in ways that were cruel and unjustified.

“Excellent reporting reveals unconscionable horrors inflicted on children with disabilities,” said Lisa Davis, an author and faculty member in the Communication Department at Santa Clara University, who served as one of the judges.

“The story also expertly shows the ignorance and frustration of overwhelmed staff and the desperation of parents,” she said. “Taken as a whole, the situation is an epic mess with an urgent need for help. The detailed reporting, including the logs with times and children’s quotes, really brings this story to life.”

Smith Richards, Cohen and Chavis will receive $2,500 and an invitation to participate in a virtual public lecture with the Cronkite School on Monday, Nov. 2, from 6 to 7 p.m.

Mike Elsen-Rooney of USA Today took second place in the large media market category for “Two Boys with the Same Disability Tried to Get Help.”

Elsen-Rooney explored what happened when the families of two boys from different backgrounds – living just 15 blocks apart in New York City – tried to get help for their children, both of whom struggled to learn to read. This story was part of a series from The Teacher Project and USA Today on private placements, and includes additional reporting from Sarah Carr, Sharon Lurye, and Ashley Okwuosa. Elsen-Rooney will receive $1,000.

Joseph Shapiro of National Public Radio won third place in the large media market category for his story “COVID-19 is a Disability Issue,” about the specific challenges faced by people with disabilities during the pandemic. Shapiro will receive $500.

Michael Schulson of Undark received honorable mention in the large media market for “The Physics, Economics, and Politics of Wheelchairs on Planes,” a look at the science behind airplanes and wheelchairs and an examination of the challenges faced by people who use wheelchairs 30 years after the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.

In addition to Davis, the judges for the large media market category were Jerry Ceppos, former dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, and Jennifer LaFleur, data editor for American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop.

First place in the small media market category was awarded to “Ignored: South Dakota is Failing Deaf Children,” an investigative series by Shelly Conlon of the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The project explored the systematic decisions that lawmakers, educators and state officials have made at every level, leading to a dire lack of access to resources, accommodations and Deaf teachers.

“This investigation by the Argus Leader takes a comprehensive look at how Deaf and hard of hearing children and their families have fallen through the cracks of South Dakota’s education system,” said judge Wendy Lu, a news editor and reporter at HuffPost who covers the intersection of disability, politics and culture. “The story reveals a pattern of negligence and a lack of responsibility from those in power, while taking great care to center the voices of the community that’s being affected the most.”

Conlon will receive $2,500 and is invited to participate in the virtual public lecture at the Cronkite School on Nov. 2.

Janine Zeitlin of The News-Press/Naples Daily News won second place in the small media market category for “Forsaken,” a five-part series that followed a young woman for a year, revealing the inadequacies of both Florida’s foster care and mental health systems. Zeitlin will receive $1,000.

Ed Williams of Searchlight New Mexico took third place in the small media market category for “Restraint, Seclusion, Deception,” in which Williams exposed that not only are isolation rooms and restraint techniques misused in Albuquerque, New Mexico, schools, the actions are often kept secret. Williams will receive $500.

Honorable mention in the small media market category was awarded to Naaz Modan of Education Dive for “Special Needs Students Often Pay Price in Efforts to Strengthen School Safety,” which revealed that changes in the law have meant that children with disabilities in Florida are being involuntarily committed to mental health facilities when it’s not always necessary.

In addition to Lu, the judges for the small media market awards were Patricia Callahan, senior reporter for ProPublica; Leon Dash, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who is a professor of journalism at the University of Illinois; and Sara Luterman, who covers disability policy and politics for publications that include The Nation, Vox and The Washington Post.

The Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability was established in 2013 with the support of Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist who has been blind since birth and who also supports the national Schneider Family Book Awards. The reporting contest is administered by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at the Cronkite School.

This announcement originally appeared on the Cronkite school website.

2020 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability Announces Judges

The 2020 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability contest is now closed. We received more than 100 entries from media outlets all over the world on topics ranging from COVID-19 to the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and styles from lifestyle features to investigative projects.

Winners will be announced by the beginning of October.

Banner of four people above a black background. Text on the bottom half reads "2019 Winners Katherina Schneider Award in Reporting on Disability." The people are two men and two women.
The 2020 content winners will join the 2019 winners (pictured) as part of a prestigious group.

Large Media Market Judges:

Jerry Ceppos is the former dean of the Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University, where he now teaches.

Lisa Davis is a faculty member in the Communication Department at Santa Clara University, the recipient of more than 30 regional and national awards for journalism, and the author of The Sins of Brother Curtis, A Story of Betrayal, Conviction and the Mormon Church. 

Jennifer LaFleur is the Data Editor for American University’s Investigative Reporting Workshop and a data journalist-in-residence at AU’s School of Communication.

 

Small Media Market Judges

Patricia Callahan is a senior reporter for ProPublica; she and Michael J. Berens won the Schneider Award in 2017 for “Suffering in Secret,” a Chicago Tribune investigation into abuse at state-run facilities for people with disabilities.

Leon Dash was a reporter with The Washington Post for 32 years and has taught journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 22 years.

Wendy Lu is a news editor and reporter at HuffPost covering the intersection of disability, politics and culture.

Sara Luterman is a freelance journalist who covers disability policy and politics for publications including The Nation, Vox and The Washington Post; she is based in Washington, D.C.

NCDJ Campaign Commemorates 30th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

May 27, 2020

The National Center on Disability and Journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University today launched a campaign to encourage news coverage of people with disabilities in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The campaign consists of 30 story suggestions for journalists to consider that call attention to the changes brought about by passage of the ADA and the challenges that remain. The story ideas range from how disability communities are affected by COVID-19 to how changes in technology have transformed the lives of many living with disabilities.

A story suggestion is being released on Twitter (#NCDJ30for30) and Facebook (@ASUNCDJ) every other day, from May 27 to July 26, the anniversary of the ADA. They also will be archived on the NCDJ website at https://ncdj.org/ncdj30for30/.

“We’re hoping this campaign sparks more coverage of people with disabilities and disability issues,” said NCDJ Executive Director Kristin Gilger, senior associate dean at the Cronkite School. “People with disabilities make up nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population, yet their stories are often overlooked. The 30th anniversary of the ADA is the perfect time to re-balance that equation.”

The ideas were drawn from studies and published articles as well as suggestions from members of the NCDJ advisory board, which consists of journalists, scholars and members of the disability community. Cronkite graduate student Molly Duerig compiled the information and created the campaign.

The landmark civil rights legislation prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, communications and access to state and local government programs and services. It defines a disability as “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.”

President George H.W. Bush signed the ADA into law on July 26, 1990. It was amended and updated in 2008.

The NCDJ has been part of the Cronkite School since 2008. The organization provides support and guidance for journalists as they cover disabilities through the publication of a popular disability language style guide, lists of resources and experts, and training materials. It also manages a journalism contest that recognizes the best disability reporting in the country each year.

For more information, contact: Kristin Gilger, NCDJ Executive Editor, at kristin.gilger@asu.edu.

NCDJ Accepting Entries in Annual Disability Reporting Contest

NCDJ 2020 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability

May 15, 2020

The National Center on Disability and Journalism is now accepting entries for the 2020 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, the only journalism contest devoted exclusively to disability coverage.

Winners will receive a total of $8,000 in cash awards for first-, second- and third-place finishes in large media and small media categories. First-place winners in each category will be awarded $2,500 and invited to give a public lecture for the Cronkite School in fall 2020. Second-place winners will receive $1,000, third-place winners $500.

Journalists working in digital, print and broadcast media are eligible to enter. Entries are accepted from outside the U.S., although the work submitted must be in English. There is no entry fee.

Entries must have been published or aired between July 1, 2019, and July 31, 2020. The deadline to enter is Aug. 17, 2020. For more information and to enter, go to https://ncdj.org/contest/.

Entries are judged by professional journalists and experts on disability issues. Past judges have included “PBS NewsHour” anchor Judy Woodruff; Tony Coelho, former six-term U.S. congressman from California and the primary sponsor of the Americans With Disabilities Act; former Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Leon Dash; and Daniel Burke, CNN religion editor.

The top 2019 award in the large media category went to an investigation into a New York City initiative to let those with severe mental illnesses live on their own. The project was a collaboration of ProPublica, The New York Times and PBS Frontline. The first-place winner in the small media category was a collaborative documentary between the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Milwaukee PBS. The program followed the lives of four young people from Wisconsin as they navigated mental health challenges. To read more about the 2019 award-winners, visit https://cronkite.asu.edu/news-and-events/news/propublica-and-pbs-frontline-milwaukee-journal-sentinel-and-milwaukee-pbs-win.

For all the past winners, visit https://ncdj.org/contest/ncdj-contest-archive/.

The Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability is administered each year by the NCDJ, which is part of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. It is supported by a gift from Katherine Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist who also supports the Schneider Family Book Award, honoring the best children’s book each year that captures the disability experience for children and adolescents. That award is administered by the American Library Association.

Schneider, who has been blind since birth, said she hopes the award will help journalists improve their coverage of disability issues, moving beyond “inspirational” stories that don’t accurately represent the lives of people with disabilities. “That kind of stuff is remarkable, but that’s not life as most of us live it,” she said.

The NCDJ, which has been housed at the Cronkite School since 2008, offers resources and materials for journalists covering disability issues and topics, including a widely used disability language stylebook. For more information, visit the NCDJ’s website at https://ncdj.org.