Reporting & Writing With an Anti-Oppression Lens

NOTE: This class has already started, but interested students are free to sign up any time up until the last day of class and you will be able to access recordings of any sessions you missed.

Cost: $395

Special freelancer rate: $95* (We’ve made these deeply discounted seats available for up to 10 freelancers and/or recently unemployed journalists. Email )

In journalism school and in newsrooms, oftentimes we are taught to focus on what we gather and file — the facts, the data, the quotes — without always taking the time to acknowledge, interrogate, or intentionally construct the way we report, and ultimately write. The best modern journalists are focused on how to follow the classical journalism ethics rules while also reporting in a way that most respects and empowers sources, their identities, and their lived experiences as real people. So how do we effectively balance these two things? In this Narratively Academy professional development intensive, we’ll explore how to write with a justice, equity, and harm-reduction lens—yes, when covering issues of justice—but also sharpening this lens for ALL stories, beats and contents, not only in stories that are specifically equity-related.

Students will learn how to balance journalistic best practices with the need to report and write from a source-informed and source-supporting lens, and will develop a broad set of skills that can immediately be applied to any reporting project. Guest speakers who live at the intersection of journalism, storytelling, anti-oppression, and anti-colonial work will speak to how each of us can improve and strengthen our reporting and writing. Each session will include time for students to ask questions about challenges they’re facing with their active reporting projects.

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Class Schedule

Thursday, April 4: What is an Anti-Oppression Lens?

Students will explore the “Four I’s of Oppression”—ideological, institutional, interpersonal, internalized. We’ll discuss how each of these may affect our sources and our selves, and we’ll dive into what it means to navigate harm-reduction while reporting a story. Guest speaker Zahra Hankir (she/her), a Lebanese-British journalist who writes about the intersection of politics, culture and society for outlets including CNN, Time, The Los Angeles Times and Teen Vogue, joins to discuss how she brings an intersectional and anti-colonial lens to her work in the field.

Thursday, April 11: How to Address Bias and Ensure Inclusivity

We’ll discuss respecting individual sources’ self-descriptions, identification and experiences, while also taking stock of our own identities and exploring how any potential internal biases may affect our reporting—and reviewing solutions for how to address those biases. Guest speaker Dubbs Weinblatt (they/them), an LGBTQAI+ writer, education and storyteller and the founder of the “Thank You For Coming Out” podcast, joins to focus on the necessity and impact of bringing an inclusive lens to journalism, as well as to share personal stories about their experiences as a source for various media outlets.

Thursday, April 18: What Can Journalists Learn From Organizers?

We’ve often been taught to see journalism and activism as two separate fields that should be strictly separated like church and state. But the truth is we have a lot to learn from each other. In fact, if we’re in the business of telling stories about people, honoring those people’s needs is integral to the ways we report, write, edit, and publish the stories we tell. Yehudah Webster (he/him), the Program Director & Faculty for Inside Out Wisdom Action Project, will join to offer insight from his background as a long-time community organizer, as well as an educator in fostering collective antiracist accountability, and to discuss how these lessons can apply to reporting and publishing.

Thursday. April 25: Bringing It All Together

Students will discuss how to apply all of the ideas discussed across each session into their current and upcoming reporting projects. How can we balance each of these concerns while still maintaining the journalistic and ethical integrity of everything we report, write and publish?

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This class is right for you if…

  • You’re a writer or editor who wants to strengthen your reporting skills, expand your justice and equity lens and tell stories that make a difference.

  • You’re a journalist working on a reported project or a beat that touches on delicate issues, and you want to be sensitive to how your writing may impact real people’s lives.

  • You want to make sure everything you do as a storyteller balances your values with your journalistic integrity.

All Narratively Academy classes are conducted online and accessible to students anywhere in the world.

Instructor Bio: Caroline Rothstein (she/her) has been reporting journalism, performing poetry, public speaking, facilitating workshops and teaching at colleges, schools, performance venues, and community organizations for over a decade. Caroline learned plenty of vital practical knowledge while getting her master’s at Columbia J-School, from crafting a compelling lede to pitching the perfect story idea. But once out in the field she learned that to do her job ethically, she needed to report like an organizer, especially in an inherently unjust world. If she wanted to tell unbiased stories, it meant interrogating her own internal biases in order to treat all of her sources fairly. And so, she applied everything she’d been learning in her many years as an educator, organizer and activist to what she was doing as a journalist. Caroline has since gone on to apply these learnings to her nuanced and hard-hitting feature stories for Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, Nylon, Hey Alma, Narratively and more. Caroline and her work have been featured widely including in The New Yorker, MTV News, Chicago Tribune, CBS Evening News, BuzzFeed News, HuffPost, Mic, and Newsweek.

“I call Caroline when I need to produce something stellar. She pushes me to develop my own ideas, gives me the confidence to believe in them and helps shape my writing in a fresh, compelling and poignant way. I love working with Caroline because our sessions are efficient, fun and engaging, and she doesn’t waste your time. I’m proud of everything I have written [under her guidance].” —Nicole M.

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Special freelancer rate: $95* (We’ve made these deeply discounted seats available for up to 10 freelancers and/or recently unemployed journalists. Email )

Group Discounts: Contact for newsroom group discounts.

Registration Details: Seats in this class are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. All purchases are final and nonrefundable. After signing up, you’ll receive an email receipt confirming your purchase. Prior to the start of your class you’ll receive an invitation to access the virtual classroom and view all class materials.

Questions? Email us at

MORE: Check out all of our upcoming Narratively Academy Classes here.

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