Thanks to generous support from the Ford Foundation, Military Veterans in Journalism has launched a disability inclusion initiative to create conversations and reporting within American newsrooms about military veteran issues, with a focus on disabled veterans.
As part of this effort, MVJ is launching a speakers bureau of military veterans in journalism to advocate for better, more nuanced reporting on disabled military veterans and to share best practices with newsrooms across the nation.
MVJ is seeking applicants for its 2022 Speakers Bureau. MVJ will provide training to eight military veterans on best practices in disability reporting. Afterwards, the veterans will lead their own training and presentations at local newsrooms in the veterans’ communities.
Over the course of 12 months, each veteran will:
- Attend about 8 hours of training (held virtually) by subject matter experts in Disabled American Veterans and the Disability Media Alliance Project as well as a reporter specializing in disability reporting.
- Attend about 3 hours of group presentation preparation (held virtually)
- Attend about 3 hours of individual presentation mentorship (held virtually)
- Conduct about 90 minutes of presentation at 2 local news outlets
Each selected veteran will receive a $3,000 stipend to participate in the pilot program.
Ideally, the selected veterans will:
- Be based in military or veteran-heavy areas, creating incentives for local news outlets to provide more nuanced reporting on this reporting issue
- Have experience conducting news reporting on military / veteran affairs or issues in the disability community
- Have at least 1 year of professional news reporting experience
- Have personal experience with their own disabilities, including receiving care at the VA
‘’This program is a great opportunity for military veterans in journalism to help shape better news reporting on disabilities within their community,” said Zack Baddorf, MVJ’s Executive Director. “We hope these conversations elevate this issue within newsrooms while also leading to more nuanced reporting.”