Diversity Style Guides for Journalists

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Is it preferable to refer to someone as a person with autism, or as an autistic person? Should you explain the use of unconventional personal pronouns in stories? When do you use the term Indigenous and when do you use the term Aboriginal? What’s wrong with saying that someone “suffers from” a certain condition? The following diversity style guides and other resources can help journalists critically examine their stories for problematic issues:

Style Guides That Address Multiple Dimensions of Diversity

  • The Conscious Style Guide provides resources, articles, and newsletters on topics like age, gender, race, appearance, and religion.
  • The Diversity Style Guide from San Francisco State University’s journalism department includes terms and phrases related to topics like age, drugs and alcohol, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and race and ethnicity.
  • The Global Press Style Guide offers rules for referring to the people of the more than two dozen developing countries where the Global Press Journal reporters work.

Style Guides That Address Coverage of Specific Communities

(This resource list was originally published by The Open Notebook on January 21, 2020 in “Gut Check: Working with a Sensitivity Reader,” by Jane C. Hu. It was most recently updated in September 2020. Have we missed a valuable resource? Please let us know.)