NASW invites reporters covering COVID-19 to join a free discussion list for support, questions, and resources

Are you a reporter looking for the mutual support of colleagues and community during these stressful times? The National Association of Science Writers (NASW) invites any reporter covering the COVID-19 pandemic — especially those for whom science or health is a new beat — to join a new list for sharing resources, sources, and information.

This new NASW COVID-19 discussion board aims to create a space for connecting journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic, no matter the angle or geographic market. Seasoned science and health writers can offer advice on navigating research processes, jargon, and other facets of reporting — while reporters who cover government, business, lifestyle, and other areas can share tips from their beat, such as best practices for interviewing elected officials or on-the-street reporting.

To join the list, send an email to nasw-COVID19mods@nasw.org and include

  • Your name

  • Your email address

  • Name of publication(s) that you are covering COVID-19 for as staff or freelance

This discussion list is an initiative of the NASW Journalism Committee. Committee co-chair Christie Aschwanden (freelance journalist and author) and committee member Erin Ross (journalist, Oregon Public Broadcasting) will serve as list managers. These volunteers will try to approve all requests within two business days; if have not heard back after that period, please send a second request.

Additional COVID-19 Reporting Resources: NASW has compiled a list of resources to assist in reporting about the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and the COVID-19 disease, especially for newsrooms without beat reporters or writers new to covering science and health. The curated links include reporting guidelines, fact-checking tips, information on seeking diverse sources, guidelines for accurately representing people at the heart of stories, and a link to NASW’s Information Access Standards (a guide for journalists and public information officers on best practices for reporting on government research and science policymaking). The resource page is available at www.nasw.org/COVID19resources.

Open Survey on Media Access for COVID-19 Reporting: NASW is calling all reporters to share their experiences with public information requests. This survey will record how journalists are reporting on the COVID-19 crisis — and the extent to which government officials and institutions have facilitated the free flow of information in these critical times. Instructions for completing the survey and browsing survey responses at www.nasw.org/covid19InfoAccess

NASW Board Statement on Government Information Access Regarding COVID-19: Representing an organization of 2,400 professional journalists, authors, editors, producers, public information officers, and students, the NASW Board has publicly called for the Trump administration to allow government experts to speak freely about the COVID-19 pandemic. The March 2nd statement is available at www.nasw.org/CovidAccess.

Ready to join NASW as a Full Member or Student Member? Get to know our full range of membership benefits and instructions for membership application here www.nasw.org/membership-information

Established in 1934, NASW fosters the dissemination of accurate information regarding science by supporting the professional development of science writers. Membership is open to working journalists, PIOs, writers, authors, and other content creators, as well as students. Our community spans freelancers and employees working at newspapers, wire services, magazines, radio and television, and digital properties, as well as universities, agencies, and other institutions across the United States and beyond. Above all, NASW fights for the free flow of science news.

Online at www.nasw.org and on Twitter @ScienceWriters.

Mar. 25, 2020

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