ONA Weekly #311

By on June 3, 2020

Black journalists speak about their experiences

As Black journalists chronicle the wave of protests across the U.S., many have also written about the unique burden of covering the death of another Black person captured on a widely shared video, experiencing police attacks and arrests in the streets and trying to explain it all to an oftentimes white audience. We’re highlighting some of their voices in this week’s newsletter.

“Which story do I share? That is the question.” … What seems incredibly obvious to some will no doubt be newly illuminating to others who’ve enjoyed privilege without giving it a second thought throughout a lifetime. — The Athletic Staff
The sleepless nights are a recurring theme among journalists of color who have made deaths of persons of color their unofficial beat. … I do not look forward to going back into the streets to hear the cries of a hurting people. In fact, I dread it. But I do it because I recognize the melody. Their song is my song. — LZ Granderson, Los Angeles Times
You feel it in a real way. You feel it could be your loved one. Then you take on the responsibility to explain it to the world. It’s miserable. — Wesley Lowery, as quoted by Elahe Izadi and Paul Farhi, The Washington Post
I am tired. Tired of how routine violence against African Americans at the hands of white people has been and continues to be. Angry as a journalist that this has happened so often that we all know the angles that must be covered, the questions to be asked, the stories to be written. Angrier still that as an African American journalist, I must explain, again and again, how dehumanizing this all is. — Amanda Barrett, Associated Press
I feel caught between two separate realities that are simultaneously separating and folding in on themselves. The old normal and the new normal; our society has changed drastically, while also not changing at all. Patrice Peck, The New York Times

Resource: When reporting on traumatic situations, it’s important to check in with ourselves. The ONA19 session Self-Care for Journalists: Unplugging, Mental Health, Meditation and Balance offers resources for acknowledging feelings, when to seek therapy and practices for taking care of your mind and body.

ONA condemns violence against journalists

ONA joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the National Association of Black Journalists, the Native American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and more than 100 other media organizations calling on Minnesota officials to take immediate, concrete steps to stop further attacks on journalists covering protests.

ONA also joined the National Press Club and other national journalism and press freedom organizations urging law enforcement nationwide to halt violence against journalists: “When you silence the press with rubber bullets, you silence the voice of the public. Do not abandon our Constitution and its First Amendment.”

OJAs deadline extended to June 11

We’ve extended the deadline to submit to the Online Journalism Awards, as well as apply to be a volunteer screener, to June 11, 11:59 p.m. ET.  We understand that some members of our community may be focusing on coverage of the protests occurring around the U.S. and need to reallocate resources accordingly. If you need more time, we hope the extension takes off some pressure. If you’re energized to submit your entry this week, we look forward to learning about your work and its impact on your community.

Upcoming events

ONA Local groups regularly host events for digital journalists all over the world. Find a group near you or learn how to start a new one.

Career opportunities

ONA’s Career Center is an excellent resource for jobs, fellowships and internships in digital journalism. Recent postings include:

On our radar