On March 28th, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University will host an event to train students on disability reporting. This event is presented in partnership with Military Veterans in Journalism’s Speakers Bureau, a group of veterans and journalists who have trained on disability inclusion since early 2022. Scott Bourque, a Cronkite faculty member, Speakers Bureau participant and Afghanistan war veteran who advocates for veterans and individuals with disabilities, will be the lead presenter at this event.
“As a veteran with service-connected disabilities that aren’t immediately visible, it can be hard to find your identity: are you really a disabled veteran even if you have all of your limbs?” Bourque said. “My goal with this lecture is to inform the public about the experiences that most of America’s disabled veterans have and how to create news coverage that accurately reflects the reality of the community.”
This training event will focus on reporting on disabilities in a culturally sensitive and inclusive manner. It is essential for journalists to understand the unique experiences and perspectives of individuals with disabilities in order to tell their stories accurately and respectfully. Through this training session, attendees will gain the knowledge and skills needed to do just that.
“I was tired of people making assumptions about me based on a job I had in my early twenties, so I got into researching how news media covers veterans and how that coverage influences public opinion,” Bourque continued of his passion for improving reporting on veterans issues. “There’s a lot for the industry to learn about covering veterans, and I’m privileged to be able to share this information with the community.”
MVJ Disability Journalism Speakers Bureau training sessions are now available for all newsrooms interested in participating. You can book a session for your newsroom here or email Operations Manager Sara Feges if you have any questions regarding the training. MVJ thanks the Ford Foundation for their generous support of this program and ASU Walter Cronkite School for their collaboration on this session.
‘’At Military Veterans in Journalism, our mission is to promote diversity and inclusion in the news media,” said MVJ president Russell Midori. “Our Speakers Bureau program is one way that we’re working towards that goal. We’re thrilled to work with the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on this important event.’’
We hope that this training session will be a valuable resource for journalism and media students who are looking to expand their knowledge of disability reporting and promote greater cultural awareness in the field.