For every year since 2016, Street Sense Media has led a collaborative reporting project bringing together outlets from across D.C. to report on homelessness for one, 24-hour period. The project initially began as an effort to persuade other local newsrooms to cover the issue. With dozens of project partners over the years, this effort has been successful. Local newsrooms are paying attention to homelessness.
As an outlet, Street Sense Media specializes in reporting on homelessness and poverty. Our team works daily with people going through some of the most difficult periods of their lives. However, many journalists working with other publications have a much broader focus area. For them, reporting on a subject as complex as homelessness can be daunting, especially if their reporters are juggling multiple stories on varied topics.
Since our team occasionally fields phone calls and messages from reporters seeking advice, we thought it would help if we consolidated some of the information we provide. This idea led to the creation of the first piece to our journalist’s guide for reporting on homelessness. Our imperfect guide covers what we feel are the concepts all journalists seeking to report on the subject should consider at a minimum. We hope to grow this into a much more comprehensive guide that includes links to data, terms and definitions and advice for conducting interviews.