We have a couple additional suggestions for editors and newsroom leadership.
- Consider flexible deadlines. Some stories are breaking news, and others can be afforded more time. Where possible, give reporters the time they need to build relationships and maintain them. If your reporter gets a story wrong because a deadline was unrealistic, it will be much harder the next time your newsroom needs to report in that community.
Jen St. Denis, a staff reporter at Canada’s The Tyee said, “editors should know that this kind of work often takes a lot of time, an incredible amount of time, a lot of back and forth…They can’t be setting some sort of firm deadline for a piece to be done. They have to be pretty flexible and only be slotting it in when it’s actually done. And by done, I mean, if there’s an understanding from the source, if the source is going to be able to review it.”
Allocate resources. We know that resources are tight. Newsrooms and budgets are shrinking, and we’re constantly being asked to do more with less. But this can’t be at the expense of the people you are interviewing and the communities you are working in. If you do not have the time, money, and resources to ethically report on a story, then don’t.
Be accountable. As a leader, you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your team and the impact they have in the communities they are working in. Have conversations with your team about the possibility of inflicting harm on the community and damaging the reputation of your publication.