The Ford Foundation, the Disabled Journalists Association (DJA) and Military Veterans in Journalism (MVJ) will host a panel discussion on media coverage of disability and disabled veterans.
The event, titled “Reporting with Honor: A Guide for Covering Veterans with Disabilities,” will take place on May 10, 2023, at 1 PM EDT at the Ford Foundation headquarters in New York City.
The discussion will center around shifting the narrative on military veterans with disabilities and creating spaces in newsrooms where disabled journalists can thrive, succeed and contribute. Three members of the MVJ Speakers Bureau – Caron LeNoir, Donna Cole and Jimmy White IV – will share their unique perspectives on reporting on disabilities as veterans and journalists.
“Knowing that everyone, military veteran or otherwise, will become disabled in their lifetime, we must have journalists trained in reporting about disabilities and disability benefits, as well as including people with disabilities in news coverage about all topics,” shared one of the speakers, Donna Cole. “As a journalist and disabled veteran of the U.S. Navy, I couldn’t be prouder to be a member of MVJ’s inaugural Speakers Bureau program, which taught me how to make my reporting more reflective of my community by including a large segment of our population that is, unfortunately, often ignored – and the ability to train other newsrooms how to do the same.”
DJA Director Cara Reedy will also participate in the discussion.
“My team and I understand the importance of creating supportive and inclusive environments for disabled journalists to thrive while countering stereotypes often seen in coverage of our community,” said Reedy. “Disabled veterans share the struggles of the broader disability community, so I’m proud to support the MVJ Speakers Bureau initiative to make newsrooms more inclusive of these narratives.”
MVJ’s Speakers Bureau program, launched in early 2022, has brought together military veteran journalists with a deep commitment to covering issues related to disabilities. The program’s 11 Speakers, several of whom are disabled veterans themselves, have trained journalists nationwide on the impact of persistent stereotypes in coverage of disabled veterans and the broader disability community. The program and this panel discussion were made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation, which is dedicated to ensuring that newsrooms are more inclusive of all the communities they cover.
“At MVJ, we are proud to support veteran journalists who are dedicated to shedding light on important issues related to disability,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ Executive Director. “It’s important for newsrooms to improve their coverage of the disability community to avoid perpetuating harmful stereotypes and regain that community’s trust.”
Journalists and other media-related professionals are welcome to attend the event. Space is limited. Those interested in attending can RSVP online:
About Military Veterans in Journalism
Military Veterans in Journalism is a professional association that builds community for vets, supports their career growth, and advocates for diversifying newsrooms through hiring and promoting more vets. Led and run by a dedicated corps of military veterans and military family members, we are working with newsrooms and other non-profit organizations to create opportunities for vets to get a jump start in the media industry. Whether through internships, fellowships or mentorships, our work has created a pipeline to get vets into newsrooms.
About the Ford Foundation
The Ford Foundation is a philanthropic organization that was established in 1936 by Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford. The foundation’s mission is to advance human achievement by reducing poverty and injustice, promoting democratic values, and encouraging international cooperation. The organization recognizes the inherent dignity of all individuals, while also acknowledging that many people worldwide are marginalized and excluded from important political, economic, and social institutions. For over eight decades, the Ford Foundation has worked tirelessly to address these issues and create positive change around the globe.
About the Disabled Journalists Association
The Disabled Journalist Association is a community of Disabled Journalists who are committed to advancing the coverage of disabled people while protecting their advancement in the industry. Our work is rooted in Disability Justice and the motto – Nothing About Us Without Us.