This code of conduct governs the COVID-19 Guide for Journalists and Newsrooms (the Guide) community. We create it not because we expect bad behavior, but because laying out our values and obligations to each other reinforces our bonds of solidarity and having a code provides a guidestar for when we stumble.
The Short Version
- We are committed to taking care of each other.
- We are committed to being collaborative.
- Listen and learn. Respect people’s identities and life experiences, they will be different from yours.
- No harassment. We will take appropriate action against harassers.
- Sometimes we do not live up to our best, even when acting in good faith. If you do, apologize, learn, and move on.
- Understand that when you hurt someone and apologize, they have no obligation to forgive you. It is up to you to change, not them.
- This Code of Conduct applies to all Guide spaces (including our working our Slack channels, Google Docs, and Github repositories).
(A note: conversations in our spaces are off the record unless explicitly stated so. This is a space for us to plan, discuss, and organize. Please ask people’s permission to reprint their thoughts.)
This code of conduct applies to all Guide spaces, including our collaborative Google Docs, public channels, private channels Slack channels in News Nerdery, and direct messages, both online and off. Anyone who violates this code of conduct may be sanctioned or expelled from these spaces at the discretion of the editorial team. Some spaces may have additional rules in place, which will be made clearly available to participants. Participants are responsible for knowing and abiding by these rules.
The Guide started as a collaborative community that grew from a shared sense of responsibility. We are committed to that responsibility and will look out for and support each other in our shared goals.
We ❤️collaboration and respectful conversation between peers. We 💔 infighting and internet asshole behavior. Our hope is to create a resource for journalists to protect themselves and help newsrooms make human-centered decisions
that take care of the people in this community so that we may all better serve the public.
The Guide is dedicated to providing a harassment-free experience for everyone. Every member of the community is expected to be considerate of and respectful towards others.
- Be supportive. We are here because we share the goal of improving racial discourse and racial justice in our families and communities. We will often have similar experiences, but not everyone’s story will be shared. Above all else, try to listen and understand before questioning and judging.
- Be collaborative. The COVID-19 pandemic is a stressful and constantly-changing crisis and it is often hard to keep up and understand all that is going on. We strive to involve anyone and everyone who is making an honest effort to contribute. The strength of our work is in each other, do not be afraid to ask for help or feedback. Don’t succumb to imposter syndrome (your particular experiences and knowledge are unique to you, and are welcome), or blowhard syndrome.
- Be generous, kind, and humane. Be polite and friendly. Communicating is hard, especially online where we lack many nonverbal cues. If you may have misunderstood something, gently ask for a clarification. Respect others when they do the same.
- Meet people where they are. Not everybody knows as much as you do in your domain of expertise and we all have much to learn from one another. (Willful ignorance, however, is violence and will not be tolerated.)
- Respect people’s privacy and will to self-determination. If someone wishes to be left alone, please respect that. We all make mistakes, if you have wronged someone, take care to make amends, but do not always expect it to be accepted. Acceptance and forgiveness can only be given freely, they can not be taken.
- Take time to care for yourself, respect when others do, too. Social justice is hard, tiring work. And this is a marathon, not a sprint. Know when you need to step away and let others share the load for a while, and look out for each other, in case they do, too.
We do not tolerate harassment of participants in any form.
Harassment Includes (but is not limited to)
- Offensive comments related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, mental illness, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, race, or religion.
- Unwelcome comments regarding a person’s lifestyle choices and practices, including those related to food, health, parenting, drugs, and employment.
- Deliberate misgendering or use of “dead” or rejected names.
- Physical contact and simulated physical contact (eg, textual descriptions like “hug” or “backrub”) without consent or after a request to stop.
- Threats of violence.
- Incitement of violence towards any individual, including encouraging a person to commit suicide or to engage in self-harm.
- Deliberate intimidation.
- Stalking or following.
- Harassing photography or recording, including logging online activity for harassment purposes.
- Sustained disruption of discussion.
- Unwelcome sexual attention.
- Pattern of inappropriate social contact, such as requesting/assuming inappropriate levels of intimacy with others.
- Continued one-on-one communication after requests to cease.
- Deliberate “outing” of any aspect of a person’s identity without their consent except as necessary to protect vulnerable people from intentional abuse.
- Publication of non-harassing private communication.
- “Reverse”-isms, including “reverse racism,” “reverse sexism,” and “cisphobia”.
- Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
- Communicating in a “tone” you don’t find congenial.
If you are being harassed by a Guide contributor, or have any other concerns, immediately contact someone on the leadership team. (You can find us in the proj-covid19-guide channel in the News Nerdery Slack.)
In order to protect volunteer organizers from abuse and burnout, we reserve the right to reject any report we believe to have been made in bad faith. Reports intended to silence legitimate criticism may be deleted without response.
We will respect confidentiality requests for the purpose of protecting victims of abuse. At our discretion, we may publicly name a person about whom we’ve received harassment complaints, or privately warn third parties about them, if we believe that doing so will increase the safety of Guide contributors or the general public. We will not name harassment victims without their affirmative consent.
Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.
If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the leadership team may take any action they deem appropriate, up to and including expulsion from all Guide spaces and identification of the participant as a harasser to other Guide members or the general public.