Covering Coronavirus: Tips, best practices and programs

When they’re hurting

Advice from Jill Geisler, Bill Plante Chair in Leadership & Media Integrity, Loyola University ChicagoFreedom Forum Fellow in Women’s Leadership

Your staff is on the front lines of history right now. They are helping the world bear witness to fear and courage, suffering and relief, success and failure, praise and blame –  and relentless tragedy. 

They’re doing this under the shadow of several excruciating realities.

  • The tragic stories will increase in the days ahead.
  • Some of those stories are personal for your team members; health, safety, job security, grief. 
  • While doing their important work, journalists are under attack by partisans for asking questions they’d rather not answer and telling truths they’d rather not hear.

Here’s your responsibility: Redouble your efforts to support them. It’s challenging – and critical.

Help them step back if they don’t feel safe. Insist they share their concerns with you. Protect them from the vindictiveness of the powerful and the viciousness of online idiots. Provide comfort in the words you’ll say when, God forbid, you have to grieve together.

Be the source of courage, relief, success, praise – and relentless leadership.

Journalism needs you.

Have questions? Ask away.

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Join Freedom Forum Fellow Jill Geisler on April 1 from 1-2pm ET for a webinar on how the coronavirus epidemic is affecting under-served communities, and explore how journalists are covering the story while supporting each other during the crisis.