- Best Practices
- Child Welfare
- Crime and Justice
- Families & Communities
- Health & Development
Your Questions about the Social Work Reporting Project
Do the subjects have to be licensed 'social workers?' What about someone who...does a lot of the same things but without the title or degree?
Yes, the social worker(s) in your story must be licensed professional social workers, meaning that they have a degree/certification in social work or are actively studying social work with the intention of going into that field. So, a case worker or counselor could be included if they are a currently enrolled social work student. The title of "social work" has often been misused by the media. This is a sensitive issue, as it is for nurses, teachers, doctors and other professionals.
What is to become of these stories?
These 12 stories will be published and made accessible on a webpage called "A Day in the Life of a Social Worker," which will also feature resources and tips for journalists covering the range of issues addressed by the pieces. That webpage will be connected to JCCF's site and will ultimately be transferred to NASW in mid-2015.
Is JCCF becoming a PR arm for NASW?
No! The NASW Foundation has funded a project designed and implemented by JCCF which will independently select, assign, commission and edit stories about social work. These stories will be rich and complex and human and nuanced, not promotional puff-pieces with predictable happy endings. The project will be used to teach journalism students about social work and social work students about their own field and media coverage of it.
I am going to pitch an audio story. How long should it be?
We don't have a specific length in mind, but somewhere between 5-10 minutes would work best for this project.
I'm a journalist but I currently do communications work for a non-profit that offers social work services. Can I pitch a story about my organization?
No. That would be a direct conflict of interest. However, you could let other journalists know of this opportunity to pitch a story about it. And, you can help connect that journalist with interviewees in your capacity as a communications director. But the story must be reported independently by a journalist who doesn't not now or has not ever receive any compensation from your organization, worked or volunteered for your organization.
I am not a freelancer, but a staff reporter at a newspaper. Can I pitch a story that would get published first at my paper?
Yes. This project is open to full-time working journalists as well as freelancers/independents. While we would prefer that all of our stories be original and published by us first, we recognize that you may be working on a story currently or recently that could be repurposed for this project. We welcome the opportunity to see the work produced for us repurposed elsewhere, with appropriate credit.
Can I pitch more than one story idea?
Of course. However, it is highly unlikely that you would get more than one assignment since we are aiming for geographic diversity.
I am still a journalism student. Can I submit an idea?
Yes. Assignments will be given based on the strength of the idea and the quality of your previous work.
I am pitching a print story. How many words do you want?
This will be negotiated if you are given the assignment. We aren't stipulating a length up front, but trust reporters to deliver a piece on par with their average per word rate.