Resource Lab: Reporting and Discussing Protest and Political Movements

A grayscale image of a Black Lives Matter protest, zoomed on a sign that reads "No Justice No Peace"Image from Unsplash

Hey SYNners!

We’ve compiled some guidelines, resources and further reading to help you when reporting on or discussing protest and political movements, on-air and off-air.

If you’d like us to add anything to this compilation, or have any further questions – send them to [email protected].

This is a working document, and is continuing to be updated.


Guidelines

To be responsible media-makers, there are a few things we have to keep in mind when we’re reporting on and expressing our opinions about protest movements on-air or in our content. We want to make sure you’re all as informed as possible, so we’ve written some guidelines for you to keep in mind.

DO:
  • Report news and updates
  • Talk about your opinions and feelings (with the exception of violent protest – more detail on this below)
  • Where appropriate, provide content warnings (before and after your segment)
    • For Bla(c)k Lives Matter, please include content warnings for racial violence and police brutality
  • Refer listeners/viewers to hotlines and resources
  • Encourage donations to not-for-profit causes
DON’T: 
  • Incite or encourage violence (more detail on this below)
  • Defame anyone or any organisations – refer to SYN’s Induction Manual for a refresher
  • Encourage sales or donations to for-profit organisations

On the subject of violent protest, rioting and looting:

As a community broadcaster, we must not incite or encourage violence of any kind.

When talking about violent protests on air, we must engage in objective reporting only.

You can: 
  • Report on what is happening, e.g. “Protests have erupted across the U.S., some of which have resulted in rioting and looting.”
  • Give people details of when and where protests, rallies and vigils are occurring.
  • Report factual information on the effects of rioting, looting, and violent protest.
  • Report factual information on the history of rioting, looting, and violent protest.
You should NOT say: 
  • “I think people should be rioting and looting” or “We should be engaging in violent protest”
  • “Get down to the protest this weekend and help me punch some cops”
  • “I think people should stop rioting and looting” or “I think people should only protest peacefully” (This is not objective!)

Resources

General:

@rynnstarReply to @19_bravenew_84 ##greenscreensticker ##greenscreenvideo♬ original sound – rynnstar

Reporting on the ground:

Work to learn from:

Realities to keep in mind: